Sugar is the new fat!

I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to be healthier. It’s my job and my passion. I’m constantly looking for the latest research on health and nutrition. Lately, I’ve had something sweet on my mind: sugar!
We’ve spent so much time thinking about fat for the past few decades that research on sugar has only recently caught up. Let me tell you, the results are not good. It turns out that added sugar can be toxic to your liver like alcohol, and it contributes to a set of symptoms called “metabolic syndrome”, which can damage your organs, ruin your mood, contribute to diabetes, and even cause weight gain without consuming extra calories.
It’s a commonly held belief, even among scientists and doctors, that a calorie is a calorie and in terms of weight loss, calories in minus calories out equals gaining or losing weight. However, In a recent documentary called “That Sugar Film”, Damon Garneau was able to gain weight without changing his calorie intake or activity level, because the excess sugar he was consuming caused changes in his body that led to more fat storage.
Over time, consuming too much sugar can damage the liver and pancreas. These organs both help regulate blood sugar, and if they are overwhelmed, they trigger your body to store blood sugar as fat, usually around the waist.
The good news is that sugar in its natural state–in fruits and vegetables–comes packaged with fiber, which slows down our body’s absorption of sugars and reduces their impact on the pancreas and liver, which are the organs most affected by over-consuming sugar. This does not apply to other natural sources of sugar, like honey, maple syrup, and fruit juice. These concentrated forms of sugar, even though they are natural, act on the body more like processed sugar, since they are not incorporated in whole foods with fiber and other nutrients.
Just because sugar is bad, doesn’t mean you should jump on the “sugar free” bandwagon either. Most products that advertise this use artificial sweeteners instead. There is some evidence that specific artificial sweeteners have toxic effects or are carcinogenic. In general, there is also evidence that eating artificial sweetener causes your body to crave sugar and make up for lost calories elsewhere. Be careful with the Splenda.
Fat has a lot of calories in it, so it’s gotten a bad rap over the years. But now we know that WHERE you get your calories matters, and the worst place to get calories is concentrated sugar. It hides in all kinds of food, and companies use over 61 different names for it on ingredient labels: high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, sucrose, glucose, dextrose–the list goes on and on. It’s a lot to pay attention to, but your health is worth it.

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