Sugar’s Not-So-Sweet Side

Sugars Not So Sweet Side

Everyone knows sugar causes cavities and stomach aches after a candy binge on Easter or Halloween, but there is a real dangerous side to the sweet stuff:  Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer have all been linked to high sugar intake.   The World Health Organization recommends to keep daily sugar intake to below 5% of your daily calorie intake.  5% is about 25 grams per day or 6 to 7 teaspoons.  (10% should be your MAXIMUM per day, 13 teaspoons)  This is a far cry from the average 26 teaspoons most Canadians consume each day. Equating to a whooping 40 kilograms (20 bags) of sugar per year consumed by each Canadian.

The whole nation is consuming way to much sugar and suffering the health problems that come along with it.  Our diets have too much sugar!  It's hidden in everything from soup to pasta sauces. canned beans, bread, crackers, sports drinks, protein shakes, nutritional bars, cereal, yogurt.  The list goes on for miles.  Often people think because a food is labeled organic, all natural, or gluten free, then it's safe and okay, they don't need to read the label.  But sugar no matter if its white, brown, corn syrup, all natural, etc.  it's all going to do the same thing to the body.

Sugar overload damages the kidneys, diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure.  Not only does sugar raise insulin levels, sugar affects the joints by pumping inflammatory cytokines into our blood stream.  Inflammation of the arteries and heart increase risk of coronary artery disease.   Studies found people  who have a high sugar diet are 58% more likely to suffer from depression.  It rewires your reward pathways in the brain causing addictive behaviour. It also causes  wrinkles and sagging of the skin, and yes it makes you FAT!

The best way to avoid hidden sugar :
- Read labels on EVERYTHING!  4 grams = 1 teaspoon , aim for 6 teaspoons or 25 grams per day (13 teaspoons MAX per day).
-Drink Water not pop or juice
-Avoid processed food
-Eat whole foods, like fresh veggies, fruit, whole grains
-Limit treats to special occasions (it's not a treat if you have it every day, its a bad habit)

Over a quarter of the Canadian population is in the obese or overweight category, and the numbers continue to grow. It's time to set a better example for our children and to ensure a better quality of life and healthier future for ourselves.  It starts with you, and remember your health is in your hands!