Friday, February 6, 2009

Affects of Sugar

While it is impossible to cut sugar out of my diet completely, I have been able to really become more strict as to how much goes into my body. As you might recall from an earlier post, my doctor suggested that I go on a diet eliminating sugars as much as possible while reducing carbs and increasing proteins and veggies. I have only done this once in the past as a two week diet to kick start my metabolism to burn faster as I was trying to lose a certain amount of weight. Never have I counted calories or have been faced with the physical affects of sugar. . . until now. After only a few days of being very strict with sugar intake, I can say that I have noticed a difference in how I feel. I have heard others say the same, but never really believed them. Lisa read that prior post and left a comment on how I should look into the affects of sugar. I did, and was astounded. I thought I might include them for you. I hope it is helpful. It was for me.

Here is a list of ways sugar can affect your health:
Sugar can suppress the immune system.
Sugar can upset the body's mineral balance.
Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).
Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
Sugar can cause kidney damage.
Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
Sugar can cause copper deficiency.
Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
Sugar can promote tooth decay.
Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.
Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.
Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.
Sugar can increase total cholesterol.
Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
Sugar leads to decreased glucose tolerance.
Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.
Sugar causes food allergies.
Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
Sugar can cause depression.
Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
Sugar can cause hypertension.
Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind's ability to think clearly.
Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness which increases risk of blood clots and strokes.
Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.
Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.



Kelly said...

I'll be joining you in the quest to eliminate simple carbohydrates from my diet. If you read my blog tonight you'll see the simple yet swift kick in the pants I got this evening! Haha!

I've gone through the whole low sugar dieting while pregnant and while not fun it's do-able. The first week is the hardest. If you have trouble coming up with meal ideas, let me know. I've been there! Barilla's whole grain pasta actually tastes really good so that's an easy substitution for those occasional comfort food cravings.

Thanks for posting that list. I'm in need of constant reminders of why I should be making certain changes in my lifestyle. At least until my old friend Will Power makes himself at home! You can do it too!

I am truly blessed said...

Isnt it amazing!!! I have been off sugar for the most part since the end of October...except during the holiday I had "some".Ok...more than just some. Realy is amazingly easy to cut the added sugar to your diet. Once you have started and get the hang of really is not that hard. When I eat food with a lot of sugar now, it makes me feel soooo blah. Way to go Charissa!! Keep it up after the baby is much healthier

Julie said...

Nutrition is such an important part of good health. Good for you making these changes! I do not always eat perfectly, but when I do eat a whole-foods based diet and skip the processed, sugary stuff I really do feel like a different person.

If you have cable, check out "You Are What You Eat" - a show on BBC America. It is kind of gross sometimes but it really does show how what we eat affects our health!

Anonymous said...

In April G's's poison! :) After about a week with no sugar, I had a very small amount and within 15 min. had a severe headache. Thanks for the info! Glad you are doing better w/o the sugar!


Lisa's Blessed A Latte said...

Great really did your homework...In fact for me the first three days are the hardest. Then I totally lose ALL cravings for the stuff...Be really careful too about sugar substitues. Most of them including Splenda are BAD for you...That's another study in itself. Also make sure you get fruit in your diet...Low Glycemic fruits....if a fruit is Low Glycemic it won't turn to sugar as fast in your system....Stay way from banana's.....They are high on the Glycemic Index...The reason you need Low Glycemic fruit is if you just eat veggies and protein...your body will go into Ketosis...that isn't good. By eating Low Glycemic fruits and eating Nuts you can prevent that. You will also feel very sluggish if you only eat Veggies and Protein.

Jenny B. said...

I have a few questions for you, if you don't what have you been using instead? I don't really think I take in that much sugar, but I am sure I don't realize it much as you did not. Have you had to have a substitute? Also, what changes have you noticed in yourself already? It is no surprise to me that sugar has all those affects, but I was just curious about your practical daily applications. Have any to share? Thanks! :)

Goetsch Family, Jr. said...

PREACH IT, SISTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One Happy Family said...

Jenny B. - Here is what I do:
I don't use any substitutes. I drink coffee with cream in it, and I know that isn't the greatest, but for now I have at least cut out the 2 spoonfuls of sugar I used to use. I also eat a breakfast,snack; lunch,snack; and dinner,snack. This includes only 30g. of fat/sugar/carbs per meal,snack combo. I watch my portion size. I also am weeding out refined carbs. Concentrating on ingesting more complex carbs. instead of white breads, etc. If I get snacky or am craving a sweet, I make a protein shake with rice milk and have frozen berries in it for the sweetness. It fills me up and helps curb my craving. I also snack on almonds like crazy throughout my day. I limit high sugar fruits. I also stay away from processed stuff (but I usually had before anyhow)I cook up a fish fillet or chicken breast for lunch or dinner with salad.
I am not 100% perfect on this yet, but am getting the hang of it and doing pretty good. I do feel better and notice quite a difference in how my energy level is.Hope that is helpful.

Jenny B. said...

Thanks Charissa! Those are some useful, reasonable ways to help sugar intake. I do some of them already, and will continue to try to do as I am and more. Thanks again!

Hazel Eye Beauty said...

Charissa, Charissa, you will have to lock me up at your house for a week to detox this "really-sweet" ole southern gal. What the heck would I do w/out my sweet tea, and Starbucks? I've been pondering a lot lately about going healthy, but that's hard to do alone. should I start off slow, and gradually decrease? We just had sweet tea for dinner... Yummmmmm