Avoiding sweetness altogether is unnatural and unnecessary. However, the overconsumption of processed sugar has become a widespread epidemic with the average American consuming 2-3 pounds of sugar each week!
The human body is designed to breakdown complex carbohydrates in whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Your body doesn’t recognize processed carbs or sugars, so when you consume them, nutrients are pulled from your bones, muscles, brain and other tissues in order for them to metabolize, leaving your body deficient of vital vitamins and minerals.
Sugar also depresses your immune system leaving you susceptible to illnesses, and it raises insulin levels which promotes the storage of fat leading to weight gain, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Your gut can also be affected as sugar promotes the development of parasites, worms and fungi, which encourages the growth of Candida Albicans, a fungus causing symptoms ranging from fatigue and weight gain to joint pain and gas.
Other ways sugar affects your health include:
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased risk of osteoporosis, kidney damage, Crohn’s disease and heart disease
- Speeding the aging process causing wrinkles and gray hair
- Increases fluid retention
- Promotes tooth decay and periodontal disease
The “sweet” thing is that you do not have to give up the sweetness of sugar entirely in order to be healthy; you just need to replace it with better alternatives. Stevia and Xylitol are natural sugar alternatives found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables and do not cause spikes in blood sugar. Raw honey is another option as it is packed with antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Other options include agave nectar, barley malt syrup, maple syrup and evaporated cane juice as these all have minimal impact on blood sugar, are less refined and have more nutrients than table sugar. Choose wisely and read nutrition labels so you can make the sweetest decision for your body and health!