There was a time in my life when I could eat whatever I wanted, so I thought. My first job was at Burger King and at breaks I would munch away on my choice of burgers, fries, soft drinks, shakes and ice-burgers (frozen sugary ice things). My next job was at Marie Callender's and as a waitress, I could take home all sorts of leftover pie slices after my shift was over. Bonus for me, I could have a snack at midnight and then have pie for breakfast! All through my life, I have had sugary treats and processed foods at my fingertips, without any thought to how it was affecting my body. Food was my comfort and my joy.
Through education and support, I've changed my ways. But why, might you ask, does it matter whether you indulge in sweets? Sugar hides in all sorts of foods, and it has the propensity to tear at the fiber of your very being.
Sugar is our go-to drug. It's white, powdered, sticky and sweet. It's our energy pick-me-up and our comfort in times of stress. We celebrate with it, we embrace it, we love it. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine, causing the body and mind to crave more and more.
Excess sugar can be incredibly destructive and harmful to the body. The average person eats the equivalent of a 5-pound bag of sugar in the span of a ten day period. This amounts to an average of 150 pounds of sugar consumed annually by each person in the United States. That's a whopping amount of sugar, but why would it matter? Here are three reasons you might strongly consider decreasing your sugar consumption and go sugar-less.
If you are lucky, you may have skirted around the label of diabetes or pre-diabetes. But the habit of eating more sugar may catch up to you. According to the CDC, the United States is at epidemic levels of diabetes. A staggering 29 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, while another 86 million are pre-diabetic. That amounts to over one-third of our population impacted by diabetes! Look around, one in three people have the chance of getting diabetes. This disease WILL impact you, your children, family members, neighbors, and co-workers. Chances are, you know many who are diabetic or pre-diabetic (many of whom may not even know that their body is in a condition of great physical stress).
Sadly, these statistics are for every man, woman and CHILD. Yes, obesity and corresponding type 2 diabetes rates are rising epidemically in our childhood population.
To understand what diabetes is all about, it's important to understand how the body uses sugar. Food is fuel. This fuel usually comes in the form of either carbohydrates (which in a large part break down into sugars) or fat. Most of us are sugar burners, utilizing carbohydrates as our preferred fuel source to give energy to the body.
The digestive process breaks down the food you eat into usable components. One of those components is a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose will get shuttled to individual cells by the transporter hormone insulin (which is produced by the pancreas). In simple terms, the shuttled glucose is brought to the cell loading dock (cell receptor site) at which point the cell accepts the glucose for energy utilization. As Dr. Sarah Hallberg states, "At its root, type 2 diabetes is a state of carbohydrate toxicity."
You can be insulin resistant (a pre-cursor to diabetes) and be of normal weight. It is estimated that up to 25% or normal weight adults are insulin resistant. Insulin not only transports glucose, it also can make us hungry. It helps signal the storage of fat.
There are differing classifications of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a processes of dysfunction in the body due to genetics, viral attack, or auto-immune conditions. Gestational diabetes is also a dysfunction in the body, brought on by pregnancy. Both of these diabetic conditions are largely unavoidable, but greatly helped by diet and lifestyle choices.
On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes, to a great extent, is avoidable. This disease generally afflicts millions of people who are a product of sugar overload. There is just entirely too much sugar for the body to process.
If there is an excess of sugar, the body first will want to convert this excess into fat stores. Overrun cells will limit, or stop, the acceptance of glucose. The taxed pancreas may limit or stop the production of insulin. Often sliding into type 2 diabetes is a quiet process that happens over years. It starts with eating too many carbohydrates, which leads to insulin resistance, then pre-diabetes, then leading to full blown diabetes.
Click HERE to see the symptoms of diabetes.
I've heard it said "Life it to be lived, enjoyed, then you die." I agree, you should live your life and enjoy. However, does constant indulgence ever catch up with you? And in the case of type 2 diabetes, pieces of you die, bit by bit. Yes, you heard that right. Here are some of the common struggles facing those with type 2 diabetes:
Diabetes is linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Basically, anywhere there is a cell in your body, you can be compromised, and it isn't pretty.
If you already have diabetes or pre-diabetes, hope is at hand. Did you know that this condition can be greatly helped by eating less sugar and more of the right nutrient dense foods.
Are you addicted to sugar? Or, are you on sugar overload? Perhaps it's time to really think through what you are doing to your body and decrease your sugar consumption. Piece by piece, you may be chipping away at your body until something drastic happens. Truly, the consequences are severe if you continue on the path you are going.
If you already have diabetes, there is HOPE! Lowering your intake of sugar can quickly change your need for the amount of insulin you use. In fact, some can even put their diabetes into remission. Imagine putting insulin behind you!
Having diabetes is just one reason to be going sugar-less. There are countless other reasons, and the bottom line is, do you want to feel better? Do you want longevity to enjoy your family and the passions in life that are important to you? Lowering the amount of sugar in your life will allow for a much healthier foundation in your life and will unlock health freedom. I invite you to take steps today to decrease the amount of sugar you are taking in.
It's time to live a sugar-less lifestyle!
Denise Smith, NTP
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
Your full 7-day plan includes tips, menus, shopping list, and more. Helping you to move from junk food to yum food!