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Haunted by Sugar

Hello Loyal Soup People! Last week, I wrote about the misconceptions about chocolate. As Halloween is getting closer, I’d like to chat this week about sugar. There isn’t a lot of ambiguity on this topic. I’m sorry to say that sugar is pretty darn unhealthy.  I’m referring specifically to added sugar. Whether it comes in the form of cane, beet, high fructose corn… our body processes sugar in basically the same manner. While there is a lot of debate these days of whether fat in food turns into fat in our body, there is no question about sugar. Sugar goes straight to our waistline! And there’s more…

– Sugar has been linked to heart disease. A 2013 study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, showed that sugar can negatively impact your heart’s pumping mechanism and lead to heart failure.

– Sugar causes obesity. As I mentioned above, the extra calories that come from sugar turn directly into belly fat. Also, sugar can cause an increase in leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone that tells our bodies when we are satiated. Studies, however, show that too much sugar can cause our bodies to ignore this hormone, causing us to overeat.

– Sugar can have toxic effects on the liver. Similar to alcohol, excess sugar consumption can cause liver disease. Also, just like alcohol, sugar can indeed be addictive.

I could go on, but I’ll stop there. The biggest issue with sugar is that it doesn’t trigger any sort of satiation signal in our body. When we consume fat or fiber, we feel satisfied and eventually stop eating. Sugar, especially in the form of sodas and other sweetened beverages, doesn’t trigger any sort of satiation signal. We have to force ourselves to stop, which we often don’t do – especially when eating a huge bag of candy at the movies!

Unfortunately, sugar sneaks into so much processed food – bread, crackers, tomato sauce, and more. Like I always say – check the ingredient labels! If you want to cut back on sugar consumption, start keeping a journal. Track how much you are eating each day, and try to cut back slowly. Hopefully, as you lower your sugar consumption, your cravings will change too!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!