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Sugar: How It Affects Us, And Possible Substitutes

By Expert Author: Michael Cherp

Sugar, whilst tasting pretty nice, as well as being pretty effective at making other food sources taste rather appetizing, is simply not that healthy an ingredient. Excessive sugar intake has been scientifically proven to be linked to a whole host of harmful medical conditions in the body, and for that reason, we need to carefully monitor how much we consume, or simply look for alternatives instead.

Take sweets and desserts for instance. There’s a reason they taste great, and there’s a reason that we tend to crave them rather than simply craving a bowl of steamed chicken and salad leaves perhaps. Sugar is addictive, can be harmful for our bodies and health, and generally, is not that healthy an ingredient at all. There are many different forms of sugar, both natural and artificial, yet each one should be consumed sparingly in moderation, or left out of a diet plan entirely, if at all possible. It actually acts like a form of narcotic, or a poison. It is addictive, leaving our bodies craving more, and it affects us in many different ways, including: Damaging the liver, causing us to gain weight, slowing down our metabolisms, impairing our mental functions, affecting our hormones, and even leading to much more serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or even certain forms of cancer. Not surprisingly then, cutting back on the amount of sugar we consume, and looking for healthy sugar alternatives, is vital if we wish to enjoy a clean bill of health for many years to come.

What are the main types of harmful sugar? – Glucose is the most common type of sugar, due to the fact that it is the body’s primary source of energy. When we consume glucose, the pancreas is then stimulated, and secretes insulin as a way of keeping our blood sugar levels under control. When we consume too much sugar, eventually the pancreas breaks down, and cannot produce any more insulin, which then leads to diabetes.
Another common form of sugar is known as Fructose, which is also known to be harmful to the human body, due to the fact that it can damage the liver. The reason for this is because only the liver is able to break down fructose, which can put unnecessary strain on it. Fructose has also been shown to affect our energy levels, leading to what many refer to as a “sugar crash” once the sugar has been broken down and metabolized.

How sugar can affect our bodies – As we mentioned, sugar affects us in a number of different ways, and it has to be said that many of these are harmful. It can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, leptin resistance, which is when we cannot judge how full we are, and therefore eat more than we should, it harms our immune systems, our internal organs, and can even lead to our cells becoming damaged and oxidizing, which can lead to mutations such as cancerous cells forming. Sugar is also bad for the teeth and can cause them, to rot and decay.

What are some alternatives? – There are many natural alternatives to sugar, and if we crave or require sweetness, then we should turn to these ingredients. Sweeteners such as Stevia are especially effective, as well as natural honey, and syrups derived from natural ingredients. Fruits and fruit juices are also great natural sweeteners, although they do contain natural sugars, so be wary. We should stay well clear of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, as these are carcinogenic, meaning they can cause cancer and cell mutations, which is the last thing anybody wants.

It’s important to remember that moderation is the key and that you should cut back on any natural sweeteners and sugars, no matter how tasty they may be. Sugar is harmful, and is not all that healthy at all so try to monitor your intake as closely as you possibly can.

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