Sugar is Dangerous. Here’s Why [Infographic]
There is nothing sweet about sugar.
In fact, sugar is a major problem in the Standard American Diet.
Even if you are a healthy weight, eating too much sugar can increase your risk of death.
Those who eat the most sugar- over 25% of calories from sugar- are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease.
Not even exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can protect you if you are eating too much sugar.
What does sugar do to your body
Sugar increases inflammation in the body, leading to a higher risk of other chronic diseases.
But, wait, there’s more:
- Sugar damages the collagen in our skin resulting in wrinkles and saggy skin, it also worsens joint pain.
- It impacts our mood, making us cranky and irritable.
- Negatively impacts our diet (because roasted vegetables don’t have the same “feel good” impact on our brain as a cookie does)
- Overworks your organs from your kidneys to your liver and pancreas.
And here is the thing:
Oftentimes, we are eating sugar without even realizing it as it hides in foods from breads and cerals to juice, yogurt, sauce and salad dressing.
The lesson there?
Always read labels.
And be aware of the different names for sugar- there are 61 of them.
Yup, you read that right.
There are 61 different names for sugar (see the full list here).
A few more fun facts about sugar:
What can you do instead?
Healthy sugar substitutes
Stevia– 100-200x sweeter than sugar, this plant contains no calories or carbohydrates.
It also doesn’t take much water or space to grow making it an earth friendly option as well.
It is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) in the US. Look for high purity stevia extracts like Rebaudioside A (Commonly abbreviated Reb A).
They also do not impact blood glucose levels, hypertension, body weight or insulin levels. There is no accumulation in the body and it is not digested.
Important notes: you can find liquid, powdered or granulated forms.
There are many different names for it, but in order to be used, it has to be the GRAS approved formulation. The leaves and crude stevia are not approved or recognized as GRAS… there may be some concerns with them.
Dates– High in fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, B-vitamins, copper, manganese and tons of antioxidants, dates make a great sugar replacement.
Pureed these little gems are also plenty sweet- enough for your baked goods and smoothies. Be sure to rehydrate them in a small amount of hot water prior to using them.
Fruit Purees– In general fruit purees make great sugar replacements in things like pancakes, cookies and quickbreads- they add sweetness and nutrients.
They do have more liquid, so be sure to reduce the amount of liquid in recipes (usually by about 1/4 cup) for every cup of sugar that you sub out for fruit puree.
Try mashed banana, sweet potato, applesauce, berries, plums, peaches and more.