Sugar will rot your teeth, we have all heard it a million times, but avoiding sugar can give you more than a great smile. Limiting sugar can help you lose weight, lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and gain a whole lot more – years on your life!! Research has shown limiting sugar increases the lifespan in animals and has been stated by many to be the key for a long, healthy life.
When you consume sugar it reacts with amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) in your body to form Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs). As their name implies these substances play a key role in advancing the aging process. When you consider the typical North American consumes an average of 2.5 pounds of sugar a week, combined with low-quality carbohydrate foods such as white bread, white pasta, pastries, cookies and candies which break down into sugar it is no wonder we see a rise in chronic health diseases related to AGEs.
The life expanding quality of avoiding sugar goes well beyond reducing AGEs. Limiting sugar goes along way in preventing the development of cancer and starving cancer cells of their favorite food source – sugar! Cancer metabolizes much differently than normal cells, cancer does not use oxygen but metabolizes through a process called fermentation (similar to the process of making wine or beer). This process requires sugar and cancer cells are very hungry, the metabolism of cancer is actually eight times greater than the metabolism of normal cells. By eating a diet high in sugar and grain carbohydrates (that turn into sugar) you are providing fuel for this deadly disease to grow.
Sugar is very addictive and limiting it can be difficult if you are used to consuming a lot of it. Take consolation in knowing that as you cut back on sugar consumption you will begin to crave it less and less. There are many tasty alternatives to white sugar such as the herb stevia, organic raw honey and organic cane sugar (in small amounts).
Beware as you try to limit sugar in your diet you may be tempted by those “little blue packets” claiming to be “equal” to sugar without all the calories. Too good to be true, you bet! Steer clear of these artificial sweeteners as they can cause a host of health problems. These chemical mimickers have been linked to problems including: headaches, loss of balance and dizziness, change in mood, nausea and vomiting, changes in vision, seizures and convulsions, memory loss, fatigue and weakness, sleep problems, changes in heart rate, increased blood pressure, menstrual problems, localized pain and tenderness, just to name a few!
Another popular sugar alternative that should be avoided is agave syrup. It is highly processed, contains almost 100% fructose (more harmful than glucose) and will have the same effect on your body as white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is very pro-inflammatory, promotes AGE production and overall speeds up the aging process.
If you needed one more reason to avoid sugar and decrease your AGE production here it is – sugar promotes wrinkles and grey hair. Yes, it is true! By consuming white sugar you age faster on the inside and the outside. So if your want to live longer and more beautifully on the inside and outside, take a step in the right direction – away from the dessert table!