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Health & Wellness

Introducing Health & Wellness: Why Too Much Sugar Is Not Good For You

When I was little, growing up in Bulgaria, the only soda-like drink we had was lemonade: carbonated water with yellow dye and sugar. We did not drink it every day, only on special occasions. Please, don’t feel sorry for me. Looking back, I am quite happy I’ve been raised on water, fresh fruit and veggies. Have you looked at the sugar content of a soda recently? The average American consumes over 150 ounces of sugar a day. A can of Coke has 9-10 teaspoons of sugar. Sugar has a number of other extremely damaging effects on the human body. However, before I scare you with some visuals, let me tell you what this is all about.

At the end of 2011 I posted an interview with Brandy Foss, a RN and a Juice Plus representative, who gave us some tips and advice on how to stay away from processed food and welcome fruit and vegetables in our diet. The interview got a whopping 344 views in a single day. This led me to believe that many of you have decided to embrace a healthier lifestyle this year, and I would love to promote it through the blog. Everybody in the community is invited to contribute to the new “Health & Wellness” section, with their personal story, scientific research, or healthy recipes. Brandy Foss was kind enough to provide us with some information and visuals to begin with. Are you ready?

Here are some sugar facts, courtesy of Dr. Rodger Murphree from Birmingham, AL:

There are 4 classes of simple sugars include Sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), honey, and malts. Obviously whole fruits are a healthy choice.

Fruit juices on the other hand are like mainlining sugar; it’s too much sugar at one time. Think about it this way you’d have a hard time eating ten apples, but you could easily drink a glass of apple juice, which may contain up to 10 “juiced” apples.
Too much sugar no matter if fruit juice, honey, maple syrup, fructose (fruit sugar), evaporated cane juice, brown sugar, or white table sugar is not a healthy choice.

Sugar depletes the body of B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. Three ounces of sugar, in any form, sucrose (table sugar), honey, or fruit juice, results in a 50% reduction in white blood cell activity for up to 5 hours. Sugar lowers our immune function!

Below is a slideshow that can give you an idea of how much sugar we consume in the form of snacks and pick-me-up or just-because drinks. A note to keep in mind, as you look at the visuals: Would you sit down and eat 12 sugar cubes in one setting, or let your child do it? That’s how much sugar is in one bag of Skittles…not to mention dyes (color & numbers), high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oil. And this is just one simple example.

Each sugar cube in the pictures equals one teaspoon of sugar. (Photos: web)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I hope the information above will help you make more informed choices. You don’t have to reject sugar altogether, just be more mindful of what you consume. How about chocolate? We all know it is good for you! Chocolate contains anadamine, a brain chemical that helps brighten our mood. Scientists believe that other chemicals in chocolate cause anadamide to stay longer in the brain, thus enhancing its positive effect. The sugar in chocolate also boosts our levels of endorphins, another hormone that makes us happy. Don’t eat too much, though! Moderation is the key.

A piece of dark chocolate a day will make you feel good. Go for the European brands when you can: they don't contain corn syrup and they taste much better.

I would like to thank Brandy Foss for providing us with the information and visuals above. Brandy is a RN and a Juice Plus Representative. You can reach her at 1-800-942-1151 or bfossjp@charter.net. Want to contribute to “Health and Wellness”? Get in touch with me and share your ideas: slavabowman@yahoo.com

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.

Discussion

5 Responses to “Introducing Health & Wellness: Why Too Much Sugar Is Not Good For You”

  1. Slava, this is fabulous! What a wonderful way to present the sugar comparisons!

    Posted by Laura | January 8, 2012, 11:12 am
  2. We watched a movie Forks over Knives and my family is taking the journey of a whole foods plant based diet. But the last and hardest for me to give up is my diet mt dew. Seeing all those sugar cube just helps seeing why the soda needs to go.

    Posted by niki | January 11, 2012, 9:52 am
    • Niki, I am so happy this post is helping you say no to soda! It is not easy to give up something when you are so used to it, but once you do you will feel so much better! Good luck in your health journey! =)

      Posted by Slava | January 11, 2012, 11:18 am

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