The Dangers Of Sugar

The Dangers Of Sugar

The dangers of sugar are not obvious. The danger comes with the amount and daily intake

The dangers of sugar are compounded by repeated use. Sugar works slowly, its devastating results often taking years to manifest themselves in measurable ways, such as diabetes.

The Dangers Of Sugar

By D. S. Mitchell

When I started writing this article, my intention was to write a quick easy read, nothing in-depth, certainly nothing scientific. Something along the lines of, “Ten Reasons To Kick The Sugar Habit”. That plan was quickly dashed as I read one scary article after another explaining the dangers of sugar consumption. If you are suffering from any of the diseases highlighted in this article, remember, you are not alone. If you want a better, longer life, it is time to take a look at your relationship with sugar in all of its malevolent forms. 

THE DANGERS OF SUGAR: PART ONE

Sixty-Five Pounds Annually

The average American consumes 65 pounds of sugar annually without even being aware of it. That information alone should be a heart stopper. The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of added sugar per day and women no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams). On average each of us ingests 19.5 teaspoons or 78 grams a day. Research on the dangers of sugar on health are ongoing, and new information is being constantly being uncovered.

Dangerous And Addictive

If there was ever any doubt about the dangers of sugar they are being put to rest by a series of scientific studies. Research is proving sugar is both dangerous and extremely addictive. A person who drinks one 20 oz sugary beverage every day will cut their life expectancy by nearly five years. That is,  comparable to being a regular smoker. If that fact doesn’t get your attention, read on, it gets worse, a whole lot worse.

Just As Bad

Sugar does a lot of damage to our bodies.  With all the negative news about sugar is there an alternative?  Some people say, “just use a sugar replacement.” Whoa.  Evidence is mounting that sucralose, saccharin and aspartame are just as dangerous as sugar.  Research shows that sugar replacements injure and destroy the essential microbiome in the gut.  Microbiome are the millions of microorganisms inside our bodies that help us stay alive.  These microbes protect us against germs, they also break down food to release energy, and produce vitamins.

Find A Garbage Can

To make it clear, sugar substitutes are just as bad as the real thing.  In addition to the physical damage products like sucralose do, they are also associated with weight gain and glucose intolerence-the very things people use them to prevent.  Those folks trying to cut down on sugar may be drawn to advertised benefits such as “maple syrup’s antioxidant benefits” or “honey’s healing power”.  Forget such misinformation.  Sugar is sugar, no matter what form it takes. I suggest that no one consume them.  Keep them out of the house.  If you have any of these sugar substitutes in your cupboard toss them in the closest garbage can.

Highs And Lows

The body’s reaction to sugar is like taking a roller coaster ride; an unending ride to extreme highs, followed by extreme lows, sending the body into a spiral of endless cravings. People report being “hungry all the time”. Descriptions include “being obsessed with food”, and literally feeling “addicted” to food. It makes perfect sense, because everything they eat and drink is loaded with sugar.

Addictive Cycle

High sugar intake sends the body into a crazy, roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

The danger of sugar is easy to describe, it is addictive, sharing all the highs and lows of  any other addictive drug.

The danger of sugar is easy to describe.  As the addictive cycle begins, say after you eat a piece of cake, a predictable pattern begins.  Blood glucose begins to rise.  Then, Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers is released, messaging that everything is “great”.  Meanwhile, if you are not a diabetic, your pancreas is busy releasing insulin into your blood stream to help lower the threat of rising blood sugar.  High insulin levels signal the body to store fat throughout the body, including the liver.  With the release of insulin, blood glucose drops.

Another Piece Of Cake

As the sugar high subsides, your brain begins sending signals that you are ‘hungry’.  The ‘false hunger’ signals kick cravings into high gear, demanding another piece of cake. Predictably, as you consume that second piece or cake, or cookie, the sugar driven roller coaster takes the body on another crazy, dizzying ride.

Mood Swings

The ups and downs of unstable blood sugar will cause a person to experience mood swings, fatigue, and headaches.  As described in the “addictive cycle” unstable blood glucose contributes to cravings, which begins the cycle of “false hunger”.  When the body is under stress, it immediately kicks into fight-or-flight mode, releasing large amounts of stimulating hormones.  Interestingly, the body has the same chemical response when it detects low blood sugar, created by the insulin response.  After eating a sweet snack, stress hormones begin to compensate for the crash, by raising your blood sugar.  Unexplained anxiousness, irritability, and even tremors often result.  By contrast, those who avoid sugar have fewer cravings, and feel emotionally balanced and energized.

Sleeplessness

Can’t sleep?  Thirty percent of Americans complain of insomnia, or interrupted sleep.  Sugar may be keeping you up at night.  Researchers have found that eating more sugar, along with less fiber and more saturated fat, is associated with lighter, more disrupted and less restorative sleep.  Insomnia has been connected to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.  This deadly trio of health conditions, is now being directly tied to sugar consumption.

Sugar And Mental Health

Consuming high-sugar products like cookies, candy and sugary drinks, are associated with a higher risk of depression.  Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysfunction, and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health.  Sugar in fact, could be making you sad and depressed.  Capping off a bad day with a comforting sugar laden snack may make you feel worse in the long run.

Increased Depression

A recent Columbia University study found that post-menopausal women whose diets were high in added sugar and refined grains were at a high risk for depression. Study participants, that ate more dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables, and unprocessed fruits had a decreased risk of depression. In another study, men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day.

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Insomnia Examined

Getting to sleep is often more difficult than it should be.

Thirty per cent of the population complain of insomnia.

Insomnia Examined

By D. S. Mitchell

PJ’s And A Pillow

Are you having problems sleeping? Well you are not alone. Thirty per cent of the general population complains of regular sleep disruption. Insomnia saps energy and affects mood. Sleeplessness can put your health and work performance at risk. Common symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, waking up too early, daytime tiredness, difficulty focusing, irritability, depression and anxiety. Sleep, seems like such a normal thing. You put on your PJ’s, hop in bed, and off to na-na land you go. However, for many people, sleep is as elusive as a hole-in-one. Poor or inadequate sleep is the cause of a long list of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Simple adjustment in lifestyle and routine can often be helpful.

Caffeine Consumption

Stop drinking coffee in the afternoon

Stop drinking coffee in the afternoon.

Obviously a cup of coffee as a late afternoon pick-up may cause insomnia later that night. Everyone metabolizes caffeine at a different rate, so the cut off time for caffeine ingestion is different for each person. Often it isn’t a cup of coffee, but other caffeine laden products we don’t even think about when we eat or drink them. Examples; iced tea, chocolate, hot cocoa, yogurt, headache remedies, ice cream and breakfast cereals.  If you are having trouble sleeping, cut out coffee after lunch. But, don’t stop there; read labels and eliminate those items that contain caffeine.

Schedule It

Seniors often experience increased insomnia. After retirement schedules often go out the window. Often seniors feel schedules are a thing they left behind when they took that gold watch. It may seem as if bed time or wake up time is no longer important, since there is no job to go to.  But in fact, schedules are important whether you are old or young. It is important to promote as regular a schedule as possible, even on weekends. These times affect the release of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. Typically, melatonin levels start to rise in the mid-to-late evening, after the sun has set. They stay elevated for most of the night while you’re in the dark. Then, they drop in the early morning as the sun rises, causing you to wake up.

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Health Care Goblins We Ignore

Health Care Goblins We Ignore

By D. S. Mitchell

Grassroots Platform

Over the last couple of days Calamity has focused on Medicare-For-All. But there is more to the story of  health care in America. Www.CalamityPolitics.com gives me a grassroots platform to discuss health care. But, it does not give me the right to manipulate facts or lie about the issues. With that said, I am sharing opinions developed through my years of ground level experience in health care, otherwise known as trench warfare.

Street Level Experience

I am a baccalaureate prepared RN, and have worked nearly four decades in major hospitals in Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada. On the battlefield I have formed many opinions about the scope of care we give our patients and how to deliver better client results.   I’m not only experienced, but I am passionate about health care and how to improve it.  Mine is a pragmatic common sense small world approach to these issues. I am not a policy maker.  I do not have a doctorate in nursing or public policy. It is important to leave policy creation to the experts. My comments and opinions come from a community view.

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