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Healthy Sugar?November 11th, 2011
Sorry, No Such Thing...
By Jackie Wicks PEERtrainer Founder
One of the top recommendations that people get when they go through the PEERtrainer Fresh Start Cleanse is a total elimination of added sugar.
This is especially true as the cleanse runs its course, and you can start to reintroduce some of the things you took out. But sugar is something that you are advised to continue to treat as public enemy #1.
Here are the top 7 things you need to know about sugar and why it may be creating weight loss resistance, meaning, no matter how much you do 'right' the weight isn't coming off:
1. Isn't There Such Thing As Healthy Sugar Like Honey And Agave?
One common response to being told to eliminate sugar is to say, "Ok, I'll watch my sugar intake by switching to "healthy" sugars like honey and agave.
We asked JJ Virgin this question, and she answered in ALL CAPS. I could literally feel the emotion jumping from the page. From her perspective, people who are dealing with weight loss resistance, or literally any other health issue, need to stay the $%^& away from sugar.
She lumps the term "healthy sugar" with oxymorons like "jumbo shrimp" and "military intelligence".
Excess sugar consumption has been linked to a whole host of diseases. But one of the most interesting effects has to do with nutrient absorption.
2. Sugar And Your Digestive System: How Sugar Could Be Damaging Your Ability To Improve Your Health
When it comes to your digestive system, excess sugar, even moderate amounts interferes with its ability to absorb nutrients. It is a whole lot more complicated than this. But once you understand that all forms of excess sugar "mess with your system" you will be much more likely to ditch the honey, agave, even fruit for a period of time.
There are very few people who can't benefit from proper absorption of vitamins, minerals and nutrient. However, until recently, there have not been many studies showing how high sugar intake effect effects nutrient absorption. One recent study helped establish that high sugar intake "impaired" the digestive process.
3. How Much Sugar Is Too Much?
According to the American Heart Association, they recommend no more than 100 calories of added sugar a day for a woman, a little more for a man. To give you a sense, 100 calories is equivalent to a large apple.
Now I can hear your next question: But you can't possibly talking about the natural fructose in sugar. Apples, pears, blueberries all get a free pass, right? No. Wrong.
Fructose, glucose, sucrose, sugar, honey, agave, it's all sugar. Yes, fruit has some extremely beneficial micronutrients, however fruit was not meant to be consumed in daily unlimited quantities.
Have you ever tried to pick wild Maine blueberries? I'm not referring to the kind where you pay someone $5 to harvest on their farm. I'm referring to the wild ones that grow, low bush or high bush every year. They're only available for about a month in the summer during the year. It takes a long time to pick and you might get 2 or 3 tiny ones at a time. Even if you worked to pick blueberries for 12 hours of the day, it would be challenging to eat them in unlimited quantities.
Focus on limiting your fruit to one serving a day.
Another key concept: A very small minority of people actually stick to the recommendation of only 100 calories of added sugar a day. Almost all processed foods contain hidden sugars. Sugar is everywhere, and it is tough to avoid.
Do yourself a favor: Look at all of the labels and sugar count of just your breakfast items alone to see how much your eating. If you're eating more than 10 grams of sugar at breakfast time, you're at your quota for the ENTIRE day. (This was later edited by the folks at PEERtrainer to 25 grams of sugar as the quota for the entire day.)
4. There Is A PILE Of Research In This Area To Support The Claim Against Sugar
There are different studies out there that show how different nutrients are effected by sugar. One interesting thing to note about JJ's advice are the consistent results we are seeing from people following her cleanse protocol, in conjunction with the concept of nutrient density that we have promoted for years at PEERtrainer.
It would seem that when people eliminate toxins, it helps us better absorb all the nutrient dense foods we are now eating.
5. Does A Nutrient Dense Diet Help You Defy The Laws Of Nutrition?
What is interesting is that we are seeing people who eat nutrient dense diets, but with high levels of sugar--who are having some health issues like high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Not only do some people think that certain sugars are "healthy"-- many people think that as long as they eat plenty of greens, it gives them a free pass in other areas of their diet. Your numbers will speak for themselves.
In fact, new research links excess sugar consumption to unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. According to a new study:
"Excess sugar is known to contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other conditions linked to heart disease, and now new research links it to unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels."
6. The Link Between Sugar And Cancer
To give you one example (among many), consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened foods has been show to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer in a prospective study:
"Frequent consumption of sugar and high-sugar foods may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by inducing frequent postprandial hyperglycemia, increasing insulin demand, and decreasing insulin sensitivity." April 20th 2010
This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sugar consumption. There is a ton of older research as well showing the harmful effects of sugar, but we wanted to show you some of the recent research. If you have any questions about how sugar is effecting your health, visit your doctor and get your numbers checked.