We all know too much sugar isn’t good for us, and although many people are well aware of this, avoiding sugar can be extremely difficult. Not just because it’s everywhere, but also because people get overpowering cravings for foods that are high in sugar.
This is where products containing Chromium can help – Chromium supplementation has been shown to improve blood sugar control in some people; chromium can normalize blood sugar levels, improve blood sugar utilization and decrease insulin requirements in patients with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
Chromium diminishes carb cravings
If you are like a lot of people, you might have a compelling and recurring hunger for carbohydrate-rich foods. Cravings for starchy and sugar-laden foods are common and are a type of addiction that involves similar mechanisms engaged by opiates and the pain/pleasure center of the brain.
In one study, it was shown that simply taking 600 micrograms of chromium picolinate for 8 weeks significantly reduced carbohydrate cravings. The subjects who had the most severe carbohydrate cravings experienced the best results. When blood sugar is low, the drive to seek out sugars and starches is amplified, and there is a tendency to overconsume calories. Although not addressed in this study, chromium supplementation may have helped to stabilize blood sugar levels and diminish the desire for carbohydrate-laden foods.
Is SUGAR Really that bad for me?
Food is the main means by which the body is able to fuel all the bodily processes (such as regenerating cells & generating energy) so we need to be selective in what we eat if we want to stay healthy. Food can be our friend . . . or our nemisis. Keep reading to find out how sugar affects your body and what you can do, besides cutting out sugar totally, to minimise damage to your health.
Sugar not only has ZERO nutritional value, sugar actually costs the body to process it – which appears to mean that sugar has a negative value for the body.
Explanation: sugar forces our pancreas to produce insulin to control how much sugar gets into our blood. Too much insulin and our cells become immune to insulin (insulin-resistant), meaning our body has to produce even higher levels of insulin to get the same result. But our insulin stock piles are limited, we can only produce so much insulin, which means when the insulin runs out, the sugar in our blood shoots up and diabetes occurs. Sugar is a time bomb.
Are all sugars harmful? In high quantity, yes. Some sugars are less destructive (those found in fruits and vegetables for example), but be particularly aware of those masquerading as health food, i.e:
- raw sugar (which simply means unbleached sucrose or table sugar),
- brown sugar (which is generally white sugar with molasses),
- fructose (generally a fruit sugar, but can be corn syrup in America),
- maple syrup (is no different from white sugar in how your body processes it although it may contain minerals – especially manganese and zinc), and
- unprocessed honey, (though marginally better because it’s unprocessed, and certain honeys may have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, still raises blood sugar and can still cause havoc).
The main SUGAR to AVOID at all costs:
But the Sugar that everyone is agreeing that we all need to AVOID is a processed Sugar called various names in various countries, including:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (in America),
- Glucose-Fructose (in Canada),
- Isoglucose, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Fructose-Glucose Syrup, or High Fructose Maize Syrup (in Europe).
This is, in agreement with all nutritional therapists, the sugar to AVOID.
“Is high fructose syrup really that bad for you?” The answer to this question is “Yes”. Americans are eating high doses of high fructose corn syrup and it shows in their health and body weight index. In America it is sweeter and cheaper than regular sugar and therefore is in every processed food and sugar-sweetened drink. The main reason you should give up high fructose corn syrup (or glucose-fructose or any other similar processed sugar product ) is that it’s like waving a big RED flag that says ‘this is sub-standard food’. If you see this ingredient on a label then that food is processed junk, so put it back on the shelf. You should never eat food containing that ingredient.
Here is some of the lesser known effects of sugar:
- Depletion of vitamins and minerals: Sugar brings none of its own vitamins or minerals, so it relies on the body’s reserves to metabolize it, meaning we use up our reserves of vitamins and minerals to process sugar in our bodies. Calcium, for example, is used to neutralize the effects of sugar and the depletion of it can lead to osteoporosis.
- Depressed immune system: Sugar creates destructive bacteria that hangs out in our intestines. Our immune system resides largely in our gut and the more bad bacteria that it has to get rid of, the harder it is for the immune system to fight disease.
- Inflammation: High levels of sugar depletes cells of their energy. Cells that are depleted of energy become inflamed. Sugar is strongly associated with inflamed intestines and irritable bowel syndrome, but high levels lead to chronic inflammation throughout the body.
- Heart disease: Chronically inflamed blood vessels lead to heart attacks.
- Fat storage: Excess insulin prevents our cells from using fat for fuel.
- Hyper-active response:The more sugar we allow in, the more our body gets stressed by it and over-reacts to the invaders’ arrival.
According to Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a professor of pediatrics and an obesity specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, sugar is the No.1 villain responsible for major health hazards like type-2 diabetes, obesity non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cavities, inflammation, hypertension, insulin resistance, leptin resistance and many more health hazards.
Sugar is almost always full of empty calories. Fructose is a toxic substance similar to alcohol. Plainly speaking….daily fructose consumption is like a slow poisoning of the body.
These days some research are being conducted on the ill effects of sugar on health.
If The Fructose And Added Sugar Is Bad; What About The Fruits With Fructose?
The fructose content in added sugar, fruit juices, beverages and fructose corn syrups are very high and also are quickly digested. They bring a sudden spike in sugar (large quantity fructose sugar) intake.
The fructose in fruits in their natural form is NOT harmful for many reasons.
The amount of fructose found in fruits is negligible, and the density of fructose in it is suppressed by the fiber and water present in it.
It takes much longer time for the fruits to be chewed and digested….so the fructose absorption into the blood and its transportation to the liver are minimal and slow.
The fructose in the fruit is completely not absorbable by the body as the fiber in the fruit itself will act as a block.
Most of the vegetables we eat too have a bit of fructose in them.
Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, every bacterium — and in fact, every living thing on Earth — uses glucose for energy.
It is estimated that a normal diet plan with a balanced amount of fruits and vegetables will make us consume not more than 15 grams of fructose per day.
Whereas, a single bottle of soft drink (coke) with added sugar contains more than 73 grams of fructose in it.
Fruits and vegetables also contain a whole lot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients which will naturally counter the negative effects of little fructose found in them.
There is NO reason for you to avoid fruits in fear of fructose (unless you have been told by your Doctor to avoid fructose).
Understanding the bad effects of fructose consumption should give us enough reason to reduce or kick the habit of having sweetened soft drinks, fructose corn syrups, foods with added sugar, etc.