We have some word to do when it comes to ending the seemingly never-ending cycle of sugar cravings as well as nutrient deficiency. The average American consumes approximately one third of a pound of sugar each day, translating into nearly 130 pounds of sugar per person every year. As a nation sugar usage exceeds 9 million tons a year. But what are the results of us consuming all this sugar? Well, believe it or not, sugar eats up many of the nutrients we get from the healthy food we're consuming. Here's why.
Sugar is nearly impossible and unnecessary to remove completely from ones diet. Sugar is naturally found in most foods, however avoidance of refined process sugar is key to a healthier lifestyle. Try to decrease the number of steps between the original food source and your table. For instance instead of eating candy when craving something sweet, choose a piece of fruit. Fruit is a natural source of sugar paired with fiber, which will keep you full longer and improve digestion.
A reduced-sugar diet has many benefits including weight loss, reduction in risk for diabetes, and decreased risk of heart disease. A new study actually found that switching out just one sugary soda per day for water, or unsweetened coffee or tea – could lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, by 25%. The findings are based on detailed food diaries from over 25,000 middle-aged and older British adults. When the study started all participants were diabetes-free, but almost 1000 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by study end. Overall, the study found that the more sugary soda people consumed, the higher their risk of developing diabetes. There was an increased risk of diabetes by about 22% for every extra daily serving.
Sugar is one of the biggest roadblocks to you receiving the benefits of micronutrients. It literally blocks them from being absorbed.
Sugar depletes calcium, magnesium, chromium and copper. Becoming deficient in these vitamins and essential minerals can be dangerous. Vitamin C is also affected by sugar because they share similar chemical structures. Vitamin C and glucose compete for entry into the cells. Just slightly elevated blood sugar levels can block vitamin C from entering which causes a weakened immune system.
Nutrient Deficiency Effects:
• Vitamin C: Inability to heal wounds; frequent infections, colds, or flu; lung-related problems; easy bruising; tender, swollen joints; lack of energy; bleeding gums; nosebleeds; anxiety; tooth decay; visceral (belly) fat
• Calcium: Osteoporosis, osteomalacia, osteoarthritis, rickets, muscle cramping or pain, tooth decay, colon cancer risk, high blood pressure, PMS, sugar and salt cravings, bone pain, numbness or tingling in extremities, insomnia
• Chromium: Metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, decreased fertility, diabetes, obesity, hypoglycemia, cold hands, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, cold sweats, need for frequent meals
• Magnesium: Sugar cravings, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, cramps, numbness, tingling, seizures, heart spasms, personality changes, increased heart rhythm, hypertension, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma, constipation, insomnia, depression.