You went to your yoga class. You ate your oats. You are thinking you’ve got this whole “healthy” thing down. And then you pass by that cute little bakery, and the smell of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies starts swirling around you, and you swear one of those cookies even called your name. Before you know it, you’re heading home with a dozen and don’t even kid yourself, you want to eat every last one. We’ve all been there. So, how bad is all that sugar really? Is one cookie going to ruin your health forever? Maybe not, but a few of those puppies every day just might. The truth about sugar is not so sweet. Here is what you need to know.
The Insulin Truth: Chronic high sugar intake can reduce your body’s ability to handle carbohydrates. What this means is that it can reduce insulin sensitivity and increase insulin response when you eat. Now why do you care about insulin impact? Well, chronic high insulin levels lead to excess fat gain, especially around the “love handle” and upper back areas, and eventually can result in borderline or full-blown diabetes. You started listening as soon as I said “love handle,” didn’t you?
The Disease Truth: Chronic high sugar intake can cause something called glycation. Now glycation is a fancy term that means the sugar molecules in your blood start binding to your blood proteins. When this happens, the biological activity of proteins decreases, and here’s the scary part. Glycation has been linked to:
- Premature aging
- Altered vision, cataracts, retinopathy
- Vascular disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Kidney disease
- Joint pain and arthritis
I am no math expert, but that right there looks like eight good reasons to drop the sugar spoon and run away. Fast.
The Daily Truth: So, here’s the deal. You and I both know that swearing off cinnamon rolls forever is probably not going to happen. But, here’s what you should consider doing. Keep those indulgences few and far between, and stick primarily to fruits, veggies and lean proteins for your daily meals. If you must indulge, here’s the way I like to do it. I get a hard workout in (you know, the super-sweaty, feel like you might pass out kind), and then eat my sweets immediately after. For most healthy people, the body will tolerate carbohydrates of any kind much better after exercise, and it will handle those sugars a little differently.
If your sweet tooth prevails daily, try our Cacao Nib Superfood Cookie. It is packed with superfoods and sweetened with a little organic maple syrup, plus it’s delicious. Now that’s a pretty sweet deal.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to provide general wellness and prevention information. This is not a substitute for medical nutrition therapy or clinical advice. Please consult a doctor or registered dietitian for individual needs.