Wellness Wednesday: Sugar And Our Health

I use to have the biggest sugar addiction in my teens and 20’s and I cringe now at the thought of what that did to my overall health. I feel lucky now that I have become much more aware and conscious of how sugar affects our body and our day-to-day lives.

Sugar contains no essential nutrients and is empty calories. It’s basically poison for our bodies.

Lets look at some of the effects sugar has on our health. Eating too much sugar has been linked to:

  1. Obesity for adults and kids
  2. Heart disease
  3. Cancer
  4. Impaired brain function
  5. Interrupts blood pressure
  6. Spikes insulin levels
  7. Makes us crave more carbs
  8. Raises cholesterol

Lets look at Cancer:

If you have constant elevated insulin levels from eating a lot of sugar, then you could possible get some form of cancer. Insulin is a key hormone that controls and regulates the growth of our cells. If you keep adding sugar to your diet, the insulin hormone can’t keep up and therefore a cancer cell can really start to multiply and take over the body.

Cancer feeds off sugar, the sugar is what helps the cancer to keep growing, to grow larger and multiply and spread through the body. This is why the very plant-based, green clean living diet can really help to slow cancer in its tracks.

Sugar also causes inflammation in the body, and if you look into the science of what inflammation does to the body, you will realise that it is a key cause to many overall diseases and conditions.


Another thing sugar does is interrupts our dopamine: Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells, which plays a major role in reward-motivated behaviormotor control and in controlling the release of various hormones. (Full description HERE on dopamine).

Our dopamine is what controls our mood, concentration, alertness and memory, and if we interrupt that process and release of dopamine purely by consuming too much sugar, we then have many health issues that play havoc on the body and mental state. Scary stuff!!

Your not going to feel mentally switched on if your brain chemistry is out of whack due to dopamine spikes.

Things like drugs and alcohol also play havoc and cause a very big addiction for us, but experts say that sugar is even more addictive than drugs or alcohol. If you are an addictive person to start with, you will soon realise why you love sugar so much and why you depend on it every day.

Cholesterol and Heart Disease:

They use to think that saturated fat was the biggest contributor to cholesterol problems and heart disease. They are now realising that sugar instead could be the main cause of this because of the harmful effects fructose (the type of sugar you find in soft drinks, ice cream, cereals etc) has on metabolism. This is what increases belly fat and abdominal obesity.

There are many more health issues from having large quantities of sugar in your diet, especially for your kids overall health, learning abilities and behaviour. I urge you to head on over to “Sugar by half” website for some amazing inspiration and ideas on how to cut back sugar in your diet.

Sugar Alternatives:

My favourite “GO TO” alternate sweeteners are:

  1. Maple syrup (in moderation)
  2. Honey (in moderation, and has to be RAW local honey straight from the bee keeper)
  3. Stevia (plant-based, but make sure its 100% stevia)
  4. Xylitol (plant-based and my pick of alternative sweeteners)
  5. Brown rice syrup, rice malt syrup (my second pick)

Did you get value from this? I hope you consciously look at what it is you feed your family on a daily basis and be more aware of other alternatives out there that can satisfy us in a big way.

Keep being Amazing, Authentic and Inspiring.

Janelle Emma xx

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