Sugar is a naturally occurring substance that has been part of our diet for thousands of years. All carbohydrates (i.e. fruits, vegetables, refined and complex carbohydrates) break down into various molecules of sugar, which include glucose, fructose and galactose.
So does it matter where we get the sugar if they all break down to be the same thing? Yes, it does. Fruits and vegetables, for instance, are full of naturally occurring sugars but include a multitude of other benefits including vitamins, minerals, fibre, water and enzymes which aid in proper digestion and nutrition. Refined sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are heavily processed to extract the sugar. Products like white bread, soda and most processed pre-packaged goods contain refined sugar and offer little nutrients or benefits to our body.
3 health benefits to reducing refined sugar:
- Reduced Inflammation. Elevated blood sugar levels are irritating and damaging to many body systems. Eventually, this leads to inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation due to high sugar consumption can occur anywhere in the body and is a contributor to many chronic illnesses including arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and poor skin health.
- Improved Moods. You know the feeling. Tired, hungry, and a little bit irritable. Grab a chocolate bar. You immediately get your “fix” as the processed sugars trigger the release of chemicals that set off the brain’s pleasure centers. You’re left about half an hour later crashing again, craving more, still hungry. A vicious cycle that contributes to mood swings, irritability and poor concentration.
- Reduced Body Fat. Once sugar stores are full, the body begins to store the excess into fat. This isn’t always fat that can be seen externally. Globules of fat end up building up internally on and around your vital organs (most of which are located around the abdomen) which can contribute to a variety of internal health conditions or excess weight.
Article by Dinah, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and wellness expert within the Glory kitchen.