So yesterday I spoke of the hidden sugars in the food we eat and how to de-code packaging labels to find out where it's hiding. Today, we're going to dig a little deeper and see exactly how "sugar" affects us on a daily basis and long term.
Okay . . . so first let's talk about how much "sugar" . . . "we are allowed". According to the American Heart Association, the "Maximum" amount of added sugar we should consume per day is:
Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)
Children under 2 years of ago: NO ADDED SUGAR AT ALL!
And Children 2 years of age and older: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)
What . . . Children are the same as an adult????
Okay . . . so what is wrong with this picture . . .The Journal of the American Medical Association states that "78 millions adults" and "12 million children" are obese today. This is just so very wrong! We need to take action and make a change!
So we all know the most common places we find sugar . . . like donuts, candy, soft drinks, pastries, etc. But how much sugar is in the french fries or pizza we eat? You know . . . the items we think are just high in saturated fats? Well guess what?
Most fast food or packaged fries contain Dextrose which is a sugar that helps give the fries their perfect golden color.
And what about pizza . . . while there are the exceptions, most are high in calories, sugar and sodium. They're typically highly processed and contain artificial preservatives, "added sugar" and unhealthy fats. On average one serving a 1/4 pizza contains 8 grams of added sugar. Did you see that one coming?
Okay . . . so what exactly does "sugar" do to our body and immune system? Well . . . there's a lot of scientific reasoning about what it does to the heart, pancreas, liver, etc. But . . . the part they don't tell us about and the most important part . . . is that "sugar" is the main food source for the "bad" bacteria in our body. Remember in a previous Health Awareness Tip we spoke about how when "bad" bacteria out weighs our "good" bacteria, illness, disease and obesity will surely occur.
And guess what? It's not actually the sugar that causes problems with our health directly even though is does suppress the immune system . . . it's the "bad" bacteria that feeds on the "sugar"!
That's right the sugar we love so much and think we can't live without. Well . . . unfortunately . . . neither can the "bad" bacteria. And it doesn't matter whether it's natural sugars, artificial sugars or added sugars. "Bad" bacteria thrives on "Sugar" of all kinds.
So let's understand sugar . . . Sugar and high fructose corn syrup contain two molecules: glucose and fructose, with glucose being absolutely vital to life and is important to our metabolism. Our body makes glucose and if we don't make enough, we receive it from our diet. So again . . . it's not really sugar that is our enemy our body does need it. Now fructose on the other hand, we don't produce ourselves. In fact . . . very few of our cells can make use of it except for our liver. Which gets overworked trying to get rid of it.
So what part does "sugar" play with our "immune system? Well . . . as we now know the more sugar you eat, the more you want and the more your "bad" bacteria grows out of control which compromises the immune system. When this happens the body's white blood count reduces by about 40%. And as we know . . . our white blood cells perform the function of immunity for killing bacteria and "Viruses".
So every time you consume something sugary, meaning a fructose . . . it disables the immune system for about 4 hours until the body can digest it. Okay . . . so let's think about this . . . if you are consuming "sugary" items all day long . . . the immune system is "never" really armed to defend us from illness and disease. And because this "bad" bacteria is constantly destroying our hormones and organ function . . . obesity, illness, disease and yes, even this virus are more likely to occur.
Tomorrow we'll finish up with this topic and talk about how this "bad" bacteria overgrowth devastates the body and our health.
If you'd like more information, feel free to contact me here.