“Let the sweetness in your life come from fruits rather than sugar.”
Ever wondered why you get cold sores or canker sores after eating candy or sweets? The reason is this: sugar is an “immunosuppressant.” It interferes with the activity of immune-boosting lymphocytes. Your natural defenses go down and you get infections.
Imagine 150 bags of sugar piled up in your garage. That’s how much sugar the average person consumes in a year! This means many of us are suppressing our immune systems by eating too much sugar. I believe that if we stopped eating such large amounts, we’d see a major decrease in colds, flu, and other infections.
You may have heard that sugar feeds cancer cells. There is evidence for this, but here is actually what happens: A diet high in sugar and refined foods makes blood sugar, or glucose, spike really high. This spike increases insulin production in the body (insulin helps your cells store and use glucose). A blood chemistry marked by chronically elevated glucose and elevated insulin sets the stage for cancer and its spread. Cancer cells are studded with insulin receptors. Receptors operate like door locks. Once insulin gets to the receptor, it acts like a key and unlocks the receptors on the cell wall. The cell opens up and lets insulin in the cancer cell, where it stimulates the division of the cell.
Can you circumvent this process? Yes—in the following ways: avoiding refined sugars and flours, exercising regularly, cutting back on alcohol, reducing stress, and taking certain nutritional supplements.
Sugar in all its various forms, including corn syrup, contributes to obesity and therefore to a whole range of related problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. We don’t really need sugar to live.
Tips for reducing the Sugar in your diet:
1. If you use sugar in hot drinks, gradually cut back on the amount until you can cut it out completely.
2. Stop drinking beverages that contain sugar, including soft drinks, certain juice drinks, and punches. A 20- ounce bottle of soda can contain 161⁄2 teaspoons of sugar! Get in the habit of drinking more water. Jazz it up with lemon or a cucumber slice.
3. Instead of spreading sugary jam or jelly on your toast, make the switch to a no-sugar-added or all-fruit jam, a sliced banana, or fat-free cream cheese.
4. Be aware that many foods you’re eating may be filled with added sugar. Some examples are breakfast cereals, cereal bars, and baked beans.
5. Become a sugar detective. Read labels, looking for added sugar. If sugar is listed as one of the top ingredients, then the product contains a high amount. Sugar also goes by other names: corn syrup, high- fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, fructose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, or any word with “ose” in it.
6. Definitely avoid products that contain high-fructose corn syrup. It is a particularly nasty sweetener that has been implicated in heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
7. When you crave something sweet, reach for fruit such as a banana, watermelon, a peach, or strawberries.
8. You can usually cut back on sugar in recipes by one- third to one-half. Try substituting applesauce or fruit puree for some of the sugar.