You have probably been told more than once that eating too much sugar is not good for you. But do you know why too much sugar is bad for your body?
What’s so bad about sugar
The answer to that question is: It depends on what kind of sugar you are talking about.
Our bodies need some sugar—the kind of sugar called glucose. Glucose is a carbohydrate simple sugar and is one of the most important nutrients we feed our bodies. Glucose is found in whole wheat, vegetables, pasta, some dairy food, and honey.
Glucose helps the body break down fats and sends the signal to our brain that we are full.
NATURAL fructose found in fruits is the other simple sugar our body needs. Natural fructose gives the body some of the energy it needs to function. The fiber in fruit balances the fructose so that the fructose doesn’t have a negative effect on our bodies.
The bad sugars are dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, white sugar (refined sugar), fructose (other than natural), and artificial sweeteners.
The reason these sugars are bad for you to include:
- These sugars are loaded with empty calories.
Most of the processing of sugar takes place in the liver. Fructose (and some of the others) can only be processed in the liver. A lot of sugar sends the liver into a panic. When this happens, the liver holds on to the sugar and stores it as fat PLUS it won’t accept messages from the brain that says we are full. This means we eat more than we need and the sugar is making more and more fat (that we don’t need).
How much sugar do you put into your body?
Studies show that the average person consumes 47 teaspoons of sugar EVERY DAY! That is like filling a 1 cup measuring cup with sugar and eating it. YUK!
What’s even worse, is that all that sugar is the BAD kind of sugar—the sugar that hurts your liver, messes with your mind, leads to diabetes and makes you fat.
Are you an average person? Let’s find out. Let’s find out how much sugar you consume in a day…a week…or even longer (if you dare).
Here is what you need:
- Pen and paper
- Measuring cup
- 1-gallon container with a lid
- You need to know that 1 teaspoon of sugar is equal to 5 grams of sugar
Here is what you do:
- Using the pen and paper, write down EVERYTHING you eat in a day
- Using the pen and paper, write down how many grams of sugar is in
EVERYTHING you eat in a day NOTE: You do NOTE have to record the sugar in fresh fruits, veggies, and meat
At the end of the day, add up the total number of grams of sugar you consumed—REMEMBER sugar is dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, white sugar (refined sugar), fructose (other than natural), and artificial sweeteners.
- Measure the number of grams of sugar you consumed in teaspoons of white sugar into a measuring cup, put it into the container, and close tight
- Repeat this process every day for a week
How much sugar did you eat? What does this tell you about your diet? What changes do you think you need to make in your diet?
Ask another member or members of your family to do the experiment with you. After you do the experiment, weigh yourself, and record your weight.
Do the experiment again for another week, but reduce the amount of sugar you consume by 50%. After the second week, weigh yourself. Did you lose weight? Do you feel differently?