How Refined Sugar Destroys Your Energy

Authored or posted by | Updated on | Published on July 31, 2014
Flickr Commons: Image provided by David Eccles

Flickr Commons: Image provided by David Eccles

Many people believe that drinking a beverage full of refined sugar is great for boosting energy. The belief that refined sugar is great for increasing energy is true to a certain point, because refined sugar does give you a quick boost of energy. However, refined sugar also harms your health. In the long term, refined sugar destroys your energy by destroying your body’s ability to effectively metabolize food into energy.

The unhealthy properties of refined sugar

Refined sugar is a synthetic sugar due to the fact that it has undergone a purification process to extract out raw sugar (fructose) and remove any unwanted substances. Refined sugar is very unhealthy because it provides only that which nutritionists describe as “empty” or “naked” calories. In other words, it lacks the natural nutrients that are present in natural sugar.

Another unhealthy property of refined sugar is that it drains and leaches your body of precious vitamins and minerals. When your body metabolizes refined sugar, it uses some of its stored nutrients (e.g., magnesium) to neutralize some of the toxins that are released. The main toxins that are released when your body metabolizes refined sugar are toxic metabolites. These metabolites are great for destroying the respiration process of cells. Furthermore, refined sugar causes blood glucose level in the body to spike dramatically, causing energy crashes soon after.

Refined sugar is actually a neurotoxin, which is why it has been linked to neurodegenerative disease. This toxin has also been linked to cancer, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis, kidney problems, liver disease, obesity, and depression.

On the other hand, natural sugar found in plant foods is much healthier than refined sugar, because it contains the necessary elements to help your body metabolize it more easily. Natural sugar also contains other nutrients that are needed by your body to break it down in a safe way.

The differences between natural sugar (fructose) and refined sugar (sucrose)

The natural sugar in fruit is a monosaccharide called fructose, a type of carbohydrate. Table sugar, in contrast, is a disaccharide known as sucrose. Although most fruits have the same type of sugar in them, they don’t all have the same amount of it. For example, strawberries have about 4 grams of sugar but grapes have more than 13 grams. Watermelon and grapefruit are considered low in natural sugar, whereas cherries and bananas have much more natural sugar.

The fructose in fruit has a natural advantage over table sugar because fruit contains so many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. According to the USDA, the nutrients in fruit can help reduce the risks of heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and other health conditions. As for refined sugar, it boasts no such benefits; in fact, it has been linked to coronary heart disease in a study published by the American Heart Association.

How your body metabolizes refined sugar

When you consume refined sugar, your body metabolizes it differently than natural sugar found in plant foods. The way refined sugar is metabolized causes a quick release of glucose into your bloodstream. This creates a lot of stress on your body because it has to work hard to bring your blood sugar back into balance. One of the organs that has to work the hardest to fix the negative effects of refined sugar is the pancreas. In the long term, a diet high in refined sugar will harm the pancreas, causing it to not work properly. This can cause insulin imbalances, leading to diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems.

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The human body is designed to breakdown complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables into glucose. This glucose then slowly releases into the bloodstream while absorbing the vital nutrients from them. Glucose the sugar that fuels the body, needs insulin which is released from the pancreas, to do its job. Feeding the body with the correct foods will allow the gradual release of glucose with small amounts of insulin, into the bloodstream. This process keeps the body running smoothly, with energy levels stable and mind and body feeling balanced and nourished. When we eat the wrong foods, processed foods and sugar, it sends the body into overdrive. Glucose instantly floods the bloodstream, sending the pancreas into a panic to produce enough insulin to handle the excess. This momentarily creates a blood sugar “high” glucose that is eventually moped up by the insulin, leaving the body worn out, tired and depleted.

How to reduce refined sugar intake

One of the best ways to reduce your refined sugar intake is to avoid eating processed candy and other processed sweetened goods. Since refined sugar is found in many processed foods, avoiding it can be difficult but it isn’t hard when you educate yourself on how to avoid it.

Another great way to reduce your refined sugar intake is to replace some of your favorite junk food with fresh organic fruits. The great thing about fresh fruits is that they are loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants. These nutrients will help keep your cells healthy by protecting them from harmful toxins. The healthier your cells are, the more energy you will have for the reason that your cells can metabolize blood glucose more effectively.

Replace junk foods with healthy snacks to increase your long term energy

Changing diet in order to reduce your refined sugar intake can be a challenge, as it involves cutting out some favorite sweet snacks and treats. The best way to succeed in this process is to plan ahead. For example, many people like to slice an apple at the beginning of the day and bring it along to work or errands. Other people like the simple process of grabbing a banana and taking it with them. If you don’t like to bring fruits with you, try bringing some healthy snacks.

It is important to keep engaging in the process of avoiding refined sugar, so that your health won’t suffer. Once you start taking care of your health by avoiding refined sugar, you will notice an increase in stamina and sustained energy.

Sources:

This article was written by PL and Jacqueline.

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