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SUGAR! Is it the root of all evil?

I have been on this journey for 3 years. It has been difficult at times, especially in the beginning. However, with determination and perseverance I have made it a LIFESTYLE CHOICE!   I was diagnosed with Lupus 3 years ago. At that time, my joint pain was almost unbearable. Which is what prompted me to go to the Dr. The pain began vaguely and increased intensely over a 6 month period. At the time it seemed like my issues began overnight, however looking back, I can see that was the point at which my body was no longer able to compensate and it began spiraling. Little did I know at that time, just what I was going to learn over the next 3 years.

The first step was to change my diet. To STOP polluting my body with the foods and chemicals that were contributing to my physical condition. By removing processed and artificial sugars along with a complete dietary revamping, I have managed to put my symptoms in remission. Do I stumble and make mistakes in my diet? Of course! And that is ALL it is, a MISTAKE!

A SINGLE mistake!

I refuse to allow one misstep to set me back on a course of bad eating! Fortunately, one mistake is usually all it takes for me to remember WHY I made this choice as processed sugars can cause my joints to ache. Has it made my life miserable to eat this way? ABSOLUTELY NOT! It has not only affected the Lupus symptoms, but it has also began correcting other issues that had begun developing..... Elevated glucose levels, elevated triglyceride levels, my WEIGHT! When I began this journey, I weighed in at 201lbs at my heaviest. I have since leveled off at 153lbs. Omitting sugar has been a major contributing factor to this improvement. Along with other changes such as: omitting inflammation-inducing foods, working to heal my leaky gut and addressing my emotional issues through essential oils.

I choose to never settle for where I AM, always striving to be a better and healthier version of myself. When you are ready to embrace personal change...just remember the FIRST step to a healthier YOU, begins with what you CHOOSE to put in your body! -Angel- SUGAR! Is it the root of all evil? Chances are you already know that eating too much sugar isn’t good for you. Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But…. foods like breads, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have ADDED sugar. To complicate it further, added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of tricky names. Some of the “ill effects” of excessive sugar consumption:

  • Elevated B/P

  • Chronic inflammation 

  • Weight gain

  • Increased abdominal girth (Visceral fat- accumulation around the belly area.)

  • Diabetes

  • Fatty liver disease 

  • Certain cancers

  • Tooth decay

  • Heart disease 

  • Increased risk of MI

  • INCREASED RISK OF CVA

  • Skin irritations (acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis)

  • Mood disorders 

  • Sexual dysfunction 

  • Many, many more

HOW EXCESSIVE SUGAR AFFECTS: Your Brain: EATING sugar gives your brain a huge surge of a feel-good chemical called dopamine. As well as it causes endorphins to be released. Your brain has been “programmed” to want more and more sugar to get those same feelings of pleasure. And food Manufacturers know it. There is even a name for this….                                             “the bliss point”.

  • The BLISS POINT was created by American market researcher Howard Moskowitz. He describes it as “that sensory profile where you like the food the MOST”. 

  • It works on the reward system of our brain! The ‘reward system’ releases endorphins, whose principle function is to inhibit the perception of pain. They work on the same receptors that OPIOIDS do. Providing a false sense of euphoria. 

  • THE BODY REMEMBERS WHAT WE DID TO GET THAT REWARD, and makes us want to do it again. (Hence, we CRAVE sugar)

INFLAMMATION: IF you have joint pain, you may want to note– INCREASED SUGAR CONSUMPTION has been shown to worsen joint pain because of the inflammation it causes in the body. Eating too much sugar can lead to an excess amount of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are formed as a normal part of metabolism; however, with extra glucose (from added sugars in our diet), extra AGE formation occurs. Having too many contributes to oxidative stress and inflammation by binding with our cells and proteins, changing their structure and interfering with their normal function. Your Liver: AN abundance of added sugar likely contains fructose or high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is processed in the liver and in large amounts can damage the liver. When fructose is broken down in the liver it is transformed into fat. this EXCESS FAT CAN cause Non-alcoholic fatty liver diseasE: a fat build-up in the liver. inflammation and scarring of the liver CAN result. The Scarring eventually DECREASES OR cuts off blood supply to the liver. Many time this will develop into cirrhosis. Your Body Weight: This probably isn’t news to you, but the more sugar you eat, the more you’ll weigh. Research shows that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages tend to weigh more. Excess amounts of sugar can inflame fat cells causing them to release chemicals that ACTUALLY increase weight. MAJORITY OF THIS WEIGHT IS VISCERAL FAT. It settles around the abdomen creating the “beer belly or apple belly” effect. YOUR HEART/circulation: When you eat excess sugar, the extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries all over your body. It causes their walls to get inflamed, grow thicker than normal and stiffer, this stresses your heart and damages it over time. When sugar enters the body, it gets broken down into glucose and fructose.

  • GLUCOSE: is used immediately for energy production or stored for later. Insulin is released so the body can use the glucose. However, insulin puts fructose breakdown on HOLD. 

  • FRUCTOSE: can’t be broken down and used immediately because of insulin’s interference, so it gets converted into triglycerides. Some triglycerides get pushed out into circulation and may attach to vessel walls, while the remaining gets stored in the liver…. leading to a fatty liver.

What does the bible say about sugar? sugar in this form did not even exist in Biblical days, so the Bible doesn’t say anything about it directly. However, we can still exercise biblical wisdom regarding this. Most edible plants, such as corn, and sugar cane have natural sugar contained within them. But the Lord locked the sugar in a fiber matrix within the plant. when we eat the plant, we GET the BENEFIT of fiber to keep our digestive systems running smoothlY. the sugar is released slowly so the body can process it efficiently. Honey has about the same sweetness level as processed sugar. And is the closest the Bible comes to discussing sugar… Now before you think, ” YES! I can eat as much raw honey as I want,”’ Proverbs says: Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit.”– Proverbs 25:16 While the Bible says that eating honey is good, it cautions against overindulgence.


HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? The recommended daily intake for MEN & WOMEN…. 4 GRAMS OF SUGAR = 1 TEASPOON

  • Women

  • 6 TSP PER DAY

  • 25 GRAMS

  • MEN

  • 9 TSP PER DAY

  • 38 GRAMS

The AVERAGE daily intake of sugar for MOST Americans: 100-150 GRAMS (or more) PER DAY! THE UGLY TRUTH

  • 1- can of Coke = 9.75 tsp (39 GRAMS) 

  • 1- can of Pepsi = 10.25tsp (41GRAMS) 

  • 1- can of MOUNTAIN DEW = 19.25 tsp (77 GRAMS)

  • 1 HAM SANDWICH = approximately 2.5 tsp (10 GRAMS) 

  • BIG MAC, LARGE FRY & LARGE COKE = 23.75 tsp (95 GRAMS)

  • WHOPPER, LARGE FRY, & LARGE COKE = 28.25 tsp (113 GRAMS)

  • LUCKY CHARMS ¾ CUP & 1 CUP OF 2% MILK = 5.75 tsp (23 GRAMS)

  • MCDONALDS LARGE SWEET TEA =9.5 tsp (38 GRAMS)

I DRINK COKE OR PEPSI ZERO! SO, HA! NO SUGAR!

  • The consumption of ASPARTAME (which is in ALL Diet soda’s as well as Coke and Pepsi ZERO) is actually phenylalanine and aspartic acid. These chemicals break down in the body into two amino acids and methanol. The methanol is further broken down into formaldehyde and stored in various tissues of the body.*

  • Artificial sweeteners were invented to taste like sugar but have little calories; the goal was to have a sweetener that we could eat more of without developing diseases or gaining too much weight. However, artificial sweeteners have been proven to have negative effects on the body and brain that sugars do not. Our brains, stomach microbes, and pancreases process artificial and real sugars differently.

  • Artificial sweeteners should be consumed in moderation, because they “trick” our brains and bodies—which can have negative health consequences.

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Formaldehyde, Aspartame and migraines: a possible connection

Artificial Sweeteners

  • Aspartame (BLUE aka Equal)- Headaches, dizziness, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Cancer

  • Saccharin (PINK aka Sweet N Low) -Headaches, respiratory issues, skin rash, diarrhea, possibly carcinogenic.

  • Acesulfame-k- Consists of a potassium salt containing Methylene Chloride which is a known carcinogen. Other related issues: headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver and kidney effects, cancer. (This is in COKE ZERO, PEPSI ZERO, DIET MOUNTAIN DEW, BARQS DIET RB, SPRITE ZERO, etc.)

  • Sucralose (YELLOW aka Splenda)-Synthetic, was actually discovered while they were trying to to develop an insecticide. Increases blood glucose, increases insulin levels. 

  • Stevia (GREEN aka Stevia) – Diarrhea, may lower blood pressure, and possibility of allergic reaction as it is plant derived.

So, how do I correct this? You need to ‘reset your system’ by detoxing off processed sugar. This can be done by weaning down over a week, or you can go “cold turkey”. Just be aware sugar detox can be PHYSICALLY UNCOMFORTABLE.

SUGAR DETOX! You need to know what you are getting into! We discussed that sugar works on the same receptors in the brain that opioids do…… so it goes without saying that detoxing off sugar may cause similar symptoms to detoxing off opioids! INTENSE SUGAR CRAVINGS                STOMACH CRAMPS HEADACHES                                         DEPRESSION  MUSCLE ACHES                                    JOINT PAIN NAUSEA                                                SWEATS IRRITABILITY                                          ANXIETY/PANIC ATTACK *AS WITH OPIOID WITHDRAWALS, THE DETOX PERIOD CAN LAST 2-7 DAYS!!!

It IS NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM! The message today is not all DOOM AND GLOOM! You can have sugar in moderation! Today is simply about bringing awareness.  The best options are ALWAYS NATURAL:     HONEY AND MAPLE SYRUP are both preferable over cane sugar.  STEVIA or Monk Fruit is the best option as far as artificial sweeteners go. (Because they are derived from natural sources.) Honey benefits: antioxidants, can lower triglycerides, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.  Maple syrup benefits: natural antioxidants, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Remember, all great journeys start with a first step!

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