Ever have one of those late night sugar cravings? Do you drink a can of pop or 3 every single day and think nothing of it? Well, all that sugar can be having dire effects on your body and how you are able to process foods. In fact, all caloric sweeteners will have a harmful effect, including otherwise “natural” sweeteners like honey and agave nectar.
How does sugar affect the body?
To get into the basics, the liver is the organ that processes sugar and transforms it into insulin. Normally, the liver has a way of self-regulating sugar intake, but that is only in the presence of fiber. Without fiber, your liver will keep processing sugar, especially fructose, until it is no longer able to function properly to create insulin. This eventually leads to insulin resistance.
Another thing that sugar has that is fairly unique, are empty calories. Many sodas and even sweetened teas and vitamin waters have multiple tablespoons of these empty calories in them, which over time can lead to weight gain. This, in turn, can harm your metabolism, resulting in metabolic syndrome.
When one is attempting to avoid sugar, steering clear of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages may seem like the obvious choice, but there are a ton of other food products that contain added sugars as well, such as pasta sauces, savory soups, and many prepacked goods.
However, it is best to avoid caloric sweeteners if at all possible, as the negative effects that come as a result of sugar consumption can be catastrophic to your health. So try to eat whole foods when possible. Whole foods, such as beans, grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds are great things to add to your diet for various other reasons as well. They are often higher in Fiber and have much more vitamins and minerals.
So when you are seeking to avoid caloric sweeteners, it’s best to replace them with healthier alternatives. Artificial sweeteners can also be your friend in this regard, so long as you do not overconsume them. I personally use Splenda in my drinks. If you are iffy about consuming artificial sweeteners, then either reduce your intake of caloric sweeteners or add blended fruit to your drinks to add natural sweetness with fiber.
It doesn’t take much to try to find an alternative, but finding one is essential due to the effects it has on the body. Don’t play with your health if you don’t have to.