11 Good Reasons to Hit Sugar Below the Belt

Plain and simple, cut down on the sugar or you're headed for major health problems.
Plain and simple, cut down on the sugar or you're headed for major health problems. (iStock photo )

You may be in for a surprise. There are so many ways in which sugar affects us that it's almost staggering. It's time to get smart about this stuff. We're a nation gone wild on a sugar binge. Everyone should be warned of sugar's deleterious effects on the body, yet little warning is ever given.

Here are 11 reasons you should knock sugar out of your diet today:

1. Sugar is a major contributor to inflammation. Inflammation is a top cause of heart disease and nearly all other diseases. You can read more about inflammation in my book The Juice Lady's Anti-Inflammation Diet. Inflammation has been identified as a major factor in most diseases, from cancer and diabetes to atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's.

2. Sugar will raise your cholesterol. For years, we were told it was fat that raised our cholesterol, but sugar is far worse. Research links sugar with unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

3. ADHD, hyperactivity and autism are affected by sugar. Perhaps the biggest reason to ditch sugar is the children. Sugar affects their mood and behavior in very adverse ways—irritability, hyperactivity, angry outbursts, and just plain bad mood. Every parent knows that allowing a child sugar or anything with ample amounts of sugar can dramatically change their behavior!

4. Sugar destroys your teeth. This certainly isn't new news. Since we were kids we've all been told that sugar causes cavities. We know that sugar increases the bacteria in your mouth, which erodes enamel. Tooth erosion occurs when acid attacks tooth enamel.

5. Sugar causes aging and wrinkles. For the last four decades, Americans have avoided fats and gorged on sugar. Sugar in the amount that the typical American eats continually upsets our body chemistry and causes the inflammatory process that leads to aging.

6. Sugar contributes to acid reflux (GERD). Research shows that a very low-carbohydrate diet improves gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Another study published in 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that "GERD is present in about 40 percent of people with diabetes.

7. Sugar can impair thyroid function. According to the Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, 27 million Americans are battling with dysfunctional thyroid glands, with many of them going undiagnosed.

8. Cancer is linked to high levels of sugar in the diet. Elevated insulin, especially as seen in an obese or overweight society, often shows up in the development of many cancers, especially in breast and colon cancers.

9. Sugar contributes to arterial disease. High levels of blood sugar are extremely damaging to our blood vessels, and the long-term results of arterial disease usually involve heart disease and strokes.

10. Sugar affects us spiritually. Your body's desire for food has roots in your soul's need for spiritual intimacy with God. As we grow spiritually, we will see our body as a temple in which our spirit dwells and how much we need to care for it in order to nurture our connection with God.

11. Sugar promotes insomnia. When you eat sweets, you may not sleep well at all. Sweets cause your blood sugar to dip too low, which is usually in the middle of the night. Then you wake up and can't get back to sleep.

Look online for what the establishment has to say about the dangers of sugar. There are as many studies showing there's no problem with sugar as there are studies telling us about the dangers. It's as wild and crazy as a 3-year-old after an ice cream party. The sugar lobby is alive and well. Researchers get paid off. Truth-tellers get blacklisted. And the sugar industry continues to produce sugar in all its forms, and food manufacturers continue to dump more and more of it into their products each year, killing us sweetly with their song that all is well because it tastes delicious.

Cherie Calbom, M.S., C.N., is the author of 21 books, including the best-sellers The Juice Lady's Big Book of Juices, Green Smoothies and The Juice Lady's Turbo Diet. She holds a master of science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Cherie pioneered juicing in the home with her infomercial on the Home Shopping Network, and she and her husband conduct juice health retreats and health and healing conferences throughout the year. For more information, see juiceladycherie.com.

Excerpted from From The Juice Lady's Sugar Knockout, Siloam (2016). To order your copy, click here.

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