Why these FDA-approved ingredients are some of the most toxic things you can put in your body, and why I started saying NO.
When I was 21, a friend of mine introduced me to the “paleo” diet – it was gluten/lactose free (which I already was), and free of refined sugars. This was never something I had given a lot of thought to, but once I started paying attention to the effects cutting out sugar had on my body, I made it a permanent lifestyle change.
After two weeks without sugar, my energy levels increased, I stopped craving sweets, had less bloating, was more focused in class, and stopped having migraines. And that’s just the short list.
Refined sugar is exactly that – extracted from sugar cane, refined, and processed to the point of only being a chemical. The problem is, your body cannot recognize these chemicals. They have no nutritional value, they’re inflammatory, and because of the way they affect your brain, they’re extremely addictive. Sugar withdrawals actually do exist, because refined sugars activate a circuit in your brain associated with addiction (surprise surprise, natural sugars don’t)!
Sugar can affect your hormones, brain, cholesterol, heart, liver, and kidneys. If you suffer from PCOS, memory loss, ADD/ADHD, or have any mental health concerns – sugar may exacerbate it. For me – it’s migraines. A few days ago, I had a slice of cake for my boss’s birthday, a slice of cheesecake to celebrate a graduation, a smoothie that was probably loaded with flavored syrup, and a handful of M&Ms at work. The migraine hit me so hard I could barely walk, let alone drive myself home from dinner after my Advil wore off. So I read my labels, and look for the following names:
Sneaky names for refined sugars:
- Anything with the word “syrup”
- Agave nectar
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Black strap molasses
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup
- Crystalline fructose
- Dehydrated cane juice
- Evaportated cane juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Inverted sugar
There are a few natural sugar replacements to cook/bake with that your body can digest/recognize, which I’ll be posting a comparison of soon. For now, READ YOUR LABELS. Pay attention to what you’re putting into your body, and take note of the effects it has on how you feel! I think you’ll be surprised.