Sleekgeek presents … Sugar Free Wednesday.
My goal is not to scare the hell out of you guys but to try and help make you conscious of the world we live in and what we put in our bodies. Not to demonise sugar, but to raise awareness.
Though even our experts disagree on nutrition I believe there are two truths that NOBODY can deny.
For better health most people need to eat less sugar and eat more vegetables.
Sugar in itself is not the root of all evil but most people eat FAR TOO MUCH .. and in many cases are not aware of the damage they are causing themselves and their children. (At the bottom of this page you can read 146 reasons why sugar may be bad for you)
Food manufacturers have made sure it is everywhere.
The fact is that there is sugar in nearly everything! .. and you probably have no idea about the quantities of sugar you are taking in. Commercial manufacturers even put sugar in the bacon you buy at a super market. It is in the Tomato Sauce and most condiments you add to your food.
Practically every item in the center aisles of the supermarket contains added sugar. When food manufacturers reduce the fat content of foods, they must find another way to restore flavor, so they often turn to sugar. In cereals, baby foods, cereals, ready made meals, everywhere.
Next time you go shopping read some labels. You will be shocked! (At the bottom of this page find some guidance on reading labels)
Now add all the hidden sugar you are not aware of to the sugar in your tea or coffee and immediately you can see why you are getting fatter.
Not even artificial sweeteners are alright. Diet Sodas.. no good. There is strong evidence to suggest that artificial sweetener send a similar signal to your brain to produce insulin as does normal sugar. Just as a practical example my dad is Type2 Diabetic and has always drank Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Recently he stopped drinking fizzy drinks and his insulin improved noticeably.. I am sure you are as surprised as he and I was.
I want nothing more than for you to BE CONSCIOUS of what you put in your body. Read the label. Go through life with your eyes open. Understanding the implications of your habits.
Some people have 2 spoons of sugar in their coffee and then at least 3 cups a day.. which is 6 spoons a day and 180 spoons a month! Then ask why they cannot lose weight?
Also you have to ask yourself why as a culture many people reward kids with sugary treats. When I have kids I am going to dare someone to gives them chocolates and sweets for achieving something. Their demands are not their fault either.. why? Because there is much evidence to suggest that Sugar is addictive. It is a drug.
When I was a kid people always said “they will burn it off” .. which is true .. but also consider that these are the formative years when children learn habits and social behaviors.
World Famous Nutriotionist Patrick Holford wrote a book called “How to Quit without feeling S * * T”. Among cocaine, heroine and nicotine he dedicates a chapter to sugar making the point that the more you want the more you need.
A survey by global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline earlier this year confirmed that at least 60% or nearly two out of every three South Africans are overweight, obese or morbidly obese. Stats reveal SA sugar production and consumption is on the increase.
According to Professor Tim Noakes, carbohydrate and sugar addiction is one of the biggest contributors to these alarming statistics. It was also its motivation for pioneering the Harmony Eating and Lifestyle Program or HELP, a revolutionary in-patient approach to combating obesity that recognises the genetic, psychological and behavioural aspects of carbohydrate and sugar addiction.
“Avoiding sugar (particularly fructose) and artificial sweeteners is in my view, based on the evidence, a very important aspect of preventing and/or treating depression. Both contribute to chronic inflammation, and can wreak havoc with your brain function.” – Dr Mercola (Read the reasons why here)
Sugar is indeed toxic. It may not be the only problem with the Standard SA Diet, but it’s fast becoming clear that it’s the major one.
A study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal PLoS One links increased consumption of sugar with increased rates of diabetes by examining the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade. And after accounting for many other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity.
In this article Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease it states …..”What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.” .. this is quite a revelation.
The typical person uses sugar as an energy fix which is short-lived and creates a roller-coaster cycle of ups and downs. Then that person uses caffeine to try and counter-act the energy slumps which often come after. A day of highs and lows. Sound familiar?
I ran a 10km race for Diabetic awareness a while ago and at the half way mark they handed out cups of COKE! No water for me in sight! I was gobsmacked and blown away!
I, and many others, exercise intensely and manage to do it with 100% energy as well as live my life FULL of energy without added sugar in my diet. The sugar is required for energy equation is a total myth. Sure you will be some quality carbohydrate energy sources such as sweet potato if you are an athlete but otherwise the human body does not require it.
Energy drinks! Spoons and spoons of sugar you do not need to recover. Unless you just ran a marathon you do not need an Energade/Gatorade.. whatever…. Neither do your kids after a sports match. All these habits have been created by greedy food and beverage manufacturers and CLEVER MARKETING.
Below is a FLAVOURED Water product from a leading SA food chain. Why would I want to buy water with sugar in it? Read your labels!
At the end of the day the government and food manufactures will never change the status quo. The economic impact is too high even if we have to suffer with our health. The sad reality is that most food producers cut every corner they can to get product quicker and cheaper to market. The vegetables we buy are not even as nutrient dense as in the past. Our chickens and meat is laden with hormones and production processes that are not natural.
IT IS UP TO US! If we want to change the world it is up to us to make change for ourselves and our families. It is the only way.
If you give up sugar cold turkey for a few days you are going to feel like a crack addict coming off drugs. Your mood will be low and it may feel like the world will end.
I am not asking for that right now.
So what am I asking for?
I am simply asking that on a Wednesday each week (at least):
- One day a week (at least) you are CONSCIOUS about this topic.
- That you have one day a week your goal is to take in NO added sugar of any form (including artificial)
- That you spread the word and help educate others
- Use the hashtag #SugarFREEWed on Twitter
REBOOT Program – CTRL, ALT, DELETE your life
If you would like to take things further to clean up your nutrition in a meaningful way then check out my 30 day REBOOT Detox over here which will deal with sugar and other potential issues effecting your energy and vitality. [See REBOOT PROGRAM HERE]
More interesting reading/viewing
If this topic is starting to interest you then read some of these great articles.
(If you find any great ones mail me on email@example.com and I will add them to the list)
- Sugar: The Bitter Truth – Seminal Video watched by over 3.3 million people about the Truth on sugar by Robert H. Lustig, MD
- The bitter truth about sugar (The Telegraph)
- Is Sugar Toxic? (New York Times)
- It’s the Sugar, Folks (New York Times)
- This Addictive Commonly Used Food Feeds Cancer Cells, Triggers Weight Gain, and Promotes Premature Aging (Dr Mercola)
- Sweetened Drinks Associated with Increased Depression Risk (Dr Mercola)
- Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Richard Johnson on Fructose (Video)
If you have time these are also fascinating to watch:
- The Men who made us fat (BBC documentary) – This is part 1 of 12 but they are all easy to find on Youtube
Take a can of cooldrink. Now locate the sugar listing on the soda’s nutrition label—40 grams. Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon. Do the math. That innocent can of pop contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and 160 empty calories.
Even if you don’t drink regular soda, the typical person now eats the equivalent of about 31 teaspoons (124 grams) of added sugar every day. That sugar alone adds up almost 500 extra calories—about 25% of the average person’s caloric intake. WOW! (Source)
Sugar’s Many Disguises (Recognizing Sugar on Food Labels)
Here is a list of some of the possible code words for “sugar” which may appear on a label. Hint: the words “syrup”, “sweetener”, and anything ending in “ose” can usually be assumed to be “sugar”. If the label says “no added sugars”, it should not contain any of the following, although the food could contain naturally-occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk).
- Agave Nectar
- Barley Malt Syrup
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
- Dehydrated Cane Juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Raw sugar
- Rice Syrup
- Sorghum or sorghum syrup
- Turbinado Sugar
Remember, your body doesn’t care what the label says, it’s all just “sugar”!
For more guidance on labels also see >
146 reasons why Sugar is bad for you
By Nancy Appleton PhD – nancyappleton.com
Excerpted from Suicide by Sugar
1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you lose.
7. Sugar reduces high-density lipoproteins.
8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.
9. Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.
10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
13. Sugar may make eyes more vulnerable to age-related macular degeneration.
14. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
16. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.
17. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.
18. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.
19. Sugar can cause premature aging.
20. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
21. Sugar can cause tooth decay.
22. Sugar contributes to obesity
23. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
24. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
25. Sugar can cause arthritis.
26. Sugar can cause asthma.
27. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
28. Sugar can cause gallstones.
29. Sugar can cause heart disease.
30. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
31. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
32. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
33. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
34. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
35. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
36. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
37. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
38. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol) in the blood.
39. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
40. Sugar can increase cholesterol.
41. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.
42. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)
43. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.
44. Sugar causes food allergies.
45. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
46. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
47. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
48. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
49. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA
50. Sugar can change the structure of protein.
51. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
52. Sugar can cause cataracts.
53. Sugar can cause emphysema.
54. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
55. Sugar can promote an elevation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
56. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.
57. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.
58. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.
59. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
60. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.
61. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
62. Sugar can damage the pancreas.
63. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.
64. Sugar is enemy #1 of the bowel movement.
65. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
66. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
67. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.
68. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.
69. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.
70. Sugar can adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders.
71. Sugar can cause depression.
72. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.
73. Sugar and cause dyspepsia (indigestion).
74. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.
75. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.
76. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high-sugar diets compared to low-sugar diets.
77. A diet high in refined sugar reduces learning capacity.
78. Sugar can cause less effective functioning of two blood proteins, albumin, and lipoproteins, which may reduce the body’s ability to handle fat and cholesterol.
79. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
80. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.
81. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become under active and others become overactive.
82. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
83. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.
84. High sugar diet can lead to biliary tract cancer.
85. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold-increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
86. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among adolescents.
87. Sugar slows food’s travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.
88. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stools and bacterial enzymes in the colon. This can modify bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.
89. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.
90. Sugar combines with and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme, which makes the process of digestion more difficult.
91. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.
92. Sugar is an addictive substance.
93. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
94. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.
95. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.
96. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.
97. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
98. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
99. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.
100. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
101. I.Vs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.
102. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.
103. Sugar increases the risk of polio.
104. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.
105. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.
106. In Intensive Care Units, limiting sugar saves lives.
107. Sugar may induce cell death.
108. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.
109. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% drop in antisocial behavior.
110. Sugar can lead to prostrate cancer.
111. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
112. Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.
113. Greater consumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia
114. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the blood stream.
115. Sweet food items increase the risk of breast cancer.
116. Sugar is a risk factor in cancer of the small intestine.
117. Sugar may cause laryngeal cancer.
118. Sugar induces salt and water retention.
119. Sugar may contribute to mild memory loss.
120. The more sodas a 10 year old child consumes, the less milk.
121. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed.
122. Exposing a newborn to sugar results in a heightened preference for sucrose relative to water at 6 months and 2 years of age.
123. Sugar causes constipation.
124. Sugar causes varicose veins.
125. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.
126. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
127. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.
128. Sugar ingestion by pregnant women increases neural tube defects in embryos.
129. Sugar can be a factor in asthma.
130. The higher the sugar consumption the more chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
131. Sugar can affect the brain’s ability to deal with rewards and consequences.
132. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.
133. Sugar can cause endometrial cancer.
134. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell carcinoma.
135. Sugar can cause liver tumors.
136. Sugar can increase inflammatory markers in the blood stream of overweight people.
137. Sugar can lower Vitamin E levels in the blood stream.
138. Sugar can increase your appetite for all food.
139. Sugar plays a role in the etiology and the continuation of acne.
140. Too much sugar can kill your sex life.
141. Sugar saps school performance in children.
142. Sugar can cause fatigue, moodiness, nervousness and depression.
143. Sugar is common choice of obese individuals.
144. A linear decrease in the intake of many essential nutrients is associated with increasing total sugar intake.
145. High fructose consumption has been linked to liver disease.
146. Sugar adds to the risk of bladder cancer.
Get involved with the Sleekgeek Community
We have over 2,700 South Africans just like you supporting one another 24/7 towards a healthier life in our Facebook Group. It is 100% free.
You will be stunned by how awesome our community is. Learn about food, exercise, get motivation in a fun and non-judgmental environment.
Stay in touch with us by signing up for one of my newsletters.