The Sweet Isn’t So Sweet


Photo by Giselle Villegas

According to the health website Health24, glucose is the most widely-distributed sugar in nature, although we rarely eat it in its purified form.

Giselle Villegas, Staff Writer

From candy to bread, sugar is almost impossible to escape. Two months into the new year, one common goal is to cut sugar from diets, as excessive amounts can lead to negative health effects.

According to a study by The Washington Post, people consume sugar on a daily basis. The average person in the United States consumes more than 160 grams of sugar per day, which is as heavy as a five-pound weight. It is alarming how much of it we consume without understanding how bad it is for the body.

Eating food products containing fructose can cause the body to have unstable blood sugar. This leads to mood swings, fatigue and headaches, according to an article published by Health Line. It can begin a cycle of false hunger, which is when the brain convinces the body that it is hungry when it is not

Scientists have also recently found sugar to be as addictive as drugs. An article published by Make Your Body Work, a website that shows ways for people to live a healthier lifestyle, displays a diagram of how sugar processes in the body. Upon eating any foods with sugar, the insulin in your body spikes, and the liver turns it into fat. The liver then releases it into the bloodstream, and blood pressure rises. Dopamine, which is better known as the “feel-good hormone,” is released in the brain. This makes the body crave more sugar due to the plummet of glucose levels, which causes addiction.

However, cutting sugar completely is bad for the body as well. Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Cardiologist on website, Share Care, which allows doctors to answer the public’s questions about health, states “Cells in your body use sugar from starches, fruits, and sugars you eat for fuel or store it for future use.” There are ways people can continue to get the sugar needed for the body to continue functioning without its damaging properties.

Integrative Nutrition, another health website that informs people of bad foods while providing alternatives to those foods states that eating naturally-sweet vegetables and fruits help with sugar cravings while also giving the body necessary nutrition. Gentle sweeteners such as maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia and barley malt can be alternatives to artificial sweeteners and food with added sugar. Spices such as coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom can naturally sweeten food as well.

There is always time to make a healthy lifestyle change. Before purchasing food, take the extra minute to look at the nutritional values label and the ingredients listed to know what will be consumed. Sugar permeates the food industry and is difficult to avoid, but not impossible.