This blog post really doesn’t need much of an introduction – we all know that while sugar makes our daily lives better in so many ways by satisfying our taste buds and sweet teeth cravings, it is bad for us. We’ve been lectured from an early age on how bad it is for our teeth, mainly – but did you know that it suppresses our immune systems, degrades our skin’s health, and even fuels cancer cells?
1: It is key to start actively avoiding sugar by paying attention to nutrition labels, because while you will definitely be lowering your intake, you are still undoubtedly getting more than you realize. Sugar is literally in everything. It’s in processed breads, it’s in sauces (have you ever looked at the sugar content of a bottle of fish sauce at your favorite Pho restaurant?!), salad dressing, practically every soft drink in the grocery store, and it’s in those so-called “healthy” granola bars (yes, even Nature Valley).
2: Dental work is expensive. Believe me – I’ve had more cavities than I care to say, and they’re already becoming problematic. Sugar is so damaging to our teeth that it can begin to deteriorate them within twenty minutes! What exactly is it doing? Dissolving enamel. Which you cannot rebuild. Rule of thumb: definitely, definitely brush or even floss during the day if you are snacking on sugary treats. The longer the sugar sits on your teeth, the greater your chances are of cavities and other problems. Yikes.
3: Energy spikes…. and crashes. We all know the feeling: that absolute high when you’ve just consumed a Frappuccino (did you know there are 86 grams of sugar in a Venti Green Tea Frappuccino – without whipped cream?!) and you are feelin’ good. But sugar is empty energy – it lacks real nutrition and anything that’s valuable, long-term, for the body, so while our body processes it initially we feel high on life but as soon as it’s passed we crash. This is not a sustainable pattern for a healthy, productive work day – let alone life – so it’s best to go for long-term energy sustaining foods like veggies, beans n’ rice, or anything with healthy grains.
4: “Inflammation.” This is a bit of a buzz word in the health world right now – simply because everyone is discovering that inflammation can cause many, many problems. It’s a very general term for a wide range of issues. According to an article by Dr. Weil, “whole-body inflammation refers to chronic, imperceptible, low-level inflammation. Mounting evidence suggests that over time this kind of inflammation sets the foundation for many serious, age-related diseases including heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.” Sugar promotes inflammation in our bodies.
5. High blood sugar fuels cancer cell growth. This is a scary statement, but in a study outlined in this article, mice were injected with a strain of breast cancer and then were fed diets to lead to either high or low blood sugar. The higher the blood sugar, the lower the survival rate, which “suggests that regulating sugar intake is key to slowing breast tumor growth.” While this finding may sound like it is only applicable to those fighting cancer, I find this to be meaningful as it truly suggests that sugar helps our body hurt itself, and speeds that process up.
6: Sugar consumption speeds up our skin’s aging process and leads to wrinkles and fine lines. Prevention.com offers this helpful explanation of how exactly this works: “At blame is a natural process that’s known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products…The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop…Most vulnerable to damage: collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic.” Our skincare products are all about promoting the health and strength of these two protein fibers, and yet here is one invisible way that they are attacked on the daily! Collagen becomes dry and brittle when damaged, causing wrinkles and fine lines.
What’s your philosophy on sugar intake? In moderation, or not at all?
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.