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Why You Should Stay Away from Added Sugar

By Sara Butler

Sugar is everywhere. In fact, it’s in things you wouldn’t even suspect it to be in and under names that may mask what it is. High fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, agave -- it’s all sugar and it’s increasingly added to processed foods. All of this adds up to you getting way more sugar in your diet than you should. If you want to improve your overall health and wellness, then you need to cut out added sugar in your diet. Here are a few of the ways sugar impacts your health and reasons why it’s time to give up the refined stuff!

It’s Tough on Your Pancreas

Your pancreas is the organ that produces insulin, a hormone that helps to keep your blood sugar under control and utilize glucose as fuel for your muscles and other organs. If you eat too much added sugar, then your pancreas has to work harder to produce more insulin. A pancreas that’s too overworked will no longer be able to keep up demand and diabetes can develop.

It’s Bad for Your Immune System

Sugar can impact how well your white blood cells work to help keep you healthy. Some evidence suggests that for at least five hours after eating sugar, your white blood cells aren’t as efficient as they can be. This will compromise your body’s immune system and possibly make it easier for you to get sick.

It Makes You Moody

Your diet has an impact on every aspect of you -- including your mood. Eating more sugar than you should have, it can increase feelings of irritability, anxiety, and even produce mood swings. If you’re already suffering from stress or anxiety, then you may find a diet high in added sugar only makes it worse.

It’s Bad for Cholesterol

People usually only think of fat as having an impact on cholesterol levels, but sugar can too. That’s because sugar can decrease your good cholesterol (HDL) and increase the harmful (LDL) cholesterol in your blood. If you’re trying to improve your blood lipid levels and keep your cholesterol in check, then a solid plan is to reduce the amount of sugar you eat.

How Much?

The American Heart Association suggests you don’t have more than 25 grams of sugar per day -- which is only equivalent to about six teaspoons. When you consider that a can of soda has somewhere around 40 grams of sugar, you can see how quickly it can add up!

Sugar must be limited in your diet, so make sure to keep tabs on it in your food and drink.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in St. Louis, Mo.

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