Is All Sugar Created Equal?
The average American consumes 82 grams of added sugar (about 20 teaspoons) per day, adding up to 66 pounds of added sugar every year. There are two kinds of sugar in the world: good sugar (natural sugar) and bad sugar (refined sugar) and it's all hiding in places you might expect like smoothies, juices, granola, yogurt, dressings and tomato sauce. The danger is that when consumed recklessly, too much of the wrong kind of sugar can cause:
1. WEIGHT GAIN. Heightened blood sugar causes the body to store more calories as fat. Sugar is also thought to block the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin and cause cravings for unhealthy foods.
2. DIABETES. Excessive insulin release caused by sugar consumption can cause your body to build up a resistance to insulin, which eventually causes type 2 diabetes
3. HEART HEALTH. A high-sugar diet adversely affects cholesterol and raises blood pressure, leading to heart disease. These effects are even seen in people who eat otherwise healthy diets!
4. INFLAMMATION. The blood sugar instability that comes with consumption of sugar—particularly the processed kind—encourages disease-causing inflammation throughout the body.
5.COGNITIVE ISSUES. Sugar is thought to interfere with learning and memory, cause brain fog and mood swings and hinder your ability to cope with stress.
The good news?
There is such a thing as healthier sugar! In fact, sugar is an important part of your diet. It's WHERE and HOW you're getting your sugar that matters.
Sakara meals use only natural, unrefined sugar sources (like pure maple syrup, wildflower honey, whole fruit and dates). All all of our dishes - even our sweetest breakfasts! - are nutritionally designed with the ideal 1:1 ratio of fiber to sugar to balance and stabilize blood sugar, promote weight loss and encourage a healthy microbiome.
EXHIBIT A: FRUIT JUICE
THE BAD: Fruit juice
THE GOOD: Whole fruit
WHY: Those fresh-pressed juices might seem healthy, but they’re chock-full of sugar and not much else. Whole fruit, on the other hand, contains plant fiber to help slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, keeping your blood sugar stable and preventing crashes. The fiber in whole fruit also aids digestion and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which work hard to keep you healthy.
EXHIBIT B: SUGAR ITSELF
THE BAD: Refined or artificial sugar
THE GOOD: All-natural, unprocessed sugar
WHY: Processed white and brown sugar are addictive and linked to both weight gain and disease-causing inflammation. And the fake stuff? Not only is it potentially toxic, but studies show it actually makes your sugar cravings worse. Sakara meals never contain refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. Instead, our recipes are made with unprocessed sources of sweetness, like pure maple syrup, wildflower honey, coconut sugar and dates.
Hungry for more? Explore the magic of cleaning up your bod from the modern (wo)man's diet right here.