I can paint a picture in my mind of how I want to think about sugar. It feels good to imagine sitting on a warm front porch on a summer day indulging in sweet tea and my grandma’s famous lemon squares. That sweet tea and those squares are loaded with sugar, and in this dream world, that’s not an issue. The truth is a bit harder to swallow than those lemon squares and sweet tea, though. It’s time to reveal the truth about sugar and inflammation.
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If we want to grow in health, we need to know how to protect our health. Reducing sugar to avoid the inflammation monster is a great place to start.
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It’s interesting to think that each bite we take is either nourishing us… or killing us slowly. • I want to shine some light on sugar and it’s connection to the inflammation that is at the root of so many diseases we’re seeing in modern-day North America. • My latest blog post is “The Truth About Sugar and Inflammation.” You can find the link in my bio. • What about you? What sort of decisions have you made about sugar? • • • • • • • #sugar #inflammation #sugarcausesinflammation #inflammationistherootofdisease #nutrition #health #healthyfood #choices #thechoiceisyours #planttherapyessentialoils #turmeric #antiinflammatorydiet #inflammatoryfoods
In this post, I’m going to shed some light on sugar and inflammation. I’m going to address the following questions:
- Does sugar cause inflammation in the body?
- Signs of inflammation in the body
- How to give up a sugar addiction
- The importance of food in the fight against inflammation
If you’re wanting to eat food low in sugar and inflammation causing properties, I highly recommend Trim Healthy Mama! All of their recipes are sugar-free, and healthy. They are also created by moms… so you know the recipes are quick and easy! You don’t have to be a mama… you just have to want optimum health!
Does Sugar Cause Inflammation in the Body?
The short answer is absolutely yes. Sugar causes inflammation in the body.
On NCBI you can find a study on low to moderate sugar-sweetened bevarage consumption, and the results clearly reveal that sugar causes spikes in inflammation, and continued consumption of sugar leads to chronic inflammation.
This study is also referenced by healthline: “A study of 29 healthy people found that consuming only 40 grams of added sugar from just one 375-ml can of soda per day led to an increase in inflammatory markers, insulin resistance and LDL cholesterol. These people tended to gain more weight, too.”
There is overwhelming evidence that sugar causes inflammation in the body. This inflammation can lead to a host of issues, including pain in your joints, obesity, diabetes, heart disease… and it can increase the rate you age. No thank you. Chronic inflammation takes a toll on your skin, drying it out and wrinkling it up. Sounds good, right? No. Sounds terrible.
For more reading on the havoc sugar can wreak in your body, check out this short article by McGill.
This is my favorite cookbook. Completely sugar-free and so so good for you. All the recipes are family friendly!
How Sugar Causes Inflammation in the Body
So we understand and cannot refute that there is a link between sugar and inflammation. But the question is this: How does sugar cause inflammation in the body?
I found this great article written by naturopathic doctor Kellyann Petrucci on mindbodygreen.com.
In it she explains exactly how sugar causes inflammation:
“-When your blood sugar rises, your body cranks out greater numbers of pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines.
-In addition, high blood sugar levels cause your body to produce molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These are destructive molecules that trigger inflammation.
-When you have high blood sugar, your cells become insulin resistant. This means that they refuse to accept insulin and its cargo of sugar. As a result, this sugar gets stored as visceral fat. Visceral fat, in addition to giving you an unsightly belly, churns out pro-inflammatory chemicals.”
I highly recommend you check out the whole article to gain a really full understanding of how sugar causes inflammation in the body.
It’s important to note that the inflammatory process is normal, and it’s an important part of how the human body is designed. Inflammation is how the body forms an immune response, and how we heal. Without inflammation, we wouldn’t be able to heal from even a simple wound.
The problem is when inflammation becomes chronic, and your body is left in that state of inflammation too long. That’s when you get into trouble with autoimmune diseases, accelerated ageing… even something as serious and life-altering as cancer.
Signs of Chronic Inflammation
It’s important to be aware of the signs of chronic inflammation so that the issue can be addressed as soon as possible.
It’s important to note that the symptoms of acute inflammation (necessary and good) are different that the symptoms of chronic inflammation (bad).
My nursing background has the 5 symptoms of acute inflammation burned into my memory. They are:
- Temporary loss of function
The signs of chronic inflammation are very different:
- Body pain
- Skin problems: rashes, eczema, psoriasis, slow healing, etc…
- Sores (particularly in the mouth)
- Gastrointestinal issues: constipation, diarrhea, reflux, bloating, weight gain, etc…
- Allergies- Do your “seasonal allergies” never leave? Chronic inflammation could be the culprit.
- Depression, anxiety, confusion
- Puffy face, dark circles under the eyes
To combat inflammation, eating turmeric is highly recommended. I also suggest using organic turmeric C02 extract from plant therapy. This essential oil is so great for taking on inflammation and supporting you as you work to bring down your levels of inflammation.
Organic Turmeric CO2 Extract Organic has a warm, spicy scent that will be familiar to t… [More]
We can’t deny the link between sugar and inflammation. The question now is what do you do about it? Do you just continue sipping that sweet tea and eating those lemon squares, or do you take action so that you can avoid all the problem and complications that sugar and inflammation can cause?
I vote take action. It won’t be easy. But I’ve learned that hard things are often the best things.
Sugar actually activates the “reward center” in our brain. When this is activated, the result is compulsive behavior. Just like with drugs, eating sugar causes a dopamine release. The more you eat sugar, the more sugar you’ll need to achieve the same level of dopamine response. It’s a vicious cycle.
Don’t let basic chemistry win. You have the power to make wise decisions.
The good news is, food is very good, and it’s meant to nourish you. In Genesis, God says:
“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” – Genesis 9:3 ESV
In fact, food is such a good, important thing that Jesus used it as a symbol for his own body:
“And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” – Mark 14:22 ESV
We need Jesus in every aspect our lives. Spiritually, we would be dead without him. He used bread as a symbol for his body, because as physical beings, we understand that without food, we would physically be dead.
So yes, we need food. We just need the right food. We have the ability to make healthy choices, and we can beat a sugar addiction.
Health is an important component to helping us live our best lives! Make sure that you’re prioritizing health, and other things that are truly important. Grab this free printable I created to help you make sure that your priorities are in order!