Refined sugars are bad news for our health. If you’ve been wanting to cut back on sugar but needed some good reasons, we’ve got you covered.
Real talk: you know that refined sugars are not exactly health food. They’re empty calories that fill you up without providing any nutritional value. But sugar is more than just bad for your waistline. There’s mounting evidence that it’s actively bad for our health and for the planet. Here are five really good reasons to kick your sugar habit. Or at least cut back on the white stuff.
Before we talk about why to avoid refined sugars, I wanted to share a few resources for how to do it. Deciding to ditch sugar is easy. Actually following through can be tricky.
How to Spot and Avoid Sugars
– Spot the sweets. You know to avoid sugar, but there are lots of other names for sugars that are lurking on food labels. Check out this list of other names for sugar.
– Living sugar free. Andrea at Vibrant Wellness Journal gave up the white stuff and shares some handy tips to help you give refined sugars the boot.
– Sugar free tips. Over at Feelgood Style, Leah Gelsen Morlan shares some unexpected tips for how to ditch sugar.
– Sugar free drinks. If you’re not into water, hydrating without sugar might seem daunting. Here are some alternatives to water that don’t contain refined sugars.
5 Convincing Reasons to Avoid Refined Sugars
Sugar is one of the most commonly-traded food crops. Billions of tons of sugar was produced globally last year, across all the warmer areas of our world. Part of the external cost of sugar includes water depletion and soil erosion. As mentioned in the article, The Guardian has reported that, “Sixty years of sugar in Pakistan in the Indus Basin has resulted in a 90 percent reduction in the amount of freshwater available.”
A study published in British Medical Journal’s publication Open Heart found that added sugars contribute more to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke than added salt in food.
Sugar is a major culprit in a majority of diseases and health problems facing this country.
While increasing demand for sugar has health advocates ringing alarm bells, Oxfam says it has largely gone unnoticed that the sugar trade is also helping to fuel the problem of land grabs and international disputes. 76.6 million acres, an area the size of Italy, is already being used to grow our sugar, much of it in the developing world.
Even if you forget the health threats of GMOs themselves, it has been documented that GM crops do not cut the amount of pesticides being used, but they increase it greatly. Because the GM crops are less harmed by these chemicals, farmers can dowse them even more than before. (This is what is causing the growth of very concerning superweeds, which have been called “the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen.”)
Image Credits: Sugar photos via Shutterstock.