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Health & Fitness: Dump the Sugar


By Kim Duke, NETA & AAFA Certified Trainer

I am truly and utterly shocked at the amount of soda pop and junk/processed food products I see not only in people’s shopping carts, but also in their cars and in their kids’ school lunch bags.  I know I have written article after article about these “foods,” but I am going to write another…

These products provide no nutritional benefits and are not only filled with preservatives and massive amounts of sodium, but they are also quietly hiding loads of sugar.

Sugar has zero nutritional value. It will ruin both your physique/figure and your skin (just to name a few).  In our vanity-driven society where the word selfie has gained entrance into our dictionaries, you’d think we, as a society would be cutting back on sugar.

Sugar is highly addictive, affecting the brain like heroin, plus it does nothing to contribute to satiety so overeating is inevitable.  Your skin represents your internal health, and the effects of sugar on both can be horrifying.

According to Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board certified dermatologist with a degree in Nutrition Science from Cornell University, “When excess sugar circulates in the bloodstream, it attaches to proteins in a process called glycation, producing advanced glycation end products (AGEs). This causes protein fibers to become stiff and malformed.  These are the same fibers and proteins that produce a youthful, radiant and supple complexion. No amount of topical creams will improve your skin externally. Your youthfulness and radiance come from the inside out.”

The bottom line is, carbohydrates are not the enemy. Sugars in many processed carbohydrates are. You should avoid processed foods that quickly convert to sugar, and avoid the hidden sugars in food, such as barley malt, dextrose, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose and, especially, high-fructose corn syrups.

Seek out the energy you need from colorful vegetables and fruits, nuts and green tea – real food. If a flavor boost is required, try a spice like cinnamon, cloves, oregano, allspice, ginger and garlic.  These spices may even help inhibit the formation of AGEs.

Also, exercise regularly. Regular and consistent exercise uses up excess sugar in the bloodstream as fuel, making it unavailable to produce AGEs.

To err is human…so a slip up here and there is NOT what this article is about.  It is about making a more educated decision for your health, for your children’s health and ultimately, for the longevity of life.

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