With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to spend some time talking about everyone’s favorite food additive — sugar. But before we go any further, let us clarify which sugar we’re talking about here. While some sugars are actually good for us (yes, you read that right), others are not. Natural sugars, which are found in everything from fruit to milk and other dairy products, provide essential nutrients, which, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, can actually help your body stay healthy while also preventing diseases. On the other hand, added sugars are the ones you need to worry about.
What You Ought to Know About Added Sugar
Today, your friends at Arne Wellness Center are going to take a deep-dive into the not-so-sweet facts you ought to know about added sugar, and how it may be negatively affecting your overall health and wellness. Keep reading to learn more!
Have You Ever Heard of the Sugar Aches? It’s a Real Thing
Numerous studies are linking added sugar to the cause of inflammation in the body. A study conducted by The Arthritis Foundation explores how foods containing high amounts of added sugar can cause inflammation in organs and tissues like muscles and joints in the body. Not only that, overeating sugar-packed foods can aggravate swelling and inflammation caused by chronic conditions like arthritis.
Want to learn more about the link between sugar and inflammation? Be sure to check out our recent blog post, How Sugar Contributes to Muscle and Joint Pain, to explore the effects added sugar can have on your muscles, joints, and soft tissues.
Are You Noticing More of Those Pesky Wrinkles?
Many people don’t realize that added sugar can actually cause wrinkles to form via a process called glycation. You see, the body naturally produces a protein called collagen (the most abundant protein in the human body, in fact), which helps build bones, skin, muscles, and other soft and connective tissues. Think of collagen as one of the body’s key building blocks and the main provider of structure and support. This protein also supports the skin’s firmness, elasticity, and ability to heal.
That all said, in a nutshell, glycation is the process of binding excess sugar to collagen in the skin, which makes skin looser. Eating too much added sugar interferes with collagen production causing wrinkles to form with the loss of elasticity. If you want to maintain youthful skin, skip eating sugar and use it as a face and body scrub instead.
A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down? Not So Much
The American Heart Association (AHA) strongly recommends that adults consume less than 10 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which still seems like too much. They suggest women consume no more than six teaspoons or 25 grams of added sugar a day, and men no more than nine teaspoons or 36 grams. To put this into perspective, a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar, which is about nine grams of sugar.
Unfortunately, the tricky part about consuming only a few “spoonfuls” of added sugar is that it’s in just about everything we eat and drink. In fact, beverages account for the majority of added sugar in our daily diets. Not only that, but added sugar is in everything from pasta sauce to yogurt. Seriously. The next time you reach for a container of that creamy Greek yogurt for a “healthy” breakfast, take a peek at the label and you will likely be shocked at how much sugar it contains.
So why does all this matter? Well, aside from causing a whole bunch of serious diseases and contributing to obesity, consuming more than the recommended daily amount can actually weaken your immune system, which we need to keep strong and healthy now more than ever in the age of the COVID pandemic. Parents, have you ever noticed that your kids tend to get sick more frequently during Halloween? The proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
Talk to Your Littleton Chiropractor to Learn More
Here at Arne Wellness Center, we’re not saying you can’t enjoy sweets, but can’t stress enough the importance of limiting your daily added sugar intake. Along with preventing obesity and serious health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, reducing how much sugar you eat can really help reduce pain, inflammation, and other types of discomfort in your muscles and joints.
You see, we’re dedicated to helping our patients live healthy, happy lives through chiropractic care, natural medicine, and other holistic treatments, but we also believe that your whole-body health really starts with what you put in your body. That’s why we emphasize the importance of good nutrition, healthy eating, and regular exercise in our approach to health and wellness.
If you have questions about added sugar and how it may be affecting your pain levels or your overall wellness, be sure to talk to your Littleton chiropractor during your next treatment. We can offer nutrition advice and guidance to help you reduce your sugar intake so you can feel better, move better, and enjoy a better quality of life.