Sugar seems so sweet and innocent, right?  Well watch out!  It’s in fact disease in disguise.  High sugar intake is often associated with the risk of developing insulin resistance due to chronically elevated blood sugars levels.  However, there are other reasons why you should limit the amount of refined sugars in your diet.

Free Radical Damage

Ever heard of the phrase ‘free radical damage’?  It’s the scientific wording for the process by which the human body essentially rusts or oxidizes.  Free radical damage progresses as you age but there are ways to slow down this process.

The most significant way to slow down the aging process is by eliminating the vast amount of refined sugars found in processed foods such as bread, pastries, pop, candy, and so on, from your diet.  Why is eliminating sugars so vital? 

What Are Free Radicals?

Free radicals are atoms or group of atoms found in your body that have an unpaired electron.  These free radicals are on a mission to find an electron to pair up with, so they can remain in a stable state.  In order to do this, free radicals attack healthy tissue and steal electrons from other cells, thus creating free radical damage.  The scary thing is that free radicals don’t simply kill the cells (which wouldn’t be so bad, since your body could just regenerate new ones), but they actually injure them and cause their DNA to change.  DNA changes trigger the cells to mutate and grow abnormally and reproduce quickly.  When your body’s free radical defense system becomes overwhelmed, this is when disease sets in and you begin to see things like cancer and heart disease.

Free radicals are a natural by-product of normal cell function.  When cells create energy, they also produce unstable oxygen molecules.  Your body can normally fight off these free radicals on its own.  But, what's important to note is that there are also external factors that can increase free radical production and accelerate the oxidation process in your body.  Some external factors include smoking, sun damage, and of course, DIET.

Sugar And Free Radicals

SUGAR of all things has been linked to increased free radical production in your body.  Not only does sugar increase free radical production, it also causes overall inflammation in your body.  All these factors contribute to the aging process.

Reducing Free Radical Damage

In addition to limiting your sugar intake, another way to reduce free radical damage is to increase the intake of foods that contain antioxidants.  Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals in your body and prevent healthy cells from free radical damage.

Here is a list of foods that are packed full of ANTIOXIDANTS:

  • Berries
  • Legumes
  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Prunes
  • Dark Chocolate (YES Please!)

So if you’re out trick or treating tonight, remember, opt for the dark chocolate treats!  They have less sugar AND are high in antioxidants!

Most importantly, don’t forget that SUGAR is really disease in disguise!