10 Reasons To Decrease Sugar From Diet

10 Reasons to Decrease Sugar from Diet

It has been several years, since we were told to decrease the salt in our diets.

Then, we were told to cut back on sugar because researchers linked it to obesity, type-2 diabetes and many complications related to these disorders.

                   Eliminating Sugar From Diet

In 2016, the general advice is to drop sugar from your diet altogether. This is, of course, tricky because many of us have a sweet tooth, thanks to diets that are rich in sugary tastiness. The more sugar we have eaten over the years, the more our body craves it now. It doesn’t help that pastries, cakes, glazed donuts, ice cream and many others seem to be right in our path as we shop with healthy intention for the foods we have been told make up the optimal diet.

It’s just the way of things are.

The Huffington Post reported that in the United States, the average person consumes more than 126 grams of sugar daily, which is almost twice the average sugar intake of all 54 countries observed by Euromonitor.

Additionally, 126 grams is two times more than the recommended daily intake, which the World Health Organization designates to be 50 grams daily for people of normal weight.

However, eliminating sugar from your diet could save you from myriad health problems in the future.

But is eliminating sugar from your diet even a practical recommendation. Perhaps a better strategy would be take smaller steps and focus on decreasing your intake of sugar.

The following are ten reasons why you should consider eliminating or decreasing, significantly, sugar from your diet:

Depression and Sugar Intake

                       Sugar and Depression

Sugar is on Prevention’s list of 5 foods that cause depression – and for good reason. Multiple studies have suggested that there is a link between a diet rich in sugar and depression.

It’s important to remember that the foods you eat don’t just release their nutrients, sugars, and calories into your belly and thighs; they also send them up to your brain.

Obesity and Sugar Intake

Sugar has been referred to as the new tobacco.

Sugar is loaded with empty calories (energy) that your body stores for future use. However, the future use by your body never comes and eventually all that stored energy is converted to fat.

Blood Pressure and Sugar Intake

Controlling Blood Pressure

More and more Americans are being diagnosed with high blood pressure, and Mayo Clinic suggest that a poor diet is one of the biggest risk factors.

The more sugar you eat, the more your bad cholesterol levels can increase resulting in hardening of the arteries which can lead to heart disease and increases in blood pressure

Heart Disease and Sugar Intake

                                 Heart Disease

It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, consuming more sugar just increases your chances of developing heart disease and having a heart attack.

Figures in the past have shown that people who consume 25% more sugar than everyone else have a stronger chance of dying of a heart attack.

Sugar Is Addictive

While sugar is not classed as a drug, its effects are similar to heroin. For this reason, sugar is just as addictive as illegal drugs. They hijack the same neural pathways as heroin and cocaine leaving people craving more and more.

In addition, just like drugs, sugar can easily be abused.

Sugar Is Linked To Fatty Liver Disease


Sugar is largely composed of two simple types of sugars:

• Fructose
• Glucose

Fructose is very much the “evil twin” and heads immediately to your liver. Over time, too much sugar can cause a fatty liver, which, if left untreated, can lead to chronic liver disease or cirrhosis.

Sugar Is Linked To Diabetes

     Causes of Diabetes

No doubt, the biggest connection researchers have made is the one between sugar and diabetes.

Diabetes happens when your pancreas doesn’t create enough insulin (hormone that helps turn glucose into energy) or the cells of your body are not able to take up glucose to use for energy.

Type 1 Diabetes occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the cells do not utilize glucose appropriately, due to the development of obesity.

Sugar Could Cause Cancer

Although tests are still at their tentative stage, there is some research that suggests sugar could cause certain cancers.

Sugar Rots Your Teeth

Although sugar is certainly not the sole reason for oral issues, it can certainly cause some damage to your teeth.

This is because it leaves behind a trail of debris in your teeth, which, over time, can lead to plaque and ultimately cavity formation.

You’ll Feel Less Hungry

Because sugar is so addictive, it just makes you want to eat more and more. Cutting it out from your diet will harmonize your appetite and you’ll no longer feel like a bottomless pit of starvation.

If you want to optimize your health and the health of your children then start eliminating or at least decreasing sugar from your diet and start living a healthier, longer, more optimal life.


The Effect High Blood Pressure Has on Your Body

The Effect High Blood Pressure Has on Your Body

If you have been told you have high blood pressure, you are probably wondering what effect it has on your body. High blood pressure that is untreated can result in many harmful effects on the body that can lead to many health problems.

It is important to understand the basics of high blood pressure and how it can negatively impact your body.

What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force generated by your blood on the walls of your blood vessels when the heart beats and when the heart is relaxing.

Your blood vessels are basically a set of interconnected tubes. The pressure of your blood flowing through them keeps them open. Much like your garden hose gets open and taut when filled with water, your blood vessels fill with blood.

If your blood pressure is too low, blood cannot be transported properly to all the cells of your body.

If your blood pressure is too high, your risk of  heart disease, stroke, kidney and eye problems goes up.

It’s important to keep your blood pressure in the normal range for optimum health.

When looking at your blood pressure readings, the bottom number or lower number is the pressure generated on the blood vessels when your heart is relaxing between beats.

This lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure.

Under most circumstances the ideal number for diastolic blood pressure is 70-80.

The higher number is referred to as the systolic blood pressure and is generated by the pressure on the walls of the blood vessels when the heart contracts.

The ideal number for systolic blood pressure is 120-130.

Your healthcare provider can take your blood pressure using a special cuff and instrument called a sphygmomanometer. You can also find digital machines in pharmacies or purchase one yourself to keep at home.

Ocassional elevation of your blood pressure is not usual.. Stress, infections, and activity can cause blood pressure to increase.

Taking your blood pressure while at rest will give you a picture of your overall blood pressure. If your readings are  consistently high it is important that you see your healthcare provider, so they can recheck your blood pressure and determine if further intervention is needed.

Breaking Down Blood Vessels

Perhaps the greatest damage that high blood pressure does is to damage the vessels that move the blood around your body. This is a critical transport system that delivers oxygen and nutrients and takes away carbon dioxide and wastes.

In particular, high blood pressure affects the arteries. These are vessels that take blood away from the heart to deliver oxygen and nutrition. They are under higher pressure than veins, which take blood back to the heart.

Having constantly high pressure causes the cells that make up the inside of your blood vessels to become damaged. They can actually become hardened. You might think at first that this makes them stronger, but it actually makes them weaker.

The tissue of the blood vessels needs to be elastic so that it can stretch when pressure increases and go back to its original shape when pressure decreases. But when arteries become hard, they can’t expand and contract.

Then as you eat a diet that’s high in fats, those fats can collect in the hardened areas of the arteries and eventually cause blockages. Because this system delivers blood to all parts of the body, many parts of the body can get reduced nutrition and oxygen.

Eventually blockages can lead to heart attacks – a condition where the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen and tissue actually dies. You can also become the victim of a stroke – bleeding in the brain that has the same result of tissue death.When arteries become weak, they can develop aneurisms. These are areas of weak walls in the arteries that bubble out. As they bubble out, they become stretched and unnaturally thin.

Eventually these can burst and can be a cause of stroke. You can also bleed to death internally when an aneurysm bursts and there are often no symptoms that this is even happening until it’s too late to repair.

If all this sounds pretty scary – it should. Heart disease and stroke are the number one killers of both men and women – higher than any cancers or other illnesses. This isn’t something to be taken lightly.

Hurting Your Heart

While we’ve discussed how heart attacks can happen when arteries are damaged, there are some other problems that high blood pressure can cause for the heart.

When your heart is constantly under arterial high blood pressure, it has to work harder. This constant wear and tear on the heart can cause it to simply get weak and wear out.

Even if you don’t have a heart attack, you can still suffer from heart failure. As the heart becomes weaker, it’s not able to pump nutrients and gases to the tissues and this begins to affect all systems of the body.


If you have had a heart attack that’s damaged your heart, this progression into heart failure can happen even faster. This greatly increases your risk of future heart attacks and heart failure.


You can also have problems specifically in the arteries that supply blood to your heart. These are called coronary arteries. They’re specialized in that they deliver blood from your heart back to your heart to provide it with oxygen and nutrients.


If they become hardened or blocked, they can cause your heart to perform at a lower rate and even cause a heart attack. They can also cause you to have an irregular heartbeat or chest pain.


Normally your heart is about the size of your fist, but when you have high blood pressure you can suffer from an enlarged heart on one side. The left side of your heart is responsible for delivering blood to the rest of the body.


When you have high blood pressure this side can get harder and can also get larger. An enlarged heart is not as efficient as a heart that’s the normal size for your body. This can increase your risk of a heart attack and heart disease.


Killing Your Kidneys


Your kidneys are also greatly affected by having high blood pressure. These are actually the organs that regulate your blood pressure. They do that by decreasing or increasing the fluid in your blood.


When you have high blood pressure, your kidneys can actually develop scars. Within your kidneys are millions of tiny blood vessels that become damaged when they’re exposed to constant high pressure.


As they become scarred, they’re less able to do their job of filtering blood. This can cause your body to not be able to filter waste properly and can lead to kidney disease.


You can also have an aneurysm in your kidney blood vessels. This type of aneurysm is very deadly because of how much blood travels through your kidneys – your entire blood supply passes through them. You could die from massive internal bleeding.


Finally, you may develop kidney failure. Kidney failure is the inability of your kidneys to filter waste either because of damage to large or small arteries that deliver blood to them.


When this happens you may have a buildup of toxins and have swelling due to increased body fluids. Over time you may require the process of dialysis. This is when blood is removed from the body and filtered in a machine then sent back to the body.


Ultimately, when you have kidney failure you may need a kidney transplant. However, the list for this is very long and the poorer your overall health is, the less likely you are to get an organ transplant.




Brain Damage


High blood pressure is also very bad for the brain. As we already discussed, high blood pressure puts you at increased risk of stroke. The effects of a stroke can include paralysis, memory loss, and even death.


However, there are other problems associated with high blood pressure. For example, people with high blood pressure are at a greater risk for dementia. This can be a result of not having enough oxygen being delivered to the brain.


You can also have impairment to your brain that keeps you from being able to process information. The earlier you begin to have high blood pressure, the greater the damage will be as you age.


Problems in the Bedroom


One of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction in men is high blood pressure. High blood pressure affects all the blood vessels in the body and can decrease flow to the penis.


But don’t think that you’re off the hook if you’re a woman. Women also rely on strong blood flow to the vaginal area for sexual arousal and satisfaction. It’s important to both sexes to keep blood flowing freely.


In fact, treating high blood pressure often eliminates the need to take drugs such as Viagra for sexual dysfunction. Your best bet for good sexual health is good heart health.


You can also have trouble sleeping. Studies note that high blood pressure and sleep apnea go hand in hand. Sleep apnea keeps you from getting enough sleep and actually puts you at risk for heart disease and other problems.


Eye Opening Issues


Your eyes are also very sensitive to changes in your blood pressure. The blood vessels of the eyes are very small and fragile and particularly vulnerable to damage from high blood pressure.


When the retina is not supplied with blood correctly, it can become damaged. You can have blurred vision or even a complete loss of vision when blood pressure goes unchecked.


You’re particularly at risk for this type of problem if you also have diabetes. Diabetes and high blood pressure greatly increase your risk of eye disease and loss of sight.


You can also have blocked blood vessels leading to your optic nerve. This, too, can lead to permanent blurred vision and even blindness. It’s critical that you pay attention to your blood pressure to have good vision.


Finally, problems with high blood pressure can lead to a buildup of fluid in your eye. This excess pressure can cause damage and scarring inside the eye and lead to permanent vision deterioration.


Bad to the Bone


You can even suffer from bone loss as a result of problems with your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure lose more calcium than those who have normal blood pressure.


As calcium leaves the bones and enters the bloodstream, bones can be left weak and brittle. This increases your risk for osteoporosis and broken bones. In fact, most hip fractures in seniors are really a result of bone disease.


While men can suffer from osteoporosis, women are generally more at risk after menopause. It’s important to keep track of your blood pressure and take corrective


Taking Control Of Those Silent Killers

Taking Control Of Those Silent Killer

Are you aware of the silent killers that may be doing their dirty work inside your body?


As we grow older, we become more susceptible to elevated blood pressure levels.

A person suffering from high blood pressure is vulnerable to a lot of dangers, and some of them can be very fatal.

Statistics show that 1 out of every 3 people over the age of 21 suffer from hypertension, the medical term for chronic high blood pressure. The percentage increases as the age group grows older.

For example, 3 out of 5 people above the age of 35 have to experience episodes of high blood pressure and 3 out of 4 people above the age of 50 have to suffer the same fate.

Let’s look at the age group below 40 because it is a demographic of particular interest given the wide discrepancy in results regarding cases of hypertension. Some people below the age of 40 have to live with hypertension and there are some people belonging to the same age group that do not experience any problems with high blood pressure.

What causes the difference?

Lifestyle has a lot to do with not developing high blood pressure.

People who follow the proper diet and exercise regularly are less likely to develop chronic high blood pressure. People who do not get adequate sleep are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Risk factors for high blood pressure do play a role. The chances of a person developing chronic high blood pressure increases with the presence of these risk factors.

There are two kinds of risk factors: those within our control and those beyond our control.

The following are the controllable risk factors:

– Weight. Subjects above their ideal body mass index (BMI) are more likely to develop chronic high blood pressure. The dangers increase with every point above the ideal BMI. The high blood pressure risk calculator used by the American Heart Association, in fact, considers the subject’s BMI as a critical factor in determining potential dangers.

Alcohol Consumption- Directly proportional to high blood pressure readings is the amount of alcohol in the subject’s system. Moderate intake of alcohol can dramatically improve a person’s blood pressure measurements.

Salt Intake- The cardinal rule for individuals Remember the cardinal rule for people with hypertension? Stay away from salt. Even a few grains of salt can be deadly. Sodium in the blood invites water in the blood. And water in the blood would require the heart to exert more effort, resulting in high blood pressure.

Sedentary Lifestyle- People who live a “lazy” lifestyle are more prone to being obese and to developing heart diseases.

Stress- Stress forces the body to release epinephrine which constricts the blood vessels and elevates blood pressure readings.

The risk factors above can easily be remedied by adopting the disciple necessary for a healthier lifestyle.
Unfortunately, there are also uncontrollable risk factors such as the following:

Genetics- Indeed, hypertension can be embedded on your DNA. It can be passed on from generation to generation.

Age- Most people experience their most serious bouts of high blood pressure beyond the age of 35.

Gender- Men are more likely to develop hypertension at an earlier age. Women are more likely to acquire chronic high blood pressure during the years post-menopause.

Race- Studies reveal that black people are more likely to develop hypertension than Caucasians. They also tend to suffer more severe cases of high blood pressure.

Knowing the risk factors associated with hypertension is half the battle.

The question now is, what are you going to do with such knowledge?

The first step is accepting you may have a problem, then taking action by monitoring your blood pressure at home as well as working closely with your doctor to achieve optimal blood pressure and start living a longer healthier life.

Today, start taking an active role in achieving optimal health.

Learn to check your blood pressure at home and give yourself the chance to live a happier, healthier life.