Low Carb Diet Tips-sugar Addictions and the Immune System

Anyone on a low carb diet knows that sugar is harmful to the body in so many ways, including weight gain. If you need some motivation to avoid a sugar addiction, read this list of health problems associated with sugar. The information here has been compiled from medical journals and other publications, including, "Lick The Sugar Habit" by Nancy Appleton, PhD.

1. Sugar suppresses the immune system.

This is the most important reason to avoid a sugar addiction, whether you are trying to maintain a low carb diet or not. Two different research projects that have been done at Loma Linda University evaluated the effects of sugar on phagocytes, the white blood cells of the immune system that eat up harmful bacteria. One of the Loma Linda studies showed that sugar caused the phagocytic index to drop dramatically, which had a negative effect on the amount of bacteria that could be removed by the immune system. To put it simply, the more bacteria consumed by the phagocytes, the stronger the immune system, and the less chance for disease. So, to avoid running low on Pac Men that eat foreign invaders in your immune system, stay away from sugar, including high fructose corn syrup and dextrose.

2. Sugar disrupts the mineral balance in a healthy body. Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc are crucial minerals for the body to function properly. If just one of these minerals is depleted, the entire body chemistry can be disrupted. With just two teaspoons of sugar, micronutrients in the body change radically, causing blood chemistry to shift. Some mineral levels increase, some decrease, and delicate ratios are disturbed. If you are on a low carb diet and concerned about getting enough essential nutrients, such as calcium , this is another good reason to avoid sugar. Even a little sugar can negate the effects of consuming extra calcium or mineral supplements.

3. Sugar can cause obesity, hyperactivity, anxiety, and concentration difficulties in children. Sugar Smacks, Cap 'N Crunch, Corn Pops, Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms and Trix are just a few of the cereals loaded with sugar that are still being eaten by kids everywhere before they head off to school. Even something as healthy as oatmeal is full of sugar in those instant flavor variety packs. You may think oatmeal is a good low carb, high fiber food, but once the sugar is sprinkled on it, oatmeal is no longer part of a low carb diet. In addition, look at all the sugar being consumed by children in sodas and other products that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup.

Writing for The Journal of Abnormal Psychology in 1986, J. Goldman noted in "Behavioral Effects of Sucrose on Preschool Children" that a dose of sugar equivalent to that found in a 12-ounce soda did indeed disrupt the performance of children at school. It caused their concentration levels to decrease and their inappropriate behaviors to increase. It is important to note that in 1976 the sugar industry found it was less costly to make sugar from corn than from beets or sugar cane. High fructose corn syrup has since replaced sucrose as a sweetener in many processed foods and sodas. It has been shown that fructose causes the white blood cells of the immune system to become inactive and unable to defend the body against harmful intruders. Anyone on a low carb diet should watch out for high fructose corn syrup, and avoid a sugar addiction.

4. A sugar addiction speeds up the aging process. When sugar is consumed on a regular basis the pancreas can become over stimulated and secrete too much insulin. Excess insulin can cause a drop in normal blood sugar levels, and hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, may develop. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include fatigue, memory failure, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, tremors, headaches and depression. These may sound like diseases of the elderly, but more and more young people are noticing these things. If you notice any of these symptoms, try removing sugar from your diet and see what happens. If nothing else, eating a low carb diet with less sugar will probably give you more energy.

5. A sugar addiction can cause arthritis. Arthritis is another disease that has been linked to old age, but now there are many indications that sugar is playing a role in younger people developing arthritic symptoms. As mentioned earlier, a body that is suffering a mineral imbalance may produce inflammation in the bones, joints and cartilage due to the accumulation of toxic minerals, mostly calcium. Once again, the delicate mineral balance has been upset by too much sugar. When one mineral decreases, another may increase, and in some cases, excess calcium will end up in joints, causing arthritic spurs and other problems associated with bone diseases. Simply eliminating sugar and consuming a low carb diet, may result in weight loss, which will help take some of the stress off those achy knees and ankles.

This is just a short list of the many ways that a sugar addiction creates health disasters. It is hard to avoid sugar in foods being sold at grocery stores. However, on the Internet, you can find low carb foods, healthy snacks for a child, nutrition for athletes and other all natural foods that are not loaded with refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Have you ever heard of stevia sweetener? It is the one sweetener that may actually be good for maintaining normal blood sugar levels, and healthy for anyone on a low carb diet. Stevia sweetener is not an artificial sweetener as it is made from the stevia plant. Primarily grown in Peru, stevia has been used by indigenous peoples of South America for centuries as a sweetener for their foods and beverages. So, there are ways to avoid over consumption of sugar, but it takes some awareness. Watch out for high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and dextrin to avoid sugar in many of the foods that line the shelves of grocery stores in America.

Cliff Smith is the owner of an online health food store and is always searching for the best high fiber foods. As a professional television actor who needs to stay fit for the camera, Cliff consumes only the highest quality nutrition for an athlete. He shares his knowledge of health and nutrition with free audio downloads and articles at BestHealthFoodStore.net.

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