Is Sugar Toxic?

The end is in sight, my friends… The end of Lent, that is! I honestly can’t believe how quickly it’s flown by, but what’s surprised me even more is how well my sugar detox has gone! I truly thought this was bound to be the most miserable few weeks of my life. In reality, it’s been some of the best! I feel better, my moods are more stable and I don’t crave sugar like I did before.

I might be jumping the gun a bit here, but I really think this is a way of eating I’ll be able to stick to for the rest of my life. Fruit provides plenty of sweetness for me, and I plan on experimenting with baking with stevia—though I know it can be difficult to work with. And, of course, I’ll be indulging in chocolate occasionally! I have some raw, vegan, organic, refined sugar-free that’s been calling my name for a month now, and I can’t wait to dig in!

Sunday night, CBS’s 60 Minutes showed a 15-minute piece about the toxicity of sugar, and Robert Lustig, a professor known for his research on the link between sugar and obesity, was the segment’s main guest. Though some of the information discussed wasn’t new to me, ALL of it was worth sharing. Check out these tidbits:

  • Diseases linked to sugar include obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
  • In the United States, 130 pounds of sugar are consumed per person every year. That’s about 1/3 pound every day!
  • It’s recommended that women consume less than 100 calories per day from added sugars—but that’s less than the amount of sugar in just one can of soda.
  • Some studies have found that limiting sugar decreases your chance of developing cancer. What’s more, certain types of tumors actually redirect sugar that enters the blood stream to fuel their own growth!

Want to hear it for yourself? Watch the segment!

If that last one isn’t enough to make you reconsider how much sugar you eat, I don’t know what would! Thankfully, the past several weeks have taught me that life does go on without sugar. My personal experience has made me want to keep sugar out of my diet, and information like this definitely makes it less of a challenge. Knowing that I’m doing something so good for my body is great motivation!

I encourage all of you to try to kick your sugar habit, even if it’s only for one week. If you really want to make the most of it, keep a journal and write down how you feel throughout your detox. Taking the time to truly be aware of how you feel—both physically and emotionally—can be a great tool to help you permanently eliminate (or at least reduce) refined sugar from your diet.

How much sugar do you think you consume on a daily basis right now? What are some things you can go to reduce that amount?