Sugar’s NOT So Sweet Side – Why It Hurts Your IMMUNE SYSTEM

Have you ever noticed how everyone seems to get sick around the fall or start to winter?  Before I worked in the medical industry, I always chalked this winter time sickness up to the change in weather for the winter season.  However, interestingly enough, I came to learn that this isn’t the cause at all!

No, in fact, the true start to “Sick Season” (as we Pharmaceutical Reps used to call it) is actually kicked off by a VERY FRIGHTFUL event that comes once every year.   This SCARY event is actually HALLOWEEN and CANDY SEASON.   If you go into any Pediatrician’s office they will all tell you that they definitely have increased sick patient visits starting right after Halloween.

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The Sugar Train doesn’t start and stop with Halloween.  No, the Sugar Train chugs along well through the end of December.  People in America sure do get their fill of festive holiday sweets.  Everyone crams as much in as they can before they decide to get virtuous with New Years!  Just the thought of the restrictions of New Year’s resolutions is enough to send a person on a junk food rampage the very months before!

When I worked as a Pacemaker Rep, we always saw a spike in the increase of heart patients directly after Thanksgiving.  People actually throw themselves into heart disease by overconsumption of unhealthy foods in one single holiday weekend!  I am not kidding, truly!!!!  People who were already compromised prior to the holiday due to years of unhealthy eating, were already vulnerable in their health.  The gorging that generally occurs around holidays can  set a person like this over the edge in terms of their health.    It should be stressed that what you put into your mouth is powerful and even one meal (especially a rich holiday meal) can make an impact on your health.

The connection between Sick Season and sugar consumption is not a coincidence folks!  As long as sugar consumption remains an issue, the Immune system will fight an uphill battle in protecting the body.  This happens because the body considers sugar to be an actual STRESSOR. Stress depresses the Immune System.  When stress is on, the Immune System is off.  This is our body’s natural mechanism for survival.  Our body’s inner intelligence assesses situations second by second and makes decisions on what is needed for survival.  If it detects stress, it will shuttle all resources to “Fight or Flight” that stressor in order to survive.  All other functions, such as Digestion and Immunity, take a back seat.

Also, sugar assaults the Immune System directly by wearing out the Neutrophil population.  This is the most plentiful White Blood Cell in our bodies.  These Neutrophil cells fight infections.  When they are depleted, the body can’t fight bacteria and fungus as it normally would.  This depletion of neutrophils, combined with a depressed Immune System, sets the stage for illness.

Sugar not only diminishes the Immune System but it also is the most perfect foods for pathogens.  Our intestinal health and Immune System is governed by something called our Microbiota.  This is the environment in our intestines that balances our good bacteria (probiotics) with our bad bacteria (pathogenic bacteria).  Our Microbiota is a continual war zone with probiotics staged against pathogens.  We always want to support our probiotics and limit the growth of our pathogens.  Unfortunately, sugar turns our pathogens into super warriors!  This throws off our delicate bacterial balance and also sets the stage for illness and Immune System suppression.  This further contributes to another reason why people get sick after eating too much sugar.

Additionally, sugar causes significant INFLAMMATION in the body.  This also wreaks havoc on your Immune System as it tries to fight the inflammation, even during an already depressed state.  Systemic Inflammation increases your chance for sickness even further.  When this type of inflammation occurs chronically, this is when Auto-Immune Disorders often times come into existence.

Besides depressing our Immune System, feeding our pathogens in our Microbiota,  and causing Inflammation, Sugar also feeds cancer.*  There have been numerous studies displaying how cancer cells and tumors actually FEED off of sugar.  It makes sense when you think about the nature of yeast/bacteria and tumors in relation to sugar.   Think about bread.  When you make bread, the yeast feeds on the sugar to RISE.  This is the same concept when it comes to cancer and tumor growth.   Truly, if you or a loved one are faced with cancer, the best first defense is to remove ALL SUGAR (including carbs, fruit and starchy veggies) from your diet.

So, as you can see…sugar isn’t as sweet as it actually tastes!  I would recommend that you consider bartering your kid’s Halloween Candy this coming Halloween.  The saying of “Trick or Treat” is actually messed up!  It should be “Treat and Trick”!  Try to get your kids to trade their candy for something else such as a prized toy or a special event like a movie that they might want to see.  This will spare them from joining the many “Tricked” kids that will be headed to the Pediatrician’s office.  Also, you can try to make healthy treats with your kids.  My Pinterest page has awesome recipes using natural sweeteners.  This caramel apple recipe is one of my favorites!  http://pinterest.com/pin/185280972142897858/

 

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Really, you don’t have to give up taste for your health!  The best sources of sugar are NATURAL sources because many of these sources have other protective nutrients in them to help provide nutrition to your body.  Good natural sources for sweeteners are raw honey, organic maple syrup (grade B is best due to higher minerals content), fruit, stevia, coconut sugar and dates as a substitute.

Just the other day I made a wonderful homemade vanilla ice cream with organic whole milk and cream.  I used maple syrup as my sweetener instead of sugar.  It was a hit and no one knew that it wasn’t “sweetened” with sugar. (Again, check out my Pinterest Board for the recipe!)

Truly, I advise all of my clients to completely remove ALL REFINED SUGAR from their diets.  If you want to significantly enhance your health and the health of your family, I greatly encourage you to do the same!  Just step away from candy and refined sugary treats today.    Ditch the SAD and make life easier on yourself!  Don’t wait until New Year’s to better your life!  Every day is a new day and a new chance to make life better.  Why not just start right now by making better choices for your health and your body?  After all, you only have one body and one life to live.

Blessings and health,

Jen

 

Check out this link to learn more about the sugar and cancer interaction.  http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/cancer-sugar-strategy-selective-starvation-cancer

 

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