It’s no secret that sugar affects the body. For years, research has shown a connection between sugar and cancer, as well as disorders such as depression. It is also no secret that sugar affects fertility, acne, obesity, and a wide range of diseases.
Once upon a time I ate a lot of candy. Preferably, it was the gummy, chewy, sticky kind of candy. I drank soda too. So I am well ware of another non-secret, that sugar is addicting. Anyone who has done a detox may have experienced firsthand what happens to the body when sugar is removed from the diet. Luckily, those sugar effects are quick to dissipate.
I don’t eat candy or drink soda anymore, because they are overloaded with fructose. Most Americans get their fructose in table foods that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, as well as sweetened drinks, syrups, pastries, and desserts. (Fructose is also found in fruit, although absorption of sugar from fruit is significantly lower due to its fiber content.) In fact, in 2014 the Department of Agriculture estimated that Americans consumed an average of about 27 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup.
New research out of UCLA found that fructose actually has the ability to alter our genes. Actually, the effects of sugar may alter hundreds of them.
Why does this matter? Well, a wide range of common diseases are linked to changes to genes in the brain. You see where I’m going with this, right?
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive disorders such as ADHD, depression, and bipolar disorder all stem from changes to genes in the brain. And now we know that consuming fructose may lead to genetic changes that could bring about the onset of those diseases.
What can you do to lower your risk of fertility, acne, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive diseases? You can cut out unnecessary sugars, high fructose corn syrup from your diet. Nix it, now, and those cravings will disappear in no time. By the way, if your food label does not specify that the corn syrup is not “high fructose” it is safe to assume that it’s still not good for you.
The other thing you can do to lower your risk of genetic changes caused by fructose intake is to increase your intake of an Omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid (or DHA for short since that one is a mouthful). DHA was shown to reverse the harmful genetic changes caused by fructose intake.
As I’ve said on this site several times before, EVERYONE can benefit from a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are most prevalent in cold-water fish, such as wild salmon, sardines, and tuna. Omega-3’s can also be found in lesser amounts in flax, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, canola oil, soybeans, wheat germ, and eggs. However, if cold-water fish is not a staple in your diet, you can always take a daily supplement of Omega-3’s, such as the flavored Omega-3 fish oil and flax oil swirls from Barlean’s.
Omega-3’s are known as healthy fats, because they can help the body to fight against the harm that bad fats do. Now we know that they can also help the body to fight against the harm that sugars do. And let’s face it, not all Americans, especially kids, are eating cold-water fish or flax seeds on a regular basis.
Now it is important to note that continuing to consume high fructose corn syrup while simply increasing your intake of Omega-3’s will not make a healthy body! Sugar effects the brain and body, so if you want to lower your risk of disease, cut your added sugar intake and add those Omega-3’s to your diet!
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