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“I have got to stop eating sugar, I cannot kick this.” I tell my friend after I spent a good 30 seconds coughing and wheezing.

“What?! Sugar can make you sick?” She asked, bewildered by this information, “I never knew what you ate could have that kind of effect.”

Unfortunately, it does, a lot. As the old adage goes, what you put in, you get out. As a girl who grew up on the modern American diet, she, like many others, didn’t realize there was a correlation between the food we consume and the both positive and negative affects they have on the body.

Our bodies, how they feel, how they move, and the energy they have are directly affected by what we put into them. Eating healthy has more benefits than to just boast to your friends your ability to eat kale willingly. The way our bodies process the nutrients we put into it will be conveyed in the way we feel.

Most of us are familiar of the dreadful feeling of waking up with a hangover – your head hurts, the world is spinning, your stomach feels nauseous; really your whole body is trying to recover from the experience. Despite our familiarity to the feel of a hangover, we rarely take the time to really notice how our bodies feels after a carb heavy meal or a sugar binge.

Maybe you notice you have brain fog, your body feeling sluggish, or that your gut starts playing a symphony of gurgles. All of these are signs that your body is trying to process the little nutrients and all of the extra garbage that is in the food you ate to its best ability, and it’s really struggling. Although your cerebellum may not actually be allergic to refined sugars the way it is to alcohol, your body has just as hard of a time processing it.

Getting fast food for dinner, meeting up with friends for coffee, or going on a first date to grab a drink are all parts of our daily lives. We want convenient, we want fast, and we want delicious. And honestly, what tastes better than sugar? Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth and can say no to ice cream (to which I applauded you) refined sugars are found EVERYWHERE. It’s in booze, condiments such as ketchup and barbeque sauce, yogurt, lunch meat, and snack foods such as granola bars.

Even if you diligently read food labels looking for sugar, its hidden under many names: Dextrose, Maltose, Sucrose, Fructose, Glucose, Sorbitol, and anything with Corn Syrup in the name. Despite advertisements claiming that their “low-fat” food is a better alternative to help you lose weight, these products are often chock full of sugars (as well as low fat-foods being terrible for your brain health, which we will cover later).

Vitamin - C

Support a Healthy Immune System

Vitamin C 

So, we know sugar can lead to weight gain, but how many of us knew that the sugar you eat also effects your immune system? According to Amie at The Naturopath sugar has a similar enough structure to Vitamin C that instead of the white blood cells assimilating the vitamin, they instead pick up the sugar molecule. This inhibits your white blood cells ability from working at their highest capacity; dropping your immune system and allowing viruses and bacteria to enter the body.

According to a study done by NH DHHS-DPHS-Health Promotion in Motion, the average American consumes 152 grams of sugar A YEAR! Now, if the average person eats 152 pounds a year, that’s about 3 pounds of sugar a week which measures out to almost 1 cup of straight sugar a day! Now if your white blood cells are enveloping these sugar molecules and the effects being implemented in your cells for roughly 5 hours each time you eat sugar- imagine the long-term effects that has on your health!

The immune system is your line of defense against pathogens, viruses and bacteria which can cause anything from the common flu to autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, lupus or diabetes. The more sugar you eat, the longer your immune system is weakened in turn causing your body to be more susceptible to sickness.

Simple, although not always easy, switches in your diet can cause a drastic change in the overall health of your immune system. Refined sugars are a major detriment to our bodies that can cause long term problems health and immunity problems.