Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh how sweet it isn't! Yet another reason why you should limit your sugar intake

A few years ago I was religious about eliminating sugar from my diet. This change came after stumbling onto a website, a while back, and reading of a study where a dog given a diet of only water outlived a dog provided a diet of sugar water. That was the moment that I knew I had to make a decision to limit the amount of sugar I take in on a regular basis.

I then proceeded to eliminate as much refined sugar as possible from my diet. Not buying a pack of snack cakes was easy. But when I found out that my loaf of bread and the ketchup I use both contained sugar, I came to the realization that giving up sugar would be harder than I first thought. I have since backslided from my commitment made years ago to eliminate sugar. No, I'm not to the point of buying snack cakes, but I haven't been as disciplined with checking the labels of common food for sugar levels.

Well, I'm going back to my no-sugar-eatin' ways. The cause of my turnaround was when I found out that, amoungst many other reasons, sugar can cause spit ends. Yes, split ends! I first read about this in a book on healthy hair and when I thought about it, this made perfect sense.

When I studied the effects of sugar on the body years ago, I learned that because refined sugars are devoid of nutrients, the body actually has to use its own nutrient reserves just to break down the sugar in your system. Hence, the reason why we experience tooth decay when we consume too much sugar. We are using the body's calcium to digest it. Along with calcium, sugar also depletes the body's copper reserves. In fact,a recent study found that rats fed a diet high in sucrose experienced three times the reduction in copper compared to rats who were fed a diet rich in starch.

A deficiency in copper, my friend, is one cause of split ends. Copper, in general, is extremely important for the health of your hair. In fact, according to Hair, copper stimulates the cells that are responsible for the substances that are present during the hair's growth phase. Without an ample copper reserve, you may not experience the same level of growth that you would normally with a balanced diet.

Sugar should be technically thought of as a poison because it actually robs our bodies of essential nutrients leaving behind only empty calories for which your body has no use for. That is like giving someone your car for thousands of dollars only to find out that the money was counterfeit. You gave up something of value and what you are left with is worthless.

Your hair grows directly from inside of you and relies on your nutritional stores for its healthy state. Because we are choosing to relax our hair, we have to make sure that we are growing the healthiest, strongest, hair possible so that it can somewhat withstand the harsh process. Sugar undermines all of our efforts at achieving great health and we must no longer allow this to happen.

Today, I urge you to begin to look a little more closely at the amount of sugar your are consuming on a regular basis (the average American consumes 2-3 pounds a week). Think of sugar not as the sweet confectionery treat but as a dangerous poison. I know how hard it is to eliminate refined sugar from your diet (in fact, its nearly impossible). Instead of going cold turkey, why not try some simple alternatives like fruit juice with no sugar added or a some ripe grapes in lieu of bit sized chocolates. Fruit sugars, unlike refinded sugars, come equipped with enzymes that aid's its degestion. This means that the body uses less of its own nutrients to digest it. Going forward, I want you to be aware of the sugar levels in the foods you eat so you can make conscious daily choices to limit your sugar intake for your health and the health of the beautiful hair of yours.
  1. Thanks for posting! I recently cut out alot of sugar (I used to eat a 1lb. bag of twizzlers and 3 hersheys bars a day :[) but I did it for my teeth and skin. It can effect my hair too? Oh no .. thanks again; love the blog btw!