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Sugar, Harmless Friend or Deadly Foe?

The holiday seasons are rapidly approaching. From fall festivals in October, to Thanksgiving in November, Christmas in December and of course New Years in January. What do all of these holidays have in common—sweet sugary treats like chocolate, cookies, cakes, pies, fudge—–Oh MY!! But is it really good for you to gorge yourself in these sweet sugary treats? Is sugar really a harmless friend or is it a deadly foe?

SugarImagine waking up on Thanksgiving morning and your eleven (11) year old daughter ask if she can sprinkle cocaine on her cinnamon apple crisp. What would be your response! Sure honey! I think not! No parent in their right mind would give their child cocaine. Why? Because it’s addictive and damages the brain. But sugar is harmless isn’t it? Not necessarily. Do you realize that the food manufacturers ensure that we eat more sugar?

According to Dr. Robert Lusting, Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco there are 600,000 food items in America and 80% of them contain sugar. And what exactly is sugar? Whether it is the white sweets you bake with, or the brown sweets you sprinkle on your oatmeal, or honey, or molasses or syrup or high fructose corn syrup, chemically it’s all pretty much the same. Sugar is sugar! Did you know that the average American consumes between 150 to 170 pounds of refined sugars in a year? Imagine 30 to 34, five pound bag of sugars, stacked on your kitchen counter-top. Now imagine your family or you eating that much sugar. Something to think about! (Source: Jennifer Regan and Bamboo Core Fitness)

And check this out. According to a 2012 article in the Journal Nature, sugar is a toxic substance that should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol. Really? Researchers point to studies that show that too much sugar (both in the form of natural sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup) not only makes us fat, it also impairs brain function (frontal lobe), wreaks havoc on our liver, mucks up our metabolism, and may leave us open to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer! And there’s more!

Sugar is now being linked to affecting the brain and neurological diseases like:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Mood Disorders

Brain compareConsider this. On the left is your brain on sugar. On the right is your brain on cocaine. Notice any similarities or differences. Bottom line. Your brain lights up with sugar just as it does with cocaine and heroin.

So, next time when you are tempted to reach for that sugary sweet treat remember your brain, especially the frontal lobe. This part of your brain distinguishes you from the animals. This is where perception, reasoning, judgment, deciphering between right and wrong, worrying, analysis, and all the higher powers of your mind takes place. And most importantly, it is in this area of the brain where God communicates with you.

Now that you have some knowledge on this issue, what will you do? Well the decision is yours. But listen to the wisdom of God found in Proverbs 25:16. “Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it.” Beloved, I challenge you to eat to live and not live to eat. God has given us precious promises and one that touches my heart is found in 3 John 1:2. This promise is also for you. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

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