We all know that processed sugar is bad for us, but the reality of the damage it does and the effect it has on our productivity, is sadly a lesser known fact. The nutritional value is zero, it is addictive, it sucks the life out of us, literally, by stealing vitamins and minerals from us and there is an insane amount of research directing us to the fact that sugar is highly linked to diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and tooth decay. So why, ever knowing what we know do we persist on bingeing, particularly in the afternoon on rubbish? Well it tastes delicious, w get addicted and to be honest, it is very, very hard to avoid. It is in so many every day foods, you would be shocked: white bread, pasta, cereal, crafted coffees, juice, jarred sauces, pretty much every ready meal, easy cooking option you will find.
In the UK, adults are advised by the NHS to not to eat more than 30g of refined sugar a day. The World Health Organisation says even those allowances are too high and suggests both men and women should eat 25g or less each day.
If you find yourself slumping and struggling with energy levels, you usually grab a bar of chocolate, but that’s where your problem lies.
Here are five reasons you should avoid it altogether.
Your brain works best, when blood sugar is consistent which in turns gives a more productive day with no slumps. Refined sugar forces your liver and pancreas work so much faster which in turn can damage them, A LOT.
- No sleep? Blame sugar!
One of the most underestimated yet important activities we need to do, is sleep. It gives our brain a rest, our body a rest and when we sleep, it flushes all the toxins out our brain as well as engaging in data analysis to increase brain power for problem solving however you need to fuel your body to sleep well and if we are full of empty calories and refined sugar, that won’t happen. No matter how tired you are.
- If you’re happy and you know it…you are probably avoiding the sugar
So we know it has a negative effect on weight and physical health in general but the effect on your brain is just as bad. Having your blood sugar levels go up and down creates crashes in your mood and your mental health, this can eventually create a regular problem that needs addressed. One popular theory for this is that sugar suppresses activity of a hormone called BDNF which is low in individuals with depression and schizophrenia.
Snacking on sugar does not fill you up, it is empty calories, as mentioned above that gives you a very brief relief but you then want more and more and more. Instead make sure you are getting your three meals a day and have healthy and filling snacks to hand. Also, if you fill up on good food, you are less likely to think about the sugary stuff and hunger pangs won’t distract your work.
Mid morning/afternoon crash an oh so familiar daily happening? That’ll be the hypoglycaemia and it is when your blood sugar hits the ground, basically it is the crash after a sugar high. Sugar makes us sluggish and makes a horrible dent in energy and concentration. Switch the sugar for protein and you will have less crashes and more energy increasing productivity throughout the day.