Sugar’s dirty secret

While sugary foods might be delicious (and look great on Instagram), consuming too many can have adverse and dangerous effects on your health, mood, and lifestyle.

Ah: sweet, sweet sugar. From Doughnut Time to freak shakes, we know how much Australia loves you — after all, they’re consuming more than twice as much as recommended by the World Health Organisation. While the white stuff might be delicious (and look great on Instagram), consuming too much can have adverse and dangerous effects on your health, mood, and lifestyle.

A study by the Australian Health Survey discovered that Australians consume the equivalent of 14 teaspoons of white sugar every day, though professionals suggest consumption should only be the equivalent of six teaspoons, if that. Refined sugars like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup can lurk in juices, granola, tomato sauce, processed bread, and yogurt, among more obvious offenders, and can lead to:

Weight Gain

Sugar is full of empty calories (remember, not all calories are created equal), many of which get stored as fat thanks to heightened blood sugar. Sugar can also block the hormones that tell you you’re full so you cave to your cravings that much easier.


There’s a reason you can’t resist the doughnuts your coworker brought to the break room, and it’s not just because they taste good. Sugar can be more addictive than cocaine, releasing dopamine in the pleasure centre of your brain just like addictive drugs.


Insulin is a critical hormone, allowing glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells and alerts the cells to burn glucose instead of fat. However, large quantities of sugar can lead to insulin resistance, which can contribute to a host of diseases from type II diabetes to cardiovascular disease to cancer.

Cognitive Issues

High levels of glucose can impede with learning, memory, and concentration while causing brain fog, mood swings, and inability to cope with stressors. Long-term elevated glucose levels can even impact brain functionality and cause it to shrink.

Liver Stress

Fructose goes to the liver, which can help the liver replenish its glycogen after a workout. More often, the liver already has enough glycogen and the fructose is converted into fat that stays in the liver, building up over time, straining the organ and leading to Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Luckily, there are healthier sugars in fruit and vegetables, which are balanced out by their fibre, vitamins, and enzymes. Here are some of our favourite tricks for satiating your sweet tooth and staying healthy:

  • Instead of dried fruit, choose whole fruits
  • Instead of chips, choose roasted chickpeas
  • Instead of trail mix, choose granola with almond milk (like in our Sunbliss Granola Bowl!)
  • Instead of frozen yogurt, choose a frozen banana
  • Instead of sweeteners, use cinnamon or vanilla

Soulara meals never contain refined sugars or artificial sweeteners and only use unprocessed, natural alternatives when necessary. We know that cutting back on the sweet stuff can have a transformative impact on your body, mind, and life, and our meals are designed to be satisfying, nutritious, and delicious — you won’t remember why you were craving a muffin in the first place.

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Published: 17/07/17

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