If you try to trace the incidences of Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer and other lifestyle diseases in countries outside of the United States, you'll notice that you can easily find branches of McDonald's or KFC or other world-renowned fast food chains here and there along with the shift of their grocery stores to selling ready-made and highly processed goods.
People on-the-go purchase highly processed food nowadays, not realizing that they are jeopardizing their health. They are actually shortening their life span in the process of trying to make a living. That, indeed, is the irony of modern life. People should become aware that these highly processed food items contain little of the essential nutrients we need and more of those we don't. And what's worse, they are usually concocted with a very addictive ingredient. This is sugar.
Now, let's take a quick background check on sugar, or "highly processed sugar" to be exact, so we can fully understand why consuming a lot of it could be detrimental to our health.
Sugar or "saccharin" belongs to the macronutrient we keep seeing in fitness articles, "CARBOHYDRATES." Now, you might've already known that not all carbohydrates are created equal. That is true! We can categorize them according to their structure (complex and simple carbohydrates) but when it comes to deciding which is which for optimal health, I'd like to categorize them as "nature's" and "man's" carbohydrates.
Nature's carbs are what I'd usually recommend to patients. These would encompass the veggies, fruits, legumes (which are also high in protein), whole-grains, root crops, and some sweeteners like raw honey, pure maple syrup, coconut syrup, to name a few. By the name itself, "nature's" carbs are the ones that can be found in nature and thus are minimally or not processed at all. The processing involved would either be through drying, or cold-expelling, but the end result would be in a way that you can still identify what it is and where it's from. In these forms, essential nutrients intricately molded by our Creator are intact thus our bodies won't have a hard time trying to figure out what to do with them for the digestion process and in the end we are nourished optimally (but along with our healthy fats, proteins, water, and healthy lifestyle, of course!).
When highly-processed sugar in high amounts repeatedly gets into our body, our body becomes desensitized in processing it. Especially if a sedentary and stressful lifestyle comes along with the consumption. Just as how the boy who cried wolf, our body would be exhausted from the repeated exposure. In effect, we become glucose-intolerant which then leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and the trail goes on if not halted at an earlier stage. But easier said than done, once you're hooked to the effect that sugar gives you (the "high" you need due to the "low" it abruptly gives you after), quitting sugar would be as difficult as quitting illegal drugs, alcohol, or smoking! It tricks your brain so that you'll keep wanting more and more to give you that euphoric experience just as other vices do to you. It becomes a vicious cycle, unless you become aware and you start to change your ways.
It may be difficult but awareness is a big step and from there you can better manage your eating habits as you try to retrace your steps. Begin not by fully eliminating sugar but by introducing healthy or nature's food back into your system. That's how I encourage patients. Through "Positive Eating." You may still have some of your favorite pastries or sorts from time to time but make sure that the bulk of your diet is one of nature's! Nature's food holds so much mystery that it has been used for eons even in treating diseases during ancient times and up to this day. There are still some puzzle pieces that man can't quite figure out when it comes to rationalizing food as medicine. Once you start with small steps towards a healthier you, overtime you will begin to lower your intake of the least healthy goods and be fulfilled with the most healthy ones. Because remember: "Healthy eating is not about restrictions, it's about eating right!"