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3 Reasons Why Sugar is The Greatest Enemy of Your Bone Health

3 Reasons Why Sugar is The Greatest Enemy of Your Bone Health

Most people are familiar with the ways sugar can harm their health by increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease. It affects behavior and cognition in children. But most of us aren’t familiar with yet another threat sugar poses to our health. It has damaging effect on our bones as well as it erodes cartilage – a tissue that keeps our bones strong. And most of us tend to brace ourselves when it comes to consuming sugar in our daily diet. But how much sugar is too much? And are we safe from bad sugar if we avoid sugary drinks and sweets?

1. Sugar causes calcium depletion

Calcium is a mineral vital to our bones as it helps keep their solid structure. Lack of calcium leads to osteoporosis, or “porous bones” condition. Excessive sugar consumption leads to fast calcium depletion from the body through urine, as studies show.  Also, acidifying feature of sugar leads to the increase in calcium excretion, robbing our bones of their density.

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In order for our bones to rebuild themselves and avoid the risk of osteoporosis, it is essential that we decrease processed sugar consumption and replace it with more natural options such as fructose from fruits.

2. Sugar increases cortisol levels

Cortisol is a hormone in our body that needs to be on optimal level in order for bodily functions to work properly. When cortisol levels increase, it affects our health in many ways. It leads to decreased immunity and abdominal fat, and can seriously harm our bone tissue.

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Most of people are familiar with the role stress plays in increasing cortisol levels, but sugar is highly responsible too. In his study, Dr. Yudkin warned about the detrimental effect sugar has on our health, and showed how it increases cortisol levels in our body. Aside from keeping our stress levels in control, we should also eliminate processed sugar from our diet in order to have optimal level of cortisol and healthy bones.

3. Sugar robs our bones of magnesium

Magnesium is essential for proper bone density. It is important for people suffering from osteoporosis to increase their daily intake of the mineral in order to keep their bones strong. Processed sugar is also responsible for the decrease of magnesium as it requires 54 molecules of magnesium to process one molecule of sugar. As the study published in The Clinical Biochemist Reviews states, refined sugar may reduce magnesium content by almost 85%.

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Even if you avoid eating food that contains a lot of sugar, you might be surprised with how much sugar there is in some types of food we wouldn’t normally expect to find sugar in, such as in many low-fat types of food, where sugar is used to replenish the fat to improve the taste, and many ready-made foods such as:

  • soups and various types of sauces
  • red apples (green apples are a better alternative since they contain less sugar)
  • sports drinks, flavored yogurts, ketchup

It is important to read all the labels carefully to be aware of how much sugar you are actually consuming.

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If you consume too much sugar, try to gradually reduce the intake of sugar to retrain your taste buds to forget the sweet taste. A healthy alternative for replacing sugar can be honey, yet it should be used it in moderation. Other alternatives are stevia, which is a natural sweetener that comes from a plant and has no calories, and molasses, which is a byproduct of sugar processing that comes in many varieties and has many beneficial effects to your health.

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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