Who wakes up refreshed and sails through a balanced day? No mood swings, no racing thoughts, no biting anxieties—only crystal clarity. Some of us are lucky enough to experience sporadic stretches of well-being, but it’s an ongoing struggle. A monster waits right around the corner, ready to pounce at the first whiff of weakness. We relapse. We beat ourselves up. A new cycle begins.
What if we understood how this monster operates? What if we knew what it wanted? Would we banish it from our systems once and for all?
While many factors contribute to a balanced body, our food choices are detrimental. The things we choose to ingest advise our brains and bodies on how to think, feel, and act. One of the most powerful leaders in the food kingdom is named Sugar. She often shows herself off in the form of different fruits. She’s good for us, sweet, delicious. All natural. She provides us with vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes. She protects the brain. She nourishes the body.
A group of humans observed her power and saw it as an opportunity to create sugars of their own: refined and added, designed to trick the brain. Let’s call them sugar posers. It was a genius move on their part. Any industry rooted in an ongoing cycle of dependence is guaranteed massive amounts of financial gain.
They go by many names and hide in much of what we eat. Sweets like candy, cookies, and doughnuts are no-brainers. But we’re dealing with ninjas who weasel their way into things like ketchup, cereal, protein bars, salad dressings, even dried fruit. A few to watch out for: dextrose, fructose, sucrose, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup. Even agave nectar (WATCH OUT FOR THIS ONE!), organic cane juice, and brown sugar qualify—sugars we’ve been conditioned to believe are healthy and natural.
Sugar posers were born with one mission: to get you hooked on them instead. These little devils infiltrate our brains, hijack our reward systems, drive us wild with cravings, and create constant ripples of destruction. Memory problems? Emotional turmoil? Foggy thoughts? These problems often trace back to them. They are masters. They stop at nothing.
Recent studies show that refined sugars mess with our dopamine receptors and neurotransmitters. These are the homies that make us feel happy. It takes work for them to make us feel good, and, like anything, they need rest to operate at their best. When we consume too much refined sugar, we enslave them into trying to crank us with constant happiness. They give it their best at first. They gift us with a sugar high. We get to be cracked out for a few fleeting moments and then it’s as if we’ve been hit by a bus. We don’t want to feel low, we want to feel high. So we crave it. This is how we burn dopamine/neurotransmitter homies out. We treat them like a sweatshop. They can’t meet our demands. They stop generating the natural amount of dopamine we need. The cycle intensifies and we consume more sugar to feel normal. We sink lower and lower. We turn into shells of what we once were. Enter: depression. Long term? Mood swings. Chronic fatigue.
And it goes beyond the brain. Refined and added sugars attack the entire body. They’re proven to increase inflammation and deplete our white blood cell count. White blood cells fight infection, and without them, we’re a walking target for complex changes to our metabolism, hormones (insulin resistance = diabetes 2), and immune system.
When these sugars knock our adrenal glands off balance, cortisol is released in an effort to maintain an equilibrium and make our body even out. This psychologically registers as feeling scared, fed up, or irritated. Our textbook reaction is to comfort ourselves by eating more sugar, but this only aggravates our growing stress, which continues to deplete our immune system.
When are bodies become stressed and aggravated, they develop chronic inflammation, another key factor in diabetes (and also in dementia). They also undergo oxidative stress, the major contributor to almost every degenerative/chronic disease.
Not to mention, refined and added sugars make you fat. Especially in the stomach area. This links back to all the pesky hormonal changes your body undertakes as it attempts to cope.
And for all the men out there—it brings trouble to the bedroom. It interferes with the circulatory system blocking blood flow… and the ability to get an erection. Yikes.
Stick to the produce aisle, where the real deal flourishes. Compare the effects of these two healthy alternatives (healthy, natural fruit options are not limited to these two fruits) to their havoc-wreaking masquerading counterparts:
Mango boosts the immune system, promotes healthy bacteria in the gut, enhances sex drive, aids in digestion and weight loss, repairs the skin, is safe for diabetics, alkalizes the body, and improves eye health. It also contains vitamin B6, known for producing the neurotransmitters needed for solid cognitive function.
Papaya is a unique fruit in that it contains lycopene which has been linked to reducing a risk of cancer, improves heart health, fights inflammation, protects against skin damage and signs of aging and reduces stress.
Basically, these fruits naturally possess the abilities to counteract the war we wage on our bodies by feeding them pointless poser sugars. Imagine the condition of our personal health if we never battled with the temptation of the compromising sugars in the first place? How many diseases and unfavorable brain states could we naturally eliminate?
Bottom line: if it don’t grow from the Earth, don’t eat it.