Sugar gets blamed for weight gain and a variety of diseases. Because of this, many people are starting to severely cut out sugar from their diet. But the truth is, sugar actually is important for your body; not necessarily in its conventional form, like table sugar, high fructose corn syrup or agave nectar, but in more natural versions like honey or those naturally found in fruits. 

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Sugar is your body's favorite source of energy. When you deny your system of sugar for a prolonged period of time, you will initially lose weight and even feel more energetic. But this is the result of a deregulated metabolism. A body devoid of sugar will increase the levels of stress hormones, and when their levels stay high for a long period of time, it will take a toll on your body. You will experience tissue damage, impaired metabolism, and more importantly the functioning of your thyroid glands will be compromised.

Many people are on low carb diets now. But carbohydrates are your body's preferred fuel. They are stored in your liver in the form of glycogen. Because your body can only store a limited amount, it needs to constantly replenish its glycogen quota. Without enough carbs, the stress hormone cortisol gets released. Elevated level of this stress hormone negatively effects your adrenal glands, and lowers the production of T3 hormone.

When secreted in normal amounts, T3 hormones increases your basal metabolic rate, which is the minimal amount of calories required to carry out basic bodily functions in resting individuals. It promotes the breakdown of cholesterol, stimulates lipolysis and protein synthesis. T3 plays a major role on all of our main organs including brain and heart.

But low levels of T3 hormone will impair your metabolism and increase weight. Your digestive health will suffer as well, weakening the process of absorbing nutrients. Even talking a short walk will feel dreadful.

What about fructose? People associate fructose with high fructose corn syrup which they in turn associate with being bad. HFC is man-made; fructose found in natural sources like fruits and honey is not bad. Raw honey has loads of health benefits. It has powerful antiseptic, antioxidant and cleansing attributes that are highly beneficial for our body. Fruits, along with having fructose, are rich in crucial enzymes, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that are absolutely necessary for our well-being.

Fructose only becomes bad when taken in large amount. That kind of over-consumption is almost impossible through fruits. In fact, fruits are fulfilling. They are filled with fiber and some fruits, like apple, take a while to digest, which promotes satiety. It doesn't hit the liver hard or fast like the sweet content of soda does. It is important to note that when I say fruits, I don't mean the ones that are jarred, canned or in the juice form; I mean fresh whole fruits.

So, is sugar bad for you? It can be, but only when taken excessively and in a processed form. Otherwise, sugar is crucial for the optimal functioning of your body. Honey, maple syrup, dates, raisins and fruits are some of the healthiest way to include some sweetness in your diet. Along with the much needed sugar, with these, you get a whole team of crucial vitamins and minerals important for the well-being of your cells and organs.

Image via Thinkstock

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About the author

Ingrid is a holistic health coach, personal trainer, fitness motivator, and wellness author. After finding the key to losing 50 pounds in 90 days, she wants to share how she did it with her free course 9 Simple Secrets I Used to Melt Away 50 Pounds

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