As we head into cold and flu season, this is a topic that I'm deeply passionate about: Sugar and its impact on our immune system.
Last year I came across a research study that showed that when sugar is consumed, the immune system is weakened by 50% for up to 5 hours after consumption. We know sugar is at best void of nutrients but there is new research coming out that shows that sugar is actually harmful to your body and linked with multiple diseases. Also increasing evidence shows that simple carbohydrates (think bread and pasta) break down like sugar in your body and can possibly contribute to a weakened immune system as well.
See: Sanchez, A et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1973; 26:1180-1184.
I decided to cut sugar out of our diet completely and see what affect it had on our immune systems. It's just anecdotal evidence, but I've been so thankful that I've not had a cold in two years and my kids average one cold/year instead of 4-6 or any time anyone around them came around them with the sniffles.
The risk of social sugar consumption
The other thing to consider is that when and where you eat sugar can be critical if you are to believe the evidence in this study. If you are eating sugar at a party or a friend's house, you are exposed to more germs and your immune system is weakened for hours after consuming that piece of cake or cookie or ice cream or even sugar in BBQ sauce, pop, salad dressing -- all the hidden forms of sugar out there. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. Think twice before you consume sugar in public places or consume it at all.
Take a look at the research for yourself
A researcher that I follow outlines a healthy approach to diet and lifestyle that helps to boost your immune system. She's pretty amazing in that she is a medical biophysicist and she has a post doctorate in cell biology and she also used a natural approach to healing to reverse chronic disease. But with all that, she makes complicated research accessible for those of us who are just trying to make sense of a healthy lifestyle. Take a look at this article complete with references to research.
Need help eliminating sugar from your life?
Cutting sugar out can be quite challenging - reach out to me for help! I've got lots of tricks to share to make it less challenging and more enjoyable.
If you think you don't consume sugar but you are not sure if you have sugar creeping up in sneaky places, let me know and I'll give you a free 15 minute sugar assessment to let you know if you are indeed living a sugar-free life! 🙂
PS: A dear friend of mine inspired this post as she is headed back to work as a high school teacher and was wondering about all of the natural health things she can do to protect her body from the inside out.
Posted September 4, 2020