There’s no doubt that Aussie’s consume a lot of sugar. Sugar can come in a variety of forms with the main types being glucose, fructose or a combination of the two, (i.e. sucrose) and are all metabolised differently in the body. When trying to decide which sugars to avoid, there’s a couple of things you should consider:
- Type of sugar
- Glycemic index
- Quantity of use
Now we know that sounds a little intense, but don’t worry, we’re here to break it down for you. Basically, if the sugar is eaten in its natural form, like it is in fresh fruits and veggies, it’s probably not going to be a huge problem. The nutrients, fibre and natural sugars will be utilised by the body and satiety will prevent overconsumption. However, if the sugars are added to foods with few nutrients and little to no fibre, blood sugar will spike, the liver will struggle to metabolise the fructose portion, satiety will not occur through disruption of hormones such as leptin and the kidneys will be put under stress. All of these factors will encourage over-eating while simultaneously leaving the body and brain undernourished. Yikes!
In honour of World Kidney Day on March 14, we’ve had a look at how high-sugar diets can harm our kidneys. There’s also a cheeky detox juice recipe below to help soothe our often over-worked kidneys. They can always use a little extra love!
The impact of sugar on our kidneys
Our kidneys are critical detoxification organs. They assist with a number of fundamental bodily processes that include removing waste, balancing body fluids and creating urine.
There are a number of lifestyle and dietary factors that impact our kidneys, from eating too many salty and processed foods to dehydration and binge drinking. Another secret kidney-hater is sugar. Too much sugar can lead to a myriad of health conditions, like obesity and diabetes, which are two of the main contributing factors in kidney disease.
How to avoid sugar?
You’d be surprised at how much sugar is in pre-packaged foods. We all know that lollies and chocolate are a no-go if you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake, but did you know that there can be just as much sugar in so called ‘health’ foods? Be wary of sugar lurking in your bread, salad dressings, yoghurt, muesli, juice, dairy free milks, sushi… the list could go on for days. The best way to limit sugar consumption is to prepare your own food so you know exactly what is going in. Alternatively, it is a good habit to read food labels to check for any harmful additives.
Another key culprit for overconsumption of sugar is without doubt, soft drinks. Sugar is highly addictive which makes it hard to break the cycle if soft drinks are a part of your every day ritual. We can certainly help you here! Nexba drinks are always Naturally Sugar Free, which means they contain no sugar or artificial ingredients. Our team of experts have spent years in innovation matching the natural sugar curve to bring you sugar free beverages that don’t compromise on taste.
Soothe your kidneys with our detoxifying probiotic juice
If you’re looking for a way to soothe and support your kidneys, there are a number of nourishing foods that can do just that.
First and foremost, it is very important for kidney health that you are drinking enough water. Aim for at least 8 glasses per day, or more throughout the warmer months, during exercise and/or when drinking dehydrating substances such as tea and coffee.
Detoxifying beetroot, lemon and ginger juice recipe
- 2 green apples, cored
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 red beetroot
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root (add more to taste)
- 1/2 cup Nexba Kombucha
- Juice all ingredients (except Nexba Kombucha).
- Transfer to jug and mix through Nexba Kombucha.
- Serve on ice and garnish with mint.
Why these ingredients?
Apple: Apples are high in fibre which can prevent constipation. They are also high in anti-inflammatory compounds and are a good source of pectin which helps to lower cholesterol.
Lemon: Lemon helps to prevent kidney stones and are known to assist with detoxification.
Beetroot: Some studies suggest that beetroot (both in the form of whole food and supplementation) can be used to prevent kidney failure. NOTE: If you are susceptible to kidney stones, over consumption of beetroot (including beet greens) can be harmful. Consult your health care practitioner if you have experienced kidney stones.
Ginger: Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant spice that assists kidneys to function optimally.
*The 3 main types of sugar:
- Glucose: Metabolised in all cells and converted to energy. Glucose requires insulin for transport into cells.
- Fructose: Metabolised in the liver. Does not require insulin for metabolisation.
- Sucrose: 50% glucose + 50% fructose