Is sugar bad? Well yes and no. The number of people dying from over consumption and the number of yearly diagnosed diabetic patients is becoming an issue. Consuming too much sugar affects our body in different ways:
1. SUGAR MAKES YOUR ORGANS FAT
The fructose—a component of table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup—in added sugars triggers your liver to store fat more efficiently, and in weird places. Over time, a diet high in fructose could lead to globules of fat building up around your liver, a precursor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, something rarely seen before 1980.
TIP: Avoid drinks with lots of added sugars, including healthy-sounding smoothies. You’re better off if the fructose in your diet comes from natural sources like fruit—the fiber helps blunt the sugar shock to your system. Plus, a piece of fruit has way less than a commercial smoothie full of added sugars
2. IT CAN GIVE DIABETES
A study found that for every extra 150 calories from sugar available per person each day, diabetes prevalence rises by 1.1%
TIP: It’s easy to recommend giving up sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, but the truth is that those drinks account for just one-third of your added sugar intake. You have to look further, really honing in on labels. Much of the hidden sugars hide out under your own roof, in unassuming places like ketchup, frozen dinners, beef jerky, and bread. Check out these 16 sneaky sugar sources.
3. IT HAMMERS YOUR HEART
But the reality is that heart disease and diabetes are intricately related: Heart disease and stroke are the number one causes of death among people with type 2 diabetes, accounting for 65% of those deaths.
4. IT CREATES TENSE BLOOD VESSELS
Added sugars cause excess insulin in the bloodstream, which takes its toll on your body’s circulatory highway system, your arteries. Chronic high insulin levels cause the smooth muscle cells around each blood vessel to grow faster than normal. This causes tense artery walls, something that puts you on the path to high blood pressure, and ultimately, makes a stroke or heart attack more likely.
TIP: Don’t be tricked by processed “whole grain” products. To create whole grain flour, wheat kernels are basically pulverized to dust, which, when eaten, causes glucose spikes in our bodies similar to eating table sugar, white flour, or high-fructose corn syrup. “For instance, the kind of whole wheat bread typically used for sandwiches and white
5. IT PROMOTES CHOLESTEROL CHAOS
There is an unsettling connection between sugar and cholesterol. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that, after excluding people with high cholesterol and/or diabetes and people who were highly overweight, those who ate the highest levels of added sugars experienced the biggest spike in bad cholesterol levels and dangerous triglyceride blood fats, and the lowest good (HDL) cholesterol levels. One theory? Sugar overload could spark your liver to churn out more bad cholesterol while also inhibiting your body’s ability to clear it out.
TIP: Eat a protein-rich breakfast. Skipping breakfast makes you 4.5 times more likely to become obese. Eating breakfast also helps keep your blood sugar levels more favorable. An added perk? One study found that when overweight women chose protein-rich eggs over a bagel, they naturally ate about 160 fewer calories during the subsequent lunch.
6. IT LEADS TO TYPE 3 DIABETES
Brown University neuropathologist Suzanne de la Monte, MD, coined the term “type 3 diabetes” after her team was the first to discover the links between insulin resistance, high-fat diets, and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, her work suggests Alzheimer’s is a metabolic disease, one in which the brain’s ability to use glucose and produce energy is damaged. To paraphrase, it’s like having diabetes in the brain.
7. IT TURNS YOU INTO A JUNKIE
Just like any hard drug, sugar tends to stimulate the part of the brain that gives pleasure and once that is stimulated, its hard for it to be curbed just like cocaine and opium.
And just like any street drug, sugar leaves people craving and thus, cant do without it. In rat experiments, when rats are given alot of sugar to consume, they start to shake, their teeth start to shatter and they feel anxious when the sugar is taken away from them.
TIP: The Health Bro advises you to take a sugar fast. At least a week to try curbing the taste buds and also eliminating the craving
8. IT MAKES YOU HUNGRY
Sugar turns you into a ravenous animal.Research shows that consuming too much sugar messes with the brain activity that tells you that you are full. Carrying a few extra pounds and living with type 2 diabetes can throw off your body’s ability to properly put off leptin hormones; leptin’s job is to say, “I’m full! Now stop eating!” Fructose also appears to play badly with leptin; eating a high-fructose diet means your body feels hungry, even when you’re overeating.
TIP: Eat organic chocolate instead of regular chocolate. Also try to break down your food into 6 instead of the 3 (breakfast, lunch, supper). Lastly walk for 15 minutes before you eat.
9. YOU LOSE YOUR ENERGY LEVEL
Every sugar lover knows this feeling; you eat a bar of chocolate and all of a sudden, you get this rush of strength and power. Then suddenly you get tired. Science shows that eating sugar raises your energy level to 30 minutes and drops it drastically by 70%. To add salt to the injury, one feels sleepy afterwards.
TIP: There are foods with hidden sugar at a low level. Try those like bread, waffles, pancakes and oats.
10. IT TURNS YOUR SMILE UPSIDE DOWN
It’s true eating sweets makes you happy but consuming too much of it opens yourself up for depression. A research was mase on 900 people to see the link between eating sugar and depression. After six years, 60% of these people started displaying mood swings and started having suicidal thoughts. It was concluded that consuming too much sugar tends to lower your dopamine level
TIP: Truth be told, no one can stop you from consuming it. But the best we at The Health Bro can do is to advise you to lower your sugar consumption. If you are into desserts, try substituting it for fruits or low-sugar desserts
Also you can curb your levels with trail mix, which is also vital is losing weight.
Author: Akwesi Osei
An avid reader and writer who has written articles for HypeNationGh, LoudsoundGh and akwesiosei.wordpress.com.
Currently the blogger and owner of The Health Bro