Let’s open a new chapter about food and nutrients. Starting off by talking about… Sugar! Sugar is for me, the starting point in this new section. As a lot of you know, Sugar is bad for your metabolism, health and body.
However, some of you don’t see or know yet that Sugar may be the first health ennemy of our century.
As I like to call it, Sugar is the new plague of our times. It causes a lot of health problems and yet, the Sugar industry is everywhere: processed food, prepared food, fast food, drinks (alcohols, juices, waters, energy drinks), junk food.
World Sugar consumption:
Since the 1960’s, there has been an explosion in the consumption of Sugar worldwide. Worlwide consumption has increased from 50 million tons per year in 1960 to exceed 150 million tons in 2007.
The explosion in the consumption of Sugar worldwide doesn’t seem to slow down. Even though the production of Sugar has slowed down in the last years, it’s consumption has continued to increase. Levels of Sugar consumption have exploded, exceeding more than 170 million tones per year since 2014.
Sugar is highly addictive:
Yes you have heard it right. Sugar can be super addictive for a lot of people. I already noticed it personally, maybe you too ?
Like abusive drugs, Sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain.
The problem with Sugar and many junk food is that they can cause massive dopamine release.. For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to Sugar and other substances.
What about the nutrients and the effect of sugar on your teeth?
As you might already know sugar is obtained from Sugar beets through a lot of mechanical and chemical processes.
Added Sugars contain a whole bunch of calories, with NO essential nutrients.
There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar… just 100% pure energy.
Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth. If you have tooth decays, this may contribute in playing a major role.
The Fructose and its effects:
In order to understand what is so bad about Sugar, you need to understand what it is made of.
Before Sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple Sugars… glucose and fructose.
Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from our food intake, our bodies can produce some.
Fructose, the sugar found in fruits and honey, is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any way and there is no physiological need for it.
The thing with Fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts.
This is not a problem if we eat a little bit (such as from a fruit) or after an exercise session. In this case, the Fructose will be turned into Glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it.
However, if the liver is full of Glycogen (much more common), eating a lot of Fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the Fructose into fat.
Therefore, repeatedly eating large amounts of Sugar, can lead to fatty liver and all sorts of serious problems.
Insulin Resistance, a Stepping Stone Towards Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes:
Insulin is a very important hormone in the body.
It regulates the Sugar level in the blood (makes it lower).
Insulin allows Glucose (blood Sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning Glucose instead of fat.
Having too much Glucose in the blood is highly toxic and one of the reasons for diabetes complications.
Type II Diabetes:
When our cells become resistant to the effects of Insulin, the beta cells in our pancreas make more of it.
This is crucial, because chronically elevated blood sugars can cause severe harm.
Eventually, as Insulin resistance becomes progressively worse, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand of producing enough Insulin to keep blood Sugar levels down.
Given that Sugar can cause Insulin resistance, it is not surprising to see that people who drink Sugar-sweetened beverages have up to an 83% higher risk of Type II diabetes.
Sugar Can Give You Cancer:
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells.
Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth.
For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated Insulin levels (a consequence of Sugar consumption) can contribute to cancer.
In addition, the metabolic problems associated with Sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer.
Multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of Sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer.
Leading Contributor to Obesity:
The way Sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster.
It leads to decreased satiety… and can get people addicted so that they lose control over their consumption.
Not surprisingly, people who consume the most Sugar are by far the most likely to become overweight or obese. This applies to all age groups.
Many studies have examined the link between Sugar consumption and obesity and found a strong statistical association.
The link is especially strong in children, where each daily serving of Sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a whopping 60% increased risk of obesity.
Rises your Cholesterol and Gives You Heart Disease:
For many decades, people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease…
However… new studies are showing that saturated fat is harmless.
The evidence is mounting that Sugar, NOT fat, may be one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of Fructose on metabolism.
Studies show that large amounts of Fructose can raise very bad toxics in your body, raise blood Glucose and Insulin levels and increase abdominal obesity…
These are all major risk factors for heart disease.
To conclude: A lifestyle, with an important Sugar intake can lead you to health problems, which may cause and lead to other health problems. I would say, as a Domino effect.
Even though, a small pleasure once in a while, can’t be harmful ! 😉
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See you soon for another article, your healthful blogger in sports.