All too often we can look at the habits of other people and recognize that ours is a society of convenience. We look for something quick and easy to cook, perhaps something quick and easy to snack on. We live in a society where sugars seem to be added to everything and where candies, sodas and juices, which contain added syrups and sugars, line the shelves of every grocery store, market, and convenience store.
Most of us don’t stop to think about what these types of sugars, when eaten regularly, can do to our bodies. There are many reasons to cut back on our sugar intake, and here are a few of them.
1. Very high in calories.
This can lead to weight gain when sugar is eaten too often and your workout regimen doesn’t increase to offset the amount of sugar you are consuming.
2. Can cause diabetes and cholesterol.
Blood sugar levels are adjusted by insulin from the pancreas. If you are diabetic, eating too much sugar will not only increase your blood sugar levels if you don’t take enough insulin to adjust for it, but it will also increase your cholesterol levels. This increase in cholesterol levels can lead to an increased risk for heart disease.
3. Promotes tooth decay.
What this means is that by eating an increased amount of sugars, especially if you are doing so on a regular basis, you increase your risk for cavities and other teeth related issues.
4. Absolutely no nutritional value.
It means is that while you are eating sugary products and perhaps getting full faster, you are consuming more calories and will get hungry again a lot sooner than if you ate something that had a good nutritional value.
5. Increases your risk of getting sick.
Sugar provides a very easily digestible food source for bad bacteria that are normally fought off by your immune system. By increasing your sugar intake, you are essentially increasing the amount of food that these bacteria can eat. The end result is that you increase your risk of getting sick and having to miss work to deal with cold or other (sometimes worse) illness.
6. Leads to a fatty liver.
Our bodies break sugar down into two forms before they get processed by the liver. The two forms of sugar are glucose and fructose. Glucose is a necessary sugar that the liver processes into energy. If we don’t get glucose from our diet, our body will naturally produce it. Our bodies don’t actually need fructose.
When it is processed by the liver, it will be turned into glycogen and stored for use later. If the liver is full, which is much more common, the sugar gets turned into fat and stored. If this happens too often, you are at an increased risk of developing a fatty liver and developing other major health risks as well.
7. Can cause your body to develop insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is one of the two major leading causes of type 2 diabetes. There is no medical cure for diabetes and if this happens, you would end up spending the rest of your life having to take insulin shots regularly in order to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
8. May cause cancer.
Insulin can help regulate the growth and reproduction of cells. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells. Scientists believe that having an increased insulin level in your blood (which is caused by eating too much sugar) could detour insulin from other areas of your body where it would control this growth and multiplication of cells. The end result is an increased risk for all kinds of cancer.
9. A highly addictive substance
When we eat sugar, it results in a major release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the same chemical that gets released when an addict gets their hit or drink of whatever they are addicted to. Basically, what this hormone does is provides a ‘feel good’ effect that makes us feel like we are doing something that is good for us. The end result is that we can get addicted to that ‘feel good’ feeling and as a result, get addicted to the substance or substances that help to cause it.
10. A Major Cause of Obesity
Statistically, people who eat high amounts of sugar on a regular basis are the people who are at the highest risk for becoming obese. We live in a society where physical exercise is far less common than it once was, and because sugars get stored as fat not only in the liver but also in the body, when we don’t exercise enough to offset the rate at which these fats are getting stored, we continue to gain weight. Eventually, this results in becoming obese unless we take actions to reverse the effect of our decisions.
11. Can cause heart diseases
Recent studies have shown that saturated fat may not have anything at all to do with cholesterol levels or causing heart disease. Evidence is beginning to show that sugars may play a massive role in causing these kinds of problems. One study in particular, has shown that fructose increases cholesterol levels, specifically the very, very, very bad kind of cholesterol.
This combined with several other studies show evidence that eating too many sugars can result in heart disease and a massive increase in cholesterol levels that can lead to health problems like heart attacks, strokes, and other related issues.
12. Puts Your Kidneys at Risk
An increased intake in fructose can increase you uric acid levels. This increase is extremely important because it is an indicator of kidney disease. In fact, the impact of sugar upon your uric acid is so important that some doctors have started to use it as a gauge for what they have started referring to as ‘fructose toxicity’.
We all love sugar… It has become such a regular part of our diet that most of us don’t even stop to question whether or not it is good for us and whether or not it is harmful to our bodies. We simply eat it and enjoy eating it. Maybe in the future, we will find a way to remove it from all of our processed foods so that we can still enjoy them but not risk our health. For now, we just have to learn to be careful about how much sugar we eat and where we are getting it from.