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One of the more obvious way that sugar is ruining your health is its contribution to obesity. Sugar breaks down into glucose and fructose when it enters the body. While glucose is important and can be used for energy, fructose is not naturally produced and, therefore, not processed well by our bodies. Most of it gets metabolized by the liver where it gets turned into fat.
Further, fructose can lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone that tells our bodies that it has stored enough fat and that we don’t need to eat anymore. However, if our brains are resistant to this hormone, they don’t recognize that we have enough fat stores and we continue to be hungry. Add to this the fact that fructose does not induce satiety then you not only eat more because your body doesn’t recognize you’ve had enough but you eat more at each meal because it takes longer to feel full.
While sugar does not directly cause diabetes, under the conditions mentioned above regarding obesity, diabetes is areal concern. Fructose can cause insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that regulates our metabolism and tells our peripheral cells, like muscle cells, to put transporters for glucose on their surfaces so it can be used.
Excess glucose can be toxic. If our bodies become resistant to insulin, the pancreas continues making it until it reaches extremely high levels. This can lead to the entire system breaking down leading to type II diabetes.
3. Stomach Issues
Because fructose is not easily absorbed by the body, excess fructose ferments in the colon. This causes the release of gasses which lead to pain, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea.
4. Tooth Decay
Sugar attracts bad bacteria that feed on it. If it is not washed away by saliva or by brushing your teeth the pH balance of your mouth is lowered leading to a more acidic environment. The acidity can dissolve minerals and destroy your tooth’s enamel causing small holes that can eventually grow larger as cavities. If you insist on consuming large amounts of sugar make sure that you wash your mouth out frequently.
Glucose levels in your body are a major factor in headaches that result from sugar. When glucose levels rise and drop rapidly headaches can occur. This also goes back to insulin being able to regulate the glucose in your body which can’t happen if you have become insulin resistant.
It’s no secret that food can have a great effect on your emotions. You may feel happy and content after a delicious meal or grumpy and irritated when you a haven’t had enough to eat. Eating too much sugar has been shown to increase your risk for mood disorders like depression. It has been linked to inflammation which is already linked to depression and, obviously, when you don’t feel well due to obesity, insulin resistance, and the like, you are at a greater risk for depression as well.
7. Suppresses the Immune System
Every time you have a big dose of sugar, your immune system’s ability to respond to infections and other challenges is suppressed for a few hours. Therefore, if you eat large doses of sugar multiple times a day, you have effectively shut down your immune system for extended periods of time putting you at risk for infections.
8. Yeast Infections
The amount of sugar you ingest can assist in the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albincans. This overgrowth is essentially what a yeast infection is. First, as mentioned above, large doses of sugar can suppress the immune system creating an environment fit for bad bacteria. On top of that, the excess sugar that runs through your blood stream ends up being a perfect meal for the bacteria leading to an overgrowth.
9. Loss of Tissue Elasticity/Function and Collagen
Collagen is a protein and it makes up the connective tissue in your skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage. It is greatly responsible for the elasticity of your skin and a breakdown of collagen causes your skin to not bounce back after being stretched which can lead to an increase in the signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin.
Fructose speeds up the process of glycation which is a reaction of sugar and proteins. This reaction contributes to the normal aging process and some issues related to diabetes. Further, it increases the amount of stable bonds within and between collagen molecules which negatively affect the elasticity and softness of the skin.
10. It is Addictive
Sugar causes a release of opiates and dopamine in the reward center of the brain. This is the same release caused by drugs like cocaine and nicotine. You can easily become addicted to the pleasure sugar brings making it very hard to quit. The best course of action is to quit it altogether to give your body and brain time to reset.
These are just a few of the ways sugar is ruining your health. If you research it a little further, you will find many other symptoms and ailments caused by ingesting too much sugar on a regular basis. One of the best things you can do for your health is go through a sugar detox and then limit your consumption.
Commit to going 30 days with no sugar or, if you are the type that needs to take it slow, commit to slowly phasing sugar out starting with abandoning processed sugary foods and drinks and then slowly reducing the amount of sugar you add to your own homemade foods and drinks. Amazing things can happen to your mind and body once you do.