10 Health Risks of Eating too Much Sugar

10 Health Risks of Eating too much Sugar.

I've talked about the health risks of consuming too much sugar before, but I think this is such an important topic that it warrants being addressed often.  Sugar is probably the number one thing that leads to poor health, a failing body and disease. Its effects on the body are substantial. Hopefully, by reading today's blog, you will be much more mindful of what you are putting into your body. Since the topic of sugar is so broad, I'm going to break it down into several categories and do separate blogs on each: Health risks, names of sugar, hidden sugars and how to break sugar addiction. Today, let's address the many harmful side effects of consuming too much sugar. Here are 10 reasons to eliminate sugar from your Diet.

1. Added Sugar Contains No Essential Nutrients and is Bad For Your Teeth

You've probably heard this a million times before... but it's worth repeating. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. For this reason, they are called "empty" calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar... just pure energy. When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar (or more), this can become a major problem for one's overall health  and can contribute to nutrient deficiencies. Similarly, Sugar provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth. This leads to tooth decay and bad breath etc.

2. Sugar Can Cause Insulin Resistance, a Stepping Stone towards  Diabetes

Insulin resistance and the incidence of type 2 diabetes are on the rise.

Dietary choices are implicated in increasing risk, but sometimes it is hard to know where to look when seeking advice on what to eat as both Saturated Fat and Sugar are leading causes of insulin resistance. Sugar is one one of the biggest culprits when it come to insulin resistance.

So, just what does insulin do in our body anyway? Let’s take a look.

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).

The cells in your body need sugar for energy. However, sugar cannot go into most of your cells directly. After you eat food and your blood sugar level rises, cells in your pancreas (known as beta cells) are signaled to release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin then attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is often described as a “key,” which unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy.

When your body become resistant to insulin,  muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. ... Beta cells within the islets make insulin and release it into the blood.

The bottom line: Reduce your consumption of sugar, and allow your pancreas to make normal levels of insulin.

3. Sugar Causes 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.

4.  Sugar is a Leading Contributor to Obesity in Both Children and Adults

This probably isn’t news to you, but for most people,  the more sugar you eat, the more you’ll weigh. Research shows that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages tend to weigh more -- and be at higher risk for type 2 diabetes -- than those who don’t. One study even found that people who increased their sugar intake gained about 1.7 pounds in less than 2 months. Since  the calories from sugar aren't as filling, this can translate into an increased calorie intake which can lead to weight gain.

Likewise, The way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster. Sugar, especially Fructose, does not trigger the production of ghrelin,  the hunger hormone. Its job is to tell you you've eaten and that you are no longer hungry. More sugar in means decreased satiety... and increases overeating. One of the most important things you can do if you need to lose weight is to significantly cut back on sugar consumption.

5. Because it Causes Massive Dopamine Release in The Brain, Sugar is Highly Addictive

Eating sugar gives your brain a huge surge of a feel-good chemical called dopamine, which explains why you’re more likely to crave a candy bar at 3 p.m. than an apple or a carrot. Because whole foods like fruits and veggies don’t cause the brain to release as much dopamine, your brain starts to need more and more sugar to get that same feeling of pleasure. Just like a drug addict keeps wanting more, people who consume sugar, will just keep craving more sugar.  The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release... much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature. For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to sugar and other junk foods. While they make you feel good in the moment, the side effects can cause serious harm.

Normally, I would say  "everything in moderation" to the average person on a get healthy journey, but  for a sugar addict, the best course of action is abstinence.

6. Sugar can affect your Mood

The occasional candy or cookie can give you a quick burst of energy (or “sugar high”) by raising your blood sugar levels fast. When your levels drop as your cells absorb the sugar, you may feel jittery and anxious (a.k.a. the dreaded “sugar crash”). An occasional candy bar isn't going to harm you, but if you’re reaching into the candy jar too often, sugar starts to have an effect on your mood beyond that 3p.m. slump: Studies have linked a high sugar intake to a greater risk of depression in adults.

7. Sugar increases inflammation which will cause pain in your Joints.

If you have joint pain, here’s more reason to lay off the candy: Eating lots of sweets has been shown to worsen joint pain because of the inflammation they cause in the body. Plus, studies show that sugar consumption can increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

8. Sugar makes you age faster

Another side effect of inflammation: It may make your skin age faster. Sugar attaches to proteins in your bloodstream and creates harmful molecules called “AGEs,” or advanced glycation end products. These molecules do exactly what they sound like they do: age your skin. They have been shown to damage collagen and elastin in your skin -- protein fibers that keep your skin firm and youthful. The result? Wrinkles and saggy skin. Do you want younger looking skin? Eat less sugar!!!!

9. Consuming too much  Sugar Raises Your Cholesterol and can Cause Heart Disease

For many decades, people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease... which is the #1 killer in the world. However... new studies are showing that its not saturated fat but sugar consumption which is  one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism.

When you eat excess sugar, the extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries, part of your body’s circulatory system. It causes their walls to grow faster than normal and get tense, which adds stress to your heart and damages it over time. This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Research also suggests that eating less sugar can help lower blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. Plus, people who eat a lot of added sugar (where at least 25% of their calories comes from added sugar) are twice as likely to die of heart disease as those whose diets include less than 10% of total calories from added sugar.

10. Sugar can affect Your Sexual Health

You may want to skip the dessert on date night: Sugar may impact the chain of events needed for an erection. One common side effect of chronically high levels of sugar in the bloodstream is that it can make men impotent. This is because it affects your circulatory system, which controls the blood flow throughout your body and needs to be working properly to get and keep an erection.

Do YOU have any of the above symptoms/side effects? If so, work on gradually eliminating sugar and I promise you will see an improvement in your overall health. You can’t put a price tag on feeling good, and eliminating sugar from your diet is sure to help improve your vitality.

Be sure to watch for more blogs on sugar in the coming weeks. Here’s to helping the body you live in!

Xoxo Ruth


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