Negative health effects of sugar – Is it an addiction?
Growing up, we’re always told that sugar is bad but everybody seems to take it with a pinch of salt.
The main reason for this is that there are no ‘immediate’ ill effects of sugar – you get the sweet taste of the food and that’s it!
Surely it can’t be that bad, right?
Well, there are actually a ton of negative health effects which it can have on the body.
It’s the worst ingredient you can possibly include in your diet.
In this article, I’m going to explain some of the negative health effects of sugar, and I’d definitely recommend you bear them in mind the next time you head to the cupboard or fridge in search of some short-term tastebud pleasure.
Sugar will pile on the pounds
There is a direct correlation between sugar and weight gain, with it now being the number one cause of obesity in children.
This can lead to type 2 diabetes further down the road, along with various cardiovascular diseases.
People who eat sugar almost always end up eating more calories than they need, primarily due to the fact that sugar doesn’t fill you up.
It gives you a short-term satisfaction, before fading away and leaving you wanting more.
This brings me to my next point…
Sugar is addictive
Not eating it sounds simple, but have you ever tried to stop eating it completely?
It’s not long before you’re gagging for a biscuit or some chocolate.
It’s almost like the act of eating sugar causes our brain to malfunction – the part of our brain which regulates the amount of food we eat just switches off completely.
You just want to eat more and more and more!
The reason for this is that when we eat sugary foods, a massive amount of dopamine is released into our brain.
However, with every bite, the effect is somewhat ‘blunted’.
Similar to addictive recreational drugs such as nicotine or cocaine, the more sugar you eat, the more you need to consume to get the same stimulating effect in the brain.
You may think that you don’t ‘feel’ this effect when you eat sugary foods, but most people don’t ‘feel’ a buzz when they smoke, either.
But trust me, it’s all going on up in your brain.
Sugar causes a crash
When we eat sugary foods, it spikes the level of glucose in our blood.
Glucose is a form of sugar which our body uses as fuel.
When our blood glucose shoots up, our body pumps our insulin, causing our blood sugar to drop.
This makes us feel absolutely shattered and unable to focus properly, causing us to crave – you guessed it – more sugar!
This is a similar example to my previous point, where people are eating sugar just to get back to the point of ‘normality’.
Our bodies aren’t supposed to have these huge spikes in glucose, and if you take away the spike, you also prevent the low.
This is what makes a low-carb diet so healthy.
Sugar causes your teeth to rot
Here’s an interesting one – sugar doesn’t actually rot your teeth!
Our mouths are full of hundreds of different bacteria, most of which are actually helpful to the oral ecosystem.
However, some of them aren’t so helpful.
They’re pretty harmful, in fact.
These harmful bacteria actually feed on sugars you consume, and then they create acids which destroy your enamel, which is the protective outer layer of the tooth.
These acids can then cause cavities, which are infections that can create holes in your teeth – eventually progressing past the enamel, causing massive amounts of pain and before you know it, you’re having your teeth ripped out.
Sugar ruins your skin
Sugar isn’t just detrimental to your waistline – it’s also horrible for your skin!
The spike in insulin which I mentioned earlier also leads to a burst of inflammation throughout your entire body.
Inflammation causes a breakdown of collagen and elastin, which is what keeps your skin healthy and prevents the wrinkly effect.
Aside from this, it permanently attaches to the collagen in the skin, which is a process called glycation.
This process significantly worsens skin conditions such ass acne.
Lastly, excessive sugar intake can lead to insulin resistance, which can actually cause excess hair growth, and dark patches on the skin!
Sugar is usually hidden in foods
For a long time, people believed that eating fat makes us fat.
I’ve ranted about this many times, but it’s simply not the case.
However, when the ‘fat is the enemy’ agenda was being pushed, the majority of people stopped eating fatty foods out of fear that they’ll gain weight.
This caused many different food producers to actually remove the fat content from their products in order to keep making sales.
This is why you see so many ‘reduced fat’ products to this day!
However, when these companies took the fat out of their foods, they also lost all the flavor.
So how did they make their products appealing again? They added sugar… and not in small amounts!
Even in savory food products, check the label and look at the sugar content – it’s usually absurdly high!
Bear this in mind next time you’re doing your food shopping.
Be sure to check the labels.
Sugar can aid the growth of cancer cells
Refined carbohydrates such as white sugar and soft drinks are extremely hazardous to anybody who’s trying to prevent or reverse cancer.
The reason for this is that sugar feeds tumors and it actually encourages the speed at which cancer cells grow.
Cancer cells uptake sugar at over 10 times the rate of normal, healthy cells!
Sugar ruins our leptin effectiveness
The majority of people haven’t heard of this one, but it’s certainly a big issue.
In order for you to gain weight (well, a significant amount anyway), you must be leptin resistant.
Leptin is the hormone which is basically responsible for regulating your bodyweight and energy levels.
It’s the hormone which, when you eat a meal, tells the brain “okay, we’re now satisfied and we’re finished eating”.
Sugar is exceptionally effective at causing leptin resistance, which means the brain doesn’t actually respond to the leptin and you remain unfull and unsatisfied.
It also blocks the body’s ability to burn fat.
Sugar stimulates weight gain by giving people the urge to eat more and removing the efficiency at which body fat is burned.
Another thing it does, however, is it actually changes the body’s composition and causes it to hold more body fat even when in a caloric deficit.
If you’re leptin resistant, I would recommend cutting your sugar intake to about 20 grams per day – and cutting it out completely if you’re trying to lose weight!
And that’s it!
If you feel like you’re having some trouble losing weight, it could certainly be that your hormones are out of whack and you’re insulin/leptin resistant.
If you’d like to get this sorted quickly and efficiently.
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