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Eating Too Much Sugar? - The Sweet Sugar Can Be Dangerous!!

Madhura Mohan

Posted on May 23 2021

W

hile we’re children we’re all told by our mothers not to eat too many candies as can they cause cavities, the same is what we tell our children now. Tooth decay is the first blame sugar gets, moving on as we grew we have also realized that sugar causes weight gain. Teenagers fear the sugary stuff fearing acne.

The bitter truth about sweet sugar is that it’s on the top of the list of foods that can have harmful effects on health and increase the risk of not just having tooth decay and weight gain but can wreak havoc on our bodies.

Sugar can turn our mood into an episode of a roller coaster, trigger never ending cravings, can lead to chronic inflammation which can play a key factor in the pathogenesis of the cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, respiratory diseases, allergy, diabetes, mood swings, arthritis, muscle pain, numbness in hands, feet and more.

You may not believe your favourite sugar can all do this, if you noticed, I mentioned a word, inflammation in the above lines, that’s the hidden cause for all the sugar trouble.

 

This article addresses the bitter consequences of overconsumption of sugar….

 

NATURAL SUGARS Vs ADDED SUGARS

Sugar occurs naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy that contain carbohydrates. Added sugars (brown sugar, white sugar, agave, etc) are any sugars or sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during the processing or preparation of food to increase the flavour or extend shelf life. Added sugars are removed from their original source and added to foods and drinks to serve as a sweetener.

Consuming sugar in natural foods is not risky, the reason being, our bodies process two sugars differently. The sugar in natural foods offers a steady supply of energy to our cells. We consume natural sugars as part of whole foods that deliver beneficial nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, which all help to slow down the absorption of sugar, as a result, sugar gets absorbed by our bloodstream at a slow, steady rate. This staves off blood sugar spikes and the inflammation that can come with them.

 

CONSUMING EXCESS AMOUNT OF SUGAR OVER TIME CAN CAUSE INFLAMMATION!!

Now, it all starts like this, whenever we eat sugary foods, the brain causes us to release a feel-good hormone, dopamine. It temporarily makes you feel good and gives you some energy, then you will crave it more, and eventually, you become addicted to it. The more sugar you consume, the more you rev up increases in circulating inflammatory markers.

 

 

 

Yes, when your blood sugar level rises, your body cranks out a great number of pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. The immediate response by the body to a big hit of added sugars is followed by a dramatic drop that follows, activating the systemic stress response. This triggers a spike in the inflammatory response, which is not great ongoing. The high blood sugar level can make your body insulin resistant, a condition in which the sugar refuses to accept insulin and as a result gets stored as visceral fat. Visceral fat churns out pro-inflammatory markers.

 

I’ll put it across to you this way, the release of insulin in response to sugar intake quickly lowers the amount of sugar in your blood by taking the sugar and storing it in your fat cells. This sudden drop in blood sugar causes your body to signal you to eat something sweet again to bring your blood sugar level back up. This tempts you to eat something sweet again, causing another spike in blood sugar, starting the entire cycle again. Excess sugar spikes insulin which alleviates detrimental effects of hyperglycemia and directly modulates inflammatory mediators.

 

As per research, those who consumed higher intakes of sugar-sweetened foodstuff had statistically significant elevated inflammatory markers in their body, compared to those who had a lower intake of sugar-sweetened foodstuff.

There are chances that excess sugar bonds with protein to form compounds called advanced glycation end products or AGEs, which can damage cells in the body by speeding up the oxidative process and changing the cell behavior, increase susceptibility to infections, premature aging, heart, kidney, bone ailments.

 

At this point, you may ask me, but we don’t see any swelling or redness upon eating sugar?

That’s a fantastic way to think…

Well, there are 2 kinds of inflammation, acute inflammation, and chronic inflammation.

ACUTE INFLAMMATION: This is one that occurs as a result of the rapid response of innate immune cells in response to an infection or injury. It is characterized by swelling and redness, flu, increased heat. Acute inflammation generally lasts for a few days only.

CHRONIC INFLAMMATION: Chronic inflammation occurs as a result of autoimmune disorder, it’s an adaptive immune response. Chronic inflammation is very risky as this happens over long periods of time, typically at low levels which aren’t visible to the human eye or apparent on blood tests. Persistent dietary malpractice can cause the immune system to overstay its welcome and act inappropriately and contribute to chronic inflammation.

As told earlier, chronic inflammation is associated with cardio ailments, diabetes, arthritis, mental disorder, and more.

 

Avoid eating the following foods to reduce added sugar intake and reduce your chances of inflammation:

Cakes, pastries, granula bar, biscuits, fruit juices, smoothies, soda, fizzies, soft drinks, soups, salad dressings, sauces, alcoholic beverages, chocolates, candies, ice creams, doughnuts, coffee, tea, flavoured milk products, alcohol.

Look for the names of added sugars on labels of food, like corn syrup, brown sugar, corn sweetener, agave, honey, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, malt sugar, molasses, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar molecules ending in “ose (dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose).

 

BEWARE: It’s not always the immediate harms that should prompt swift actions, even the subtle, invisible dangers could cause great threat. Added sugar result in low satiety but are high in calories, with absolutely no nutritional value. Low satiety clearly leads to overconsumption of other foods.

 

TIPS TO REGULATE SUGAR INTAKE

1. Choose low GI foods and complex carbs.

2. Check food label if they contain added sugars.

3. Drink more water to hep your body flush out excess sugar.

4. Stay active, strengthen your core muscles.

5. Learn to manage stress as stress can lead to sugar spikes.

 

Limiting your sugar intake can be the healthiest dietary decision you can make…As the doctors always say, try to be 100% sure, if you cannot stick 100% to a rule, try and live by 80/20, where 80% of the time live healthily and 20% of the time do what you like…

There must have come a smile on your face when you read that…Wishing you the best of health!!

 

We hope this article has opened up your mind to the bitter sides of sweet sugar…at AS-IT-IS, we practice purity and preach clean health & fitness…

 

Also read: Steroids - What Are They? Are They Safe?

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Reference:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951818

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284805

           

 

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