SUGAR-8 Reasons to Avoid it

Jun 20, 2017,

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Increased sugar intake is reportedly related to higher blood pressure and can also reduce good (HDL) cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Excess sugar intake can also create a spike in blood sugar, which is a precursor for diseases such as diabetes.

 The harmful effects of sugar go way beyond empty calories.

Added sugar is so unhealthy that it is probably the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.

Here are the top 9 reasons to avoid sugar as if your life depended on it (it does)

1. Added Sugar Supplies a Large Amount of Fructose

The reason added sugar (and its evil twin… High Fructose Corn Syrup) is bad for you, is that it supplies a very large amount of fructose

Fructose, however, is not essential to our functioning in any way.

When large amounts of fructose enter the liver and it is already full of glycogen, most of the fructose gets turned into fat 

This process is probably one of the leading causes of the epidemics of many chronic, Western diseases.

2. Sugar Doesn’t Contain Any Vitamins or Minerals (Empty Calories)

Junk Food

Sugar IS empty calories. No doubt about that.

Most high-sugar foods like pastries, sodas and candy bars contain very little essential nutrients.

People who eat them instead of other more nutritious foods will probably become deficient in many important nutrients.

3. Sugar Causes Deposition of Fat in The Liver

Sugar cubes

When we eat fructose, it goes to the liver.

If liver glycogen is low, such as after a run, the fructose will be used to replenish it 

However, most people aren’t consuming fructose after a long workout and their livers are already full of glycogen.

When this happens, the liver turns the fructose into fat 

Some of the fat gets shipped out, but part of it remains in the liver. The fat can build up over time and ultimately lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

4. Sugar Harms Your Cholesterol and Triglycerides

 

Most of the fat generated in the liver gets shipped out as Very Low Density Lipoprotein[VLDL] particles.

These particles are rich in triglycerides and cholesterol.

In a controlled study, people were assigned to drink 25% of calories as either a glucose-sweetened drink or a fructose-sweetened drink for 10 weeks 

The fructose group had:

  • Increases in blood triglycerides.
  • Increases in small, dense LDL and oxidized LDL (very, very bad).
  • Higher fasting glucose and insulin.
  • Decreased insulin sensitivity.
  • Increased fat in the abdominal cavity (visceral fat).

Basically, 25% of calories as fructose significantly harmed blood lipids and caused features characteristic of the metabolic syndrome which is a stepping stone towards obesity, heart disease, diabetes and a (short) lifetime of poor health.

5. Sugar Causes Insulin Resistance

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The main function of insulin is to drive glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

But when we eat a Western diet, the cells tend to become resistant to the effects of insulin.

When this happens, the pancreas start secreting even more insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream, because elevated blood glucose is toxic.

This is how insulin resistance leads to elevated insulin levels in the blood.

But insulin also has another important function… it tells the fat cells to pick up fat from the bloodstream and to hold on to the fat that they already carry.

This is how insulin causes obesity

6. Sugar Raises Your Risk of Western Diseases

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Excess sugar consumption has been associated with many Western diseases.

If anything, sugar is the single largest contributing factor to the poor health of affluent nations.

Every time sugar (and refined flour and vegetable oils) enter a population’s diet, these people become sick.

Sugar has been associated with:

 

 

  • Obesity. Sugar causes weight gain via various mechanisms, including elevated insulin and leptin resistance 
  • Diabetes. Sugar is probably a leading cause of diabetes 
  • Heart disease. Sugar raises the bad cholesterol, triglycerides and causes various other issues that can ultimately lead to heart disease 

7. Sugar Doesn’t Cause Proper Satiety

Glass Full Of Sugar Cubes

An area in the brain called the hypothalam is supposed to regulate our food intake.

In a study published in 2013, two groups drank either a glucose-sweetened drink or a fructose-sweetened drink 

The glucose drinkers had decreased blood flow in the hypothalamus and felt satiated, while the fructose drinkers had increased blood flow in this area of the brain.

The fructose drinkers felt less satisfied and were still hungry.

Another study revealed that fructose didn’t reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin like glucose. The more ghrelin, the hungrier you are 

8. Sugar is Addictive

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When we eat sugar, dopamine is released in the brain, giving us a feeling of pleasure.

This is actually how drugs of abuse like cocaine function 

Our brain is hardwired to seek out activities that release dopamine. Activities that release an enormous amount of it are especially desirable.

In certain individuals with a certain predisposition to addiction, this causes reward-seeking behavior typical of addiction to abusive drugs.

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References

1.https://authoritynutrition.com/9-reasons-to-avoid-sugar/

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By Adedoyin Sule (ID: DOC1089)       Comments       Rating: