For many people it can be hard to resist a sweet treat when you smell it, see it or even hear about it! Sugar has been the leading diet enemy for decades, and for good reason. Did you know that sugar provides an average of 16 percent of the calories in the standard diet? Excessive sugar in your diet cannot only lead to obesity and increase chances of disease but can even alter our brain and hormones in a toxic way. The link between sugar consumption and excess body fat has been studied and proven, although it’s still a major part of millions of people’s diets.
What are some of the health dangers of too much sugar? Below I have listed 4 reasons to eliminate sugar from your diet to ensure optimal health.
We are all well aware that consuming too much sugar can make you gain excess weight. However did you know that the extra sugar your body does not immediately use for energy can easily be converted to triglycerides, the type of fat that is stored around your waist, hips and thighs? For example, beverages that are high in sugar, such as soft drinks, juices and alcohol are the worst offenders because not only their calories are in easy to ingest liquid form but as well do not affect satiety and can increase sugar cravings even more. It is always best to eat your calories from wholesome, high fiber foods such as fruit rather than drink empty calories, this way your body feels fulfilled and you are less likely to reach for that sugary treat.
The sugar you consume will eventually make its way into your bloodstream, where it will spike your blood sugar levels. The more sugar you eat, the more fluctuations you will have in your blood sugar levels and the more your energy and moods will fluctuate. One of the most damaging effects of a diet high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates is that it puts you at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. When our cells become resistant to the effects of increased insulin, the beta cells in our pancreas are forced to produce more of it.
Eventually, as insulin resistance becomes progressively worse, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down in the body. As a result, the blood sugars dangerously increase putting the body at risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
Impaired Immune System
Your immune system is one of the most important defence mechanisms your body has against viruses and infections. Consuming a diet that is high in sugar can seriously compromise your immune system and the ability of your body to fight viruses, bacteria and parasites. Studies have shown that eating sugar, either from traditional white sugar, syrups or juices can depress a healthy immune system by approximately 50 percent for up to five hours. That means if you consume sugar at each meal, your immune system will be functioning at half-capacity for most of the day causing you to be more susceptible to viruses.
As well as elevating your blood sugar levels, consistently eating a diet high in sugar and processed foods may also result in elevated insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone your pancreas produces in response to rising blood sugar levels. The more sugar and refined carbohydrates you eat, the harder your pancreas has to work to produce insulin. Chronically high insulin levels have been linked to an increased risk of some cancers, heart disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fatty liver and acne. Reducing your sugar intake will help you lower your insulin levels and potentially your risk of developing these chronic conditions.
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