Sugar is everywhere, in almost everything we eat. While this ingredient hasn’t had the best press, sugar continues to be a regular part of many people’s diet. There even a ‘dessert stomach’ term coined for those who feel full but would like to have a slice of pound cake nonetheless (me included). But what it is about this substance that ruins our diets, teeth and gives us diseases that is so addictive?
Like for every story, there are 2 sides to this, too! Most table sugars (especially the white ones you see and use for cakes) are a combination of glucose and fructose. Just like fats and cholesterol, these 2 types of sugars for the good and the bad. Glucose is a naturally occurring carbohydrate component that is responsible for keeping the human body energetic. Fructose is a simple sugar that can be found in most fruits and vegetable and is used to add additional sweetness to food and beverages. Sucrose is table sugar, the combination of both glucose and fructose. While both fructose and glucose are naturally occurring, they take very different forms once inside the body. While glucose is treated as a carbohydrate used as an energy store in cells, fructose goes straight to the liver to be processed and is treated more like fat molecules stored in the cells, leading to undesired body issues such as heart diseases and obesity. Yes, I know this can be an overdose of information, but simple sugar knowledge is essential to survive our lifelong battle with diseases. Here are 8 things about sugar the ring true and will help you keep those sugar cravings at bay. This is applicable especially to those who love sugar (like me) or sugary treats.
Sugar and its Scary Relatives
Sugar has been long related heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Sugar raises the bad cholesterol levels in the body, leading to heart related diseases. Because of its addictive nature, sugar tends to make you feel hungry – its like being hooked onto cigarettes, just with a different damage to the body.
Sugar’s Empty Vessel Ways
Sugar is empty calories, no doubt about that. Sugars contain next to no nutritional value, so the sugar content in the food you eat gets translated into fat and carbohydrate inside your body. Both of these, you don’t want too much of.
Sugar Promotes Insulin Resistance (this is not a good thing)
Sugar and insulin have a very interesting relationship. Insulin is needed by the body to remove access glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. This is all well and good, but excessive sugar in the body causes cells to start rejecting insulin levels as they become saturated and are therefore resistant to it. Therefore, the body starts producing more insulin to remove glucose from the bloodstream, causing the body to have high-levels of insulin. These high levels of insulin cause cells in your body to also start storing fat, causing obesity.
Furthermore, regular levels of insulin the bloodstream prevent and regulate cancer cells. With the levels of insulin going haywire, cancer cells flourish more easily.
Sugar Promotes Gluttony
Fructose sweetened food and drinks signal to the brain that your body needs more food, says are study published in 2013. This causes coke and other such soft drink consumers to constantly need to eat something to feel full, therefore helping the body become obese. Furthermore, sugar causes your body to become resistant to Leptin, a hormone that allows the brain to tell your body when to stop eating.
Sugar Increases Dental Bills
Sugar contains acids that breakdown the protective enamel surrounding teeth, therefore creating holes in your teeth. If you don’t go for a regular cleaning and this hold goes unnoticed, it gets bigger and your tooth will start rotting eventually.
Sugar Rivals Alcohol in Liver Damage
It has long been believed that alcohol is the numero uno cause when it comes to liver failure or liver related diseases. However, sugars deposit non-alcoholic fatty acids in the liver, which can eventually lead to liver failure.
Sugar Doesn’t Actually Make You Happy
Yes, this was most shocking to me, too! Most sugary foods, especially chocolates, tend to release chemicals in the brain that keeps you hyper and active for a short period of time. However, by consuming such foods for those short bursts of energy, you are doing the body more damage than good! A recent study shows the 40% of a test group proved that eating high sugar content foods can lead to depression.