Sugar is bad.
There is nothing you can say to convince me otherwise. The following is my opinion, but there is overwhelming evidence to support it.
When I say sugar, I mean added sugar. Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose. Food manufacturers have made it even worse by processing sugar even further and creating chemicals such as high-fructose corn syrup. More on this later.
1. No nutritional value
Sugar is bad, first of all, because it has no nutritional value. If you’ve ever heard the term “empty calories,” sugar is the perfect example. There are no vitamins or minerals in sugar; it is pure carbohydrate and very calorie dense.
2. Spike in blood sugar
This calorie dense substance is pure energy. When consumed, this pure energy causes a spike in blood sugar and a release of the hormone insulin. Insulin is required to keep blood sugar levels from climbing too high, or falling too low (both of which can be dangerous). Insulin signals the liver and muscle cells to take in glucose (blood sugar) from the blood. These cells can hold only so much energy, called glycogen. Once glycogen levels are at max, the remaining blood sugar has no where to go except into fat cells. These fat cells fill with sugar’s energy and grow. But what’s worse is insulin locks down this energy to keep it in the fat cells indefinitely.
The insulin release from a spike in blood sugar causes cravings for more sugar. Therefore, eating sugar does nothing for satiety, or sense of fullness. Quite the opposite, it just makes you hungry, and the cycle is repeated. The more frequently insulin is released, the more the body’s cells develop insulin resistance. This means more and more of the hormone insulin is required to achieve the same effect of keeping the blood sugar from getting too high or too low.
4. Energy level
Sugar also affects your energy level. The blood sugar spike caused by eating sugar causes a temporary boost in energy, but, because of insulin, always leads to an energy crash. Insulin drops the glucose level in the blood, causing the brain to start screaming for more glucose for energy. Having an unnaturally low energy level makes us susceptible to overeating and turning to caffeine and other not-so-healthy things to try and recover an even energy level.
These are some of the major ways sugar causes weight gain. From a reaction by the body’s endocrine system to an affect on the brain much like cocaine or alcohol. In fact, some experts believe that sugar is more addictive than alcohol. But that is just regular table sugar. There is actually an artificial sweetener that is even worse.
5. High-fructose corn syrup
What is worse than regular sugar? When you hear the words artificial sweetener, you probably think zero calories. Not the case with high-fructose corn syrup. Food scientists have developed a liquid sugar called high-fructose corn syrup. This artificial sweetener is very cheap and found in many food products. It is added to most processed packaged foods including bread, ketchup, salad dressings, and deserts. It is also used to sweeten soft drinks and sodas making it an easy way to take in a large amount of it.
Fructose can’t be absorbed into cells the way that glucose can, so it has to be processed by the liver. Its energy is then converted to and stored as glycogen. When glycogen stores are full, as with glucose, the remaining energy is stored in the fat cells.
6. Fatty liver disease
With fructose, however, the fat cells in the liver take in much of the leftover energy before it is sent elsewhere in the body. This is a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Over time, this can damage the liver and lead to some major health problems down the road.
But besides weight gain, sugar negatively affects our health in several ways. It is linked to many diseases and conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Increased risk of dementia
Bacteria and yeast feed on sugar and excess glucose can allow these organisms to build up and cause infections. If you’re already sick, sugar can make you feel even worse as it strengthens whatever is causing your sickness. It can also manipulate your metabolism and produce an environment where the immune system may not function optimally.Cancer cells also use sugar for energy.
8. Sugar is inflammatory
Sugar is inflammatory and causes inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes a defensive response by the immune system, and over time, excess inflammation can damage organs and systems in the body.
Sugar is very socially acceptable, is everywhere in our society, and is a very cheap source of calories. The affects of sugar, however, are costly in the form of healthcare costs. It is an addictive substance that causes weight gain and many significant health problems. Consider the cost/benefit of eating sugar. If you are addicted to it now, just know that sugar can be defeated. I hope I presented enough evidence that will convince you to Quit Sugar. NOW!