Excessive sugar intake is possibly more harmful to your body than you think. And it’s important to realize, various diseases that harm our bodies are a result of taking sugar excessively.
After all, people have seen sounding warnings about the dangers of excessive sugar intake for a long time. But, since ‘Ignorance is Bliss‘ all efforts and campaigns on excessive sugar intake often fall on deaf ears.
As early as 1957, John Yudkin, a professor of nutrition at Queen Elizabeth College in London, began a certain argument. He argued that when it came to heart disease and other chronic ailments, sugar — not fat — was the primary culprit.
For one thing, excessive sugar intake is affiliated to a catalyst called Fructose. Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple ketonic monosaccharide found in many plants. Whereby, it is often bonded to glucose to form the disaccharide sucrose.
Additionally, it is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose. In particular to those that are absorbed directly into the blood during digestion.
What is Excessive Sugar Intake?
When there’s too much sugar, the liver is overwhelmed and forced to convert excess sugar into liver fat. This process triggers a chain of events that eventually lead to insulin resistance and diseases associated with metabolic syndrome.
“The problem is when people have too much sugar at once, there’s a large release of insulin and you can develop hypoglycemia or insulin resistance.” With insulin resistance, your body cannot properly absorb the glucose fast enough, which causes the glucose to build up in your bloodstream and liver.
Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day. For women, the number is lower: 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day.
A component of table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup—in added sugars triggers your liver to store fat more efficiently, and in weird places. And over time, a diet high in fructose could lead to globules of fat building up around your liver.
Not to mention, a precursor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, something rarely seen before 1980 and adds weight. And surprisingly, a PLoS one study found that for every extra 150 calories from sugar available per person each day, diabetes prevalence rises by 1.1%.
Which are the Elements of Sugar?
Generally speaking, you may have heard the term “sucrose” at one point or another—but what is that, really? And while it might sound overly technical or even man-made, sucrose is simply the chemical name for sugar.
Not forgetting, the simple Carbohydrates we know and love that is produced naturally in all plants. Including, fruits, vegetables, and even nuts. And of all plant types, sugar beets, and sugar cane have the greatest quantities of sugar. This is why they make the most efficient choices from which to extract sugar.
The sugar that’s extracted from sugar beet or sugar cane plants is identical to the sugar that’s still found intact when you bite into fruits and vegetables. That means the sugar we keep in our pantry, the sugar added to bread to help it rise and the sugar in sweet treats we enjoy in moderation is exactly the same.
So to say, as the sugar that’s naturally in peaches, almonds, sweet peas, and more.
Main Culprits in Excessive Sugar Intake
As a matter of fact, you might expect sugar-curbing recommendations from the American Diabetes Association, thanks to sugar’s clear impact on the disease.
1. Heart Hammer
But the reality is that heart disease and diabetes are intricately related.
For instance, heart disease and stroke are the number one causes of death among people with type 2 diabetes. In reality, accounting for 65% of those deaths.
2. Blood Pressure leading to Stroke
Added sugars cause excess insulin in the bloodstream, which takes its toll on your body’s circulatory highway system, your arteries.
Chronic high insulin levels cause the smooth muscle cells around each blood vessel to grow faster than normal, according to The Sugar Smart Diet.
This causes tense artery walls, something that puts you on the path to high blood pressure, and ultimately, makes a stroke or heart attack more likely.
3. Cholesterol buildup
There is an unsettling connection between sugar and cholesterol.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that, after excluding people with high cholesterol and/or diabetes and people who were highly overweight, those who ate the highest levels of added sugars experienced the biggest spike in bad cholesterol levels.
In addition to dangerous triglyceride blood fats, and the lowest good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
One theory? Sugar overload could spark your liver to churn out more bad cholesterol while also inhibiting your body’s ability to clear it out.
4. May turn you into a Junkie!
Much like street drugs, sugar triggers the release of chemicals that set off the brain’s pleasure center, in this case, opioids and dopamine.
And as they do with street drugs, people develop a tolerance for sugar, meaning they need more sugar for a feel-good “fix.”
In rat studies looking at sugar addiction, when animals binge on the sweet stuff, they experience chattering teeth, tremors, shakes, and anxiety when it’s taken away.
5. Excessive Sugar Intake is a Behaviour
You know the feeling. You grab a chocolate candy bar, and with it, get that brief jolt of energy. Soon to be replaced by unrelenting fatigue.
Science shows it takes just 30 minutes or less to go from a sugar rush to a full-on sugar crash. This sugar spike-and-crash sets you up to want more sugar—a vicious cycle.
To add insult to injury, The Sugar Smart Diet points out that sugar also triggers the release of serotonin, a sleep regulator. So much for an energy bump!
Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These unwanted invaders attack nearby proteins and damaging them.
Including protein fibers in collagen and elastin, the components that keep your skin firm and elastic. The result of too much sugar? Dry, brittle protein fibers that lead to wrinkles and saggy skin.
Where does Excessive Sugar Intake come from?
Many products on the shelves today labeled as a “food product” aren’t really “food.”
According to Cristina Panagopoulos, AFPA Nutrition, and Wellness Consultant, “There are many things inside of these products and packages that make them completely processed. Even if it’s just to preserve its shelf life.”
But the nutrition facts label provides only a small fraction of information. You really have to read the actual ingredients to know exactly what is in the food or product.
Most names for sugar will be listed as some kind of “sugar,” “syrup,” or end in “–ose,” there are some less common terms. Such as molasses, barley malt, and maltodextrin that we don’t tend to associate with sugars/sweeteners, Wells says.
Common Sugar Product Names
Other names include rice syrup, apple or grape juice concentrate, invert sugars, evaporated corn sweetener, sugar cane juice, fruit nectar, according to Susan Engle, MOE, RDN, LD, CLT, says.
Added sugars are added to the food or product like ingredients, which means they don’t naturally occur in the food.
“For example, a 5.3 ounce serving of plain yogurt has approximately 10 grams of naturally occurring milk sugar (lactose). Whereby, the same serving of flavored yogurt has approximately 22 grams of sugar,” Wells says.
Some ingredients that contain sugar are honey, molasses, concentrates (think fruit juices), Wells says.
“Probably the most widely used food additive is maltodextrin, a derivative from corn or sometimes wheat.”
It is commonly used in sodas and candy, beer, light peanut butter, and can be used as a thickener in infant formulas or as filler in a variety of other products, she adds.
Measuring your Excessive Sugar Intake & Obsession
How much sugar is too much is based on an individual basis. People have various caloric requirements, and the carbohydrate and sugar content, to some degree, will vary.
Based upon their own requirements, health, or exercise goals, Wells says. “There is no doubt that Americans do eat too much sugar,” Engle says.
The average person consumes about 19.5 teaspoons (78 grams) of sugar per day, which is about 2-3 times the suggested amount, Wells adds.
The American Heart Association advises a limit of 6 teaspoons (24 grams) for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men from added sugars.
Based upon these guidelines, Wells recommends limiting added sugars to 8 or 12 grams for women and men, respectively, per meal.
In reality, the biggest culprit that continually knocks sex hormones out of balance is sugar in all its many forms. Including all flour products, which raises insulin and creates a hormonal domino effect.
Once you understand how insulin can impact other hormones, you begin to connect the dots. Especially, about how excessive sugar intake can wreck even your sex life.
I hope the above article provides an exclusive eye-opener, especially towards limiting yourself to excessive sugar intake.
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