If you’re not a nutrition expert or doctor, then chances are you don’t know all that much about sugar. Sure, we all know sugar is bad for us, but what does that really mean? And how does it affect our bodies?
You may be amazed by how much sugar is in your favorite foods and even by the food sources you didn’t think would contain any. Keep reading to learn more interesting facts about this sweet substance:
We Consume More Sugar Than We Think
The average American consumes, on average, 15 teaspoons of sugar per day. This is equivalent to 240 calories a day and more than their entire recommended (100 calories) daily intake. And that’s just the average. If you’re a woman, your consumption may be even greater.
Sugar is in everything from bread and cereal to sauces and pickles; it’s everywhere. In fact, the World Health Organization states that most of the sugars are ‘hidden’ in processed foods. Sugar can be found in most beverages, including soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, and coffee drinks like lattes and mochas.
Even if you think your drink isn’t sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), it could still have both added sugars hiding under different names like dextrose, lactose, maltose, or fructose syrup.
It Will Make You Fatter
You might think that sugar makes you fat because it’s high in calories, but that’s not the whole story. Sugar is actually a calorie-dense food, meaning it has more calories than other foods with similar weights. It also contains carbohydrates in their purest form and provides no nutritional value to your body besides energy.
So why does sugar make you fat? It comes down to the way your body processes excess calories from sugar. Your body converts most of it into triglycerides (a type of fat stored in your liver) which can cause cardiovascular disease when they build up over time. In addition to keeping these triglycerides as fat on your hips and belly, excessive amounts of glucose cause damage inside cells by oxidizing their membranes.
It Is In Everything
It’s not just in the foods we eat but also in the products we use to clean our hair and teeth, moisturize our skin, and make us look more attractive. In fact, sugar is so ubiquitous that it’s hard to avoid it altogether, even if you think you’re doing everything else right.
Furthermore, sugar is not only found in sugar cane. It can be found in some unexpected places too. This includes your shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, body lotion, makeup, and even hair color. A little artificial sweetener can go a long way when it comes to making something less bitter or bittering something sweeter, and let’s face it: humans love their sweets.
It Is The Reason For Your Sweet Tooth
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it was found that sugar has a similar effect on the brain as cocaine. And it’s more addictive than alcohol, nicotine, and heroin combined.
You’ve probably heard all the advice about keeping your daily sweet intake under 25 grams, but that’s not enough. The average person in the United States consumes around 77 grams of sugar per day. That’s not even counting added sugars in processed foods and beverages.
It Affects Your Brain
Sugar is a mood-altering substance that can make you feel happy, but it can also make you feel sad. When we consume sugar, the brain releases dopamine and serotonin in response to the sweet taste. These neurotransmitters are associated with feelings of reward and pleasure.
It’s no wonder we crave sweets after a bad day or during hard times; they make us feel better. However, too much of this addictive substance may harm your mood by lowering your overall level of happiness and making you irritable when you are hungry.
This may be due to an increased cortisol level (a stress hormone) in your body after consuming excessive sugar over time. In addition to these physical effects on our bodies and minds, research suggests that overeating sugar is a risk factor that causes long-term damage, such as depression or anxiety disorders.
Sugar Addiction May Be Genetic
Did you know that some people are more likely to become addicted to sweets than others? For example, suppose you have a family member who is diabetic or has struggled with weight issues and eating habits. In that case, there’s a good chance that you might inherit the same addiction. This is because genetics are essential in our body’s response to overeating sugar.
Over time, your body may become accustomed to having higher blood glucose levels in its system and require even more sugar just to feel normal again. As such, it can be difficult for those who struggle with sugar cravings to change their habits even when they know they’re harming themselves by continuing them.
Too Much Sugar Makes You Insulin Resistant
As you may know, insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. One of the reasons sugar consumption leads to insulin resistance is because it causes inflammation in your body. When you have inflammation, your immune system tries to fight it by releasing cytokines that make your cells resistant to the insulin signal. This increases the blood sugar level and can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Another reason excessive sugar consumption makes you more prone to chronic disease is consuming too much. With this, our liver starts producing excessive amounts of fat called triglycerides that then get stored in our fat cells. These triglycerides are linked with obesity, abnormal blood pressure, and heart disease.
Fruit Juice And Natural Sugars Are Still Bad For You
You may have heard that fruit juice is part of your healthy diet. After all, it’s full of vitamins and antioxidants. However, this doesn’t mean it’s free from extra calories and carbohydrates. Fruit juices (even 100% pure ones) are still loaded with sugar. And if you drink them in large quantities, they can lead to weight gain and health problems.
The same goes for natural sugars such as honey or maple syrup. While they’re not as processed as other sweeteners like corn syrup. The fructose in these foods still isn’t good for your body because it causes insulin spikes. This may lead to inflammation throughout your body and increased fat storage around your midsection.
Low-Fat Doesn’t Mean Low-Sugar
A common misconception is that low-fat foods are lower in sugar than full-fat versions. However, the reality is that the opposite is usually true. Low-fat foods often have added sugar to compensate for their lack of fat, leading to increased calorie intake and weight gain over time.
Therefore, it’s important to remember that even if a food label says “sugar-free,” it doesn’t mean there aren’t other sugars present in the food itself. For example, brownies may claim to be “sugar-free” but still contain natural sugars from chocolate chips or cocoa powder, so read those labels carefully.
It Has Toxic Effects On The Liver
You know the liver, right? It’s that big organ that lives in the middle of your body and helps you process what you eat, drink, and do. Also, the liver is responsible for detoxifying your blood and removing toxins, which means it has a pretty tough job.
But did you know that sugar is toxic to the liver? Yes! In fact, overeating sugar can overload your body’s detoxification system and cause a lot of damage to your entire body over time. So if you want to avoid any potential health problems down the road, then it’s essential to keep track of how much sweet stuff you consume regularly.
It Suppresses Your Immune System
When you eat sugar, it causes your body to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels by helping the body absorb glucose from food into cells. To do this, insulin also keeps other nutrients from entering the cells.
When too many nutrients are in one area of your body, they can become toxic. This leads to inflammatory reactions and problems like acne and poor digestion. Moreover, sugar also affects every cell in your body. It is responsible for many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
If you’ve ever had a cold or an infection, chances are you didn’t feel like eating anything sweet at all. Sugar suppresses your immune system by releasing insulin into the blood vessels, making it very difficult for white blood cells (the ones responsible for fighting off infections) to do their job correctly.
It Can Make You Age Faster
It has been shown that sugar speeds up the aging process by speeding up oxidation and cell division in the body. This means that it speeds up the rate at which our cells break down, causing damage to their DNA and leading to an overall increase in aging.
The more oxidative stress there is on your body, the more likely these changes will occur. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals (atoms or molecules with unpaired electrons.) These are produced when we overeat sweets and fat, smoking cigarettes, or drinking alcohol excessively, which many older people regularly do.
It Makes You Sexually Impotent
Suppose you’ve struggled with a low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and infertility. In that case, the culprit could be as simple as your diet. Yes, sugar can make you sexually impotent.
A recent study shows that men who take large amounts of sugar have lower testosterone levels than men with less or no sugar intake. Also, studies show that high sugar intake may decrease sperm quality and affect libido in both men and women. Finally, eating lots of refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta can lead to insulin resistance which then causes erectile dysfunction (ED).
Sugar is one of the most destructive substances on the planet. It’s almost everywhere, yet most people don’t know much about it.
It’s been said that sugar can make you fat, but there’s more to it than that. Sugar affects your brain in a way most people don’t realize; it keeps you from feeling full after eating, which means there’s always room for more food.
Also, sugar messes with your body chemistry by creating insulin resistance and inflammation in your system. This leads to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease over time, and sooner if you’re not careful.