Sugar, according to Dr. Mercola is one of the most damaging substances that you can ingest and what is terrifying about it is that it is just so abundant in our everyday diet. He said further that he believes that there are three words that can more accurately describe sugar; Toxic, additive and deadly. You add it to your morning cup of coffee or tea. You bake it into your pastries, cakes and cookies. You sprinkle it over your breakfast cereal or your oatmeal for added ‘ flavor ‘.
It is also hidden in your beloved ‘ treats ‘ that you consume on a daily basis such as fruit juices, sodas, candies and ice cream. It also lurks in almost all processed foods, including meats, breads and even your favorite condiments. Most people view sugary food as irresistible, tasty and satisfying. This addiction to sugar is becoming rampant, not just among adults but in children as well.
The average English man during the 1700’s only consumed 4 pounds of sugar per year according to a Washington Post interpretation of a Euro-study. It is consumed then was most likely from healthful natural sources like from fruits and not from processed food you see in supermarket shelves today. More frightening is fact that people are consuming excessive sugar in the form of fructose or high fructose corn syrup ( HFCS ). This processed form of sugar is cheaper, yet 20 percent sweeter than table sugar. HFCS is found in almost all types of processed foods and drinks today
How exactly does it work in our bodies and what are the side effects of eating too much of it on your health? Consuming excessive sugar, can led to the following health problems;
1. Impaired immune system
According to a classic study cited in ‘ USA Today ‘ in 2009, eating excessive sugar can seriously compromise the ability of you immune system to viruses, bacteria and parasites. Your immune system is one of the most important defense mechanisms your body has against infections. If you eat sugar at every meal, it means that your immune system will be functioning at half capacity for most of the day.
2. Weight gain
Consuming excessive sugar can make you gain weight. The extra sugar does not immediately require for energy can easily be converted to triglycerides, a type of fat that can be stored around your waist as well as in your hips and in your thighs. Many researches have validated the strong correlation between sugar especially in beverages and obesity, according to an article published in 2006 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The excessive sugar you eat eventually makes its way into your blood stream, where it can elevate your blood sugar levels. One of the damaging effect of a diet high in it and other refined carbohydrates is that it puts you at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to an article published in 2016 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
4. Chronic diseases
Constantly eating too much sugar can result in elevated insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone your pancreas produces in response to rising blood sugar level. Chronically high insulin levels are associated with an increased risk of some cancers, heart diseases, polycystic ovarian syndrome and even myopia.
Signs that you are eating too much sugar
1. You are always fatigued
According to Jenny Sansouci, health coach, if you are constantly tired and reaching for the next pick me up, chances are you are on a blood sugar roller coaster. When we are tired, we often reach for even more to counteract the fatigue which leads to a cycle of excessive sugar fuelled highs and lows. Try to boost your energy naturally.
2. You have sugar/carbohydrates cravings.
I will like to point out that sugar is extremely additive and the more you eat it, the more you crave for it. If you are always looking for something sugary to eat through out the day, then you are probably hooked on sugar. When you cut out refined sugar and artificial sweeteners, you will reduce your sugar craving and begin to realize how sweet fruits are!
3. You are depressed or anxious
Excessive sugar is one of the biggest contributors to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Sugar can put you on a string of emotions that are difficult to get off – sugar blues – until you are able to make a commitment to give up the sweet stuff. You may experience brain fogginess and stress, in addition to depression and anxiety. Enhance your mood with healthy foods.
4. When you are overweight
By now, you probably know that fats does not make you fat, but sugar does. Diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can definitely keep on the extra weight. If you are trying to lose weight by eating low-fat diet and still including sugars and other carbohydrates will not help your cause. Sugary foods can also wreck havoc on your gut which hinders weight loss too.
5. If you have skin issues
Excessive sugar can help destroy your skin – causing acne, dryness and skin imbalances. Your skin is the mirror of what is going on inside your body.
6. When you are always sick
According to webmd.com sugar suppresses your immune system. Sugar impairs your body of its ability to fend off stress and chronic . If you are frequently taking over the counter drugs for common colds and flu, your sugar intake may be the culprit.
1. Nutrition Science News, 2015
2. Dr. Mercola articles, May 2014
3. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015