Why not indulge in a tasty treat every once in a while? The problem with sugar is that it seems harmless, but it’s highly addictive, and is associated with plenty of ailments and medical conditions. Companies are forced to advertise how much sugar and calories their products have, but they do not want you to know certain facts you will find here. Have you wondered why sugar is listed as the number one enemy in many diets?
In this article, we will give you 6 different facts about refined or white sugar that will make you think twice before repeatedly indulging in sweet treats:
They are empty calories: One of the most relevant problems about sugar is that industrialized sources and refined sugar are no more than empty carbohydrates. Eating sugar is increasing calories in your diet without any meaningful contribution to your daily nutrient requirement.
It’s highly addictive: Most addictive substances work in your brain by creating dependence, and sugar is a clear example. It causes a sudden release of dopamine in your brain associated with a sensation of pleasure. These changes to your brain chemistry may cause addiction in the long term similar to certain prescription drugs.
Sugar is turned into fat by the liver: High-fructose corn syrup is an added sugar that’s almost everywhere, and it contains a carbohydrate called fructose. It is metabolized by the liver alone, and this organ is not prepared to receive massive amounts of fructose. That’s when your liver activates a metabolic sidetrack that converts fructose into fat. Thus, high-fructose corn syrup is immediately converted into fatty acids, leading to fatty liver disease.
Sugar causes insulin resistance: Excess sugar causes sudden peaks in insulin levels, and in time, our tissues start to become insensitive to high insulin. That’s insulin resistance, and it is one step before type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is also linked to obesity, cardiovascular problems, and other endocrine problems such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
It causes an increase in your blood lipids: As we have discussed, our modern sources of sugar are easily converted into fats by the liver. These newly synthesized fats leave the hepatic tissue through fat transporters full of cholesterol and triglycerides. In time, not only your blood sugar will be high, but your blood lipids will increase as well, which predisposes to cardiovascular diseases.
Sugar increases the risk of several diseases: Cardiovascular risk is directly increased after sugar consumption because triglyceride levels and our circulating bad cholesterol (LDL) become high. LDL molecules are fat transporters responsible for creating cholesterol deposits called atherosclerotic plaques. In time, atherosclerosis obstructs the blood flow and leads to a heart attack or stroke. There are also studies linking excess sugar and obesity to certain types of cancer, such as breast, colon, oesophagus and endometrial cancer.
So, is sugar a harmless treat you can consume every day? Even though sugar is essential for our survival, and there are healthy sources of sugar such as fruits and vegetables, you should be careful with your sweet treats and try to limit white sugar and added sugars in industrialized foods as much as possible.