Sugar, your health enemy

What is sugar?
Sugar is the name for a group of carbohydrates which have a short chain, generally cyclic structure, and are sweet tasting. They are known for being assimilated very fast, entering the blood flux and causing a high increase in blood sugar levels. 

This stimulates insulin secretion to normalize blood sugar again. However, high blood sugar causes glycosylation of the tissue and high insulin blood level. Both are bad for the body tissue. The drop of the high blood sugar by insulin rise causes hunger and people have to eat again.

This is like a perpetuum mobile: hunger – sugar intake – high-rise of blood glucose – insulin rise – fast drop of blood sugar – hunger again.

Why is it not healthy?

It is confirmed that refined sugar, which is made up of fructose and glucose carbohydrates, is harder to metabolize than the purely glucose-based carbohydrates found in potatoes and other starches. While glucose is converted into energy by every cell in the body, fructose is mainly metabolized in liver cells. When a person consumes too much fructose, many nutritionists say, the liver becomes overwhelmed and begins converting it into fat, some of which gathers in the liver itself. An accumulation of fat in the liver can cause insulin resistance, which disrupts the body's ability to maintain stable levels of blood sugar and fat, leading to heart disease and diabetes. Insulin resistance is a primary driver of obesity, and can also give rise to dementia and some cancers.


Consuming too much added sugar, especially from sugary beverages, increases your risk of weight gain and can lead to visceral fat accumulation.

Obesity is increasing worldwide at alarming rates. One of the main culprits is the intake of sugar- sweetened beverages.  Such drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar. Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food more than glucose, the main type of sugar found in starchy foods. Excessive fructose causes resistance to leptin, which is a key hormone that regulates the hunger and tells the body to stop eating.



Risk of heart diseases

Studies shown that there is a direct correlation between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease for many of the active adults. Consuming too much added sugar can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation both of which are pathological pathways to heart disease. Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits 


Risk of cancer

It is known that a diet rich in sugary foods and beverages can lead to obesity, which significantly raises your risk of cancer. Furthermore, diets high in sugar increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, both of which increase cancer risk. Added sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer and cancer of the small intestine.


Causes acne and accelerates skin aging process

Studies have shown that low-glycaemic diets are associated with a reduced acne risk, while high-glycaemic diets are linked to a greater risk. It was found that there is a clear differentiation between populations who live in urban vs the rural areas. The last are known for consuming traditional, non-processed foods and so have almost non-existent rates of acne, compared to more urban, high-income areas.

Also consuming a diet high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely.  Advanced Glycation end Products ( AGEs),  are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging


Energy waste

Foods high in added sugar quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to increased energy. However, this rise in energy levels is fleeting. Products that are loaded with sugar but lacking in protein, fiber or fat lead to a brief energy boost that’s quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash Having constant blood sugar swings can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels


How can we replace sugar?

Foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts whole grains, are all examples of simple unprocessed sugars. These naturally occurring sugars are valid energy sources, and along with the other nutrients in these foods, important for nourishing a healthy body.

When simple sugars are naturally found in whole foods, they come with vitamins, minerals, protein, phytochemicals and fiber. The presence of fiber makes a significant difference because it slows down the absorption of sugar, which slows its impact on blood sugar.

Fruit contains two types of sugar: fructose and glucose. The proportions of each vary, but most fruits are about half glucose and half fructose. Glucose raises blood sugar, so the body must use insulin to metabolize it. Fructose does not raise blood sugar. Instead, the liver breaks it down.

Fruits and vegetables are with no doubt always a better choice than packaged or processed versions.


Eating fruits increase fiber intake:
Consuming fiber can help a person feel fuller for longer, reduce food cravings, nourish healthful gut bacteria, and support healthful weight loss.

Lower sugar consumption: 
People who replace sweet snacks with fruit may eat less sugar and fewer calories.

Better overall health: 
Fruit consumption is linked to a wide range of health benefits. Consuming fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of a range of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

Lower risk of obesity: 
People who consume fruits are less likely to develop obesity and the health issues associated with it.