What Does Sugar Actually Do To Your Body?
Sugar is bad, we all know that. But do you know exactly what all those biscuits, cakes and sweets are doing to your insides? You may want to put that Wagon Wheel down after reading about its effects.
It breaks into two parts: fructose and glucose.
Fructose: too much causes fatty liver disease and lowers your good cholesterol, whilst creating triglycerides that raise your risk of heart disease. Excessive fructose can overwhelm your pancreas, and that puts you at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Glucose: this makes your pancreas produce insulin. Too much and your body produces sleepy serotonin, giving you a sugar crash. It also blocks the hunger hormone leptin that alerts your body to fullness, and directs glucose to store as belly fat. When your pancreas no longer has control of the glucose due to overloads, it develops into pre-diabetes.
So what does too much sugar do, then?
Makes you tired
A sugar high always corresponds to a sugar low. You're probably tired because you're addicted to sugar. Eat whole grains, oats and protein to keep the tiredness at bay. Breakaway! Hmmm, that's not what I meant.
Makes you hungry
Sugar blocks leptin hormones so you're always hungry. It also affects ghrelin, the hormone that tells your brain you're hungry. If you are dieting you may be eating low calorie foods, and well done for that, but they often contain a lot of added sugar for taste.
Robert Lustig, professor of paediatric endocrinology at the University of California, believes that fructose tricks our bodies into thinking we need to eat. You're better off eating loads of protein and grains instead.
If your muscles ache and you feel sluggish, it could be sugar overload. Your pancreas is exhausted trying to keep up with demands to process sugar. Your liver is working overtime, your bowel is at crawling pace, and your body may be inflamed from a sugary diet.
Ex-sugar addicts say the first improvement they notice is a lack of aching muscles.
There's some evidence that sugar taken in high doses leads to Alzheimer's, and because it interferes with dopamine, can affect depression too.
The white stuff rots out your teeth and gums leaving you with bad breath and missing teeth, yuck.
Young children are now having teeth removed as young as four or five due to excessive sugar consumption. That is seriously wrong, not least because the tooth fairy will have to be bailed out by the government.
Not just confined to the third world, but right here in the UK. Children eating sugar in white bread, cereal, and ready meals don't get the vitamins they need. This is leading to poor school performance and obesity.
It seems that single-handedly trying to keep Greggs in profit is not the key to feeling well, because there's a growing expert opinion that sugar is leading us to a nasty global epidemic of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. They say sugar is the greatest threat to our health around today.
So step away from Freddo the Frog, he's planning to kill you.