Sugar addiction may be sweet on the surface but it hides a dark reality
By Armand Mendoza | Photo by rawpixel.com/Unsplash
Even though sugar or glucose is important for a functional body, excessive intake of it can lead to a number of disorders that are both dangerous to your health and your waistline. Almost any type of packaged or processed food across the planet has sugar. It enhances the flavor of any food and drink, and it’s also readily available and cheap. Hence, most of us are left with the challenge of making daily food choices that aren’t hazardous to our health.
Sugar Causes Insulin Resistance
Every time we eat a meal high in carbohydrates or sugar, our body breaks them down in the form of glucose, which enters our bloodstream. Then our pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin. It allows sugar to enter and be used but also avoids excess amounts to float around. However, excessive sugar intake can overwork and eventually destroy this mechanism, which results in cellular insulin resistance. When this happens, cells no longer respond properly to insulin, and glucose is left floating around, even reaching toxic levels that cause type-2 diabetes.
Sugar Triggers Fat Gain
Insulin has another function of triggering your fat cells to store more and prevent its release from your body. High amounts of glucose cause the pancreas to produce more insulin to counter it.
Sugar Triggers Overeating
Sugar stimulates the reward centers in your brain that predisposes you to consume more sweets uncontrollably, similar to substance abuse. Also, sugar, especially in the form of fructose, impairs the effects of the hormone leptin, which tells your brain to stop eating because your fat cells have stored enough. Over time, excessive fructose intake decreases the effects of leptin and disables your ability to reach satiety.
Sugar Can Impair Healing
High blood sugar levels in your body can causes stiff arteries and narrow blood vessels. In effect, this slows down the flow of the nutrients in the blood and oxygen, which the body uses for the natural healing process.
How to avoid excessive sugar intake? Here are 10 nifty ways:
- Watch your carb servings per meal.
- Moderate sugary drinks and never treat them as snacks.
- Consume sweet sauces and condiments sparingly.
- Use sugar-free alternatives and products.
- Beware of products made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
- Read labels. Watch out for products that have high sugar content (40 grams sugar intake is the daily limit).
- Reduce consumption of refined foods like white bread, donuts, and pastries.
- Share your dessert.
- Limit consumption of candies and refrain from using them to relieve boredom or real hunger.
- Ask your waiter about certain desserts and the ingredients used before finalizing your order.