There’s nothing sweet about the effects of sugar

A diet high in sugar has many adverse effects

A high sugar diet has a number of adverse health effects. Sugar isn’t just white, refined table sugar; sugar comes in many forms such as glucose, fructose, lactose and sucrose. Fruit, milk, honey and jam are all some of the sources of sugar in our diets.

Insulin levels

The glycemic index measures how foods affect blood glucose levels. Each food is assigned a numbered rating, and the lower the rating, the slower that food is absorbed into your body, providing a healthy, gradual infusion of sugars into the bloodstream. A high rating means that sugars are released more quickly, which stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin to lower blood sugar levels.

Sugar, honey, syrups and fruit juices rate high on the glycemic index. When you eat sugar, it causes your blood sugar levels to spike quickly, leading to increased insulin production. Higher insulin levels can inhibit the production of growth hormones and weaken your immune system. High insulin levels also contribute to weight gain, and, over time, the stress on your body can lead to diseases such as diabetes.

Immune system

It is well known that vitamin C helps white blood cells kill viruses and bacteria. White blood cells must accumulate vitamin C in order to consume virus, bacteria or cancer cells. However, glucose and vitamin C have similar structures, so when you eat sugar, your body’s white cells accumulate glucose instead of vitamin C, leaving less room inside the cell for it to accumulate the vitamin C it needs to fight off pathogens. Sugar, therefore, slows your immune system down.

Adverse effects

The list of physical, mental and emotional disorders exacerbated and even caused by sugar consumption is extremely long. Sugar wreaks havoc with your body’s insulin levels, sending them up and down, up and down, and puts strain on your metabolism; over time, excess sugar consumption can lead to diabetes. Sugars also contribute to weight gain, which can lead to cardiovascular disease, hypertension and arthritis.

Eliminating sugar

It isn’t enough to stop putting sugar in your coffee and tea if you want to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. To limit dietary sugar, try to avoid processed foods. Products made with high-fructose corn syrup should be eliminated, and you should stick to fresh fruits and fruits juices.

You should try to limit treats like chocolate and sweets as much as possible too. If you have sugar cravings, that means your body’s blood sugar levels are low. Don’t reach for a sweet; instead, eat a protein-rich snack. Try mixed nuts and trail mix, or even a handful of seeds. Enjoy!