We are all familiar with the mid-afternoon energy slump. Our response is common. We either pound a strong coffee or grab a stick of candy. Studies are finding that sugar does not lead to any improvement in mood or alertness. In fact, it found that it could even have the opposite effect and deepen the energy slump. So, if sugar does not give you the energy boost, and may even sap energy from you, what other damage could sugar be doing to us?
1) Weight Gain
Sugar is driving the global obesity epidemic because it increases hunger. Animal studies show that excessive sugar consumption may cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to put the brakes on eating.
2) Heart Disease
Heart disease is the world's number one killer. Sugar spikes your blood sugar levels, and your blood pressure and causes inflammation. These three evils are all risk factors for heart disease.
Foods with a higher glycemic index such as processed sweets raise your blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to increased androgen secretion, oil production, and inflammation all of which play a role in acne development.
The incidence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years and the trend is still to the upside. While no study has conclusively proven that sugar causes diabetes, there are strong connections. Prolonged high sugar consumption leads to your body building up a resistance to insulin, a hormone e produced by your pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.
While there is no study showing that sugar causes cancer, it does cause conditions that increase your risk of cancer such as obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance.
High sugar consumption has been linked to cognitive impairments, memory problems, and emotional disorders like anxiety and depression.
7) Drains Your Energy
We all know the spike we get from a can of Coke. The problem is that this is a temporary spike and then causes a sharp drop in blood sugar which is often referred to as a crash.
8) Fatty Liver
Your liver is the largest solid organ in your body. It is supremely important to your well-being because it removes toxins from your body's blood supply, maintains healthy blood sugar levels, regulates blood clotting, and performs hundreds of other vital functions. You, therefore, want to look after your liver. In the liver, sugar is converted into energy or stored as glycogen. The liver's storage capacity is limited and when it runs out of space it turns excess glycogen into fat, and a fatty liver is far less effective in the performance of its vital functions.
So how can you go about reducing your sugar intake? Firstly you want to ditch sodas, energy drinks, and fruit juices and opt for unsweetened water, tea, and coffee. Stay away from diet sodas because they contain ingredients that spoke your hunger. Secondly, instead of buying fruit yogurt, you want to buy plain yogurt and add natural fruit. Thirdly you want to consume fresh fruit instead of dried fruit or sugar-sweetened fruit smoothies. Fourthly, consume dark chocolate instead of candy. Fifthly, use olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of store-bought salad dressing. Sixthly, you want to trash your sugary breakfast cereals for a bowl of rolled oats (not instant oats because they are full off added sugar).
You want to pay close attention to the labels on the food you buy. Per 100g serving, you do not want to consume anything with over 10g of sugar!