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10 Ways Sugar Is Destructive To Your Health And Why You Should Avoid It

sugar woesSugar Can Destroy Your Health In At Least 10 Ways!

Sugar consumption is linked to many health problems that can cause untold misery. However in our modern diets, sugar is extremely difficult to avoid as it is found in almost everything we eat. Sugar is one of the most commonly use food additives for improving the taste of foods and beverages and prolonging the shelf-life of processed food products.

Sugar By Any Other Name

A regular can of soda contains about 39g of sugar which is about almost 10 teaspoons of sugar. Besides candy, cake, ice-cream, cookies, puddings and soda, sugar is also lavishly added to almost all pre-packaged foods, canned foods, boxed foods and condiments. As you read the food labels, look out for these disguises of sugar: high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, cane sugar, rice syrup, sorbitol, invert sugar, brown sugar, xylitol, mannitol, concentrated fruit juice and hydrogenated starch. Sugar by any other name is still all sugar!

According to the Journal of American Heart Association, the average America consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day compared to just 2 teaspoons a hundred years ago. This accounts for the deteriorating health of the general public and increasing incidences of obesity and cardiovascular casualties. Refined carbohydrates such as white flour products and white rice are also problematic as these are converted to simple sugars almost immediately after consumption.

Sugar Supplies Empty Calories That Not Only Increases Your Waistline But Also Upsets Your Internal Balance

Sugar provides extra calories without vital nutrients — vitamins, minerals, protein, or fibre. Consuming too much sugar can result in metabolic imbalances which lead to obesity, high blood pressure, depression, headaches, fatigue, low blood sugar, diabetes, acne, stroke, and many other health problems.

Here are 7 unhappy facts about the serious health consequences of sugar overconsumption and why avoiding it can do wonders for you.

1) Sugar suppresses your immune system

Studies conclude that excessive sugar consumption cause a fifty- percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria[1], This will undermine the body’s ability to resist infectious diseases. Our immune system is our first line of defence against everything from minor illnesses like a cold or the flu to life-threatening diseases like cancer. It is not possible to be optimally healthy if our immune system is compromised.

2) Sugar exacerbates asthma and allergies

A study at the University of Sydney in Australia showed that dietary sugar is a contributing factor in the development of asthma. Children who consume lots of sugar daily were found to have hypersensitive airways. Dr Fred Pescatore, MD author of the Hamptons Diet, found in his years of clinical practice that excessive sugar can cause the overgrowth of Candida in our gastrointestinal tract, resulting in a leaky gut which leads to allergic reactions, such as eczema, sinusitis and asthma.[2]

3) Sugar harms your brain health and increases Alzheimer’s risk

Recent research shows that sugar and other carbohydrates can disrupt your brain function.[3] Long-term, sugar can contribute to the shrinking of the hippocampus leading to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Over-indulgence in sugar can impair your thinking and memory abilities, eventually causing permanent brain damage.

4) Sugar fuels hyperactivity and causes decreased learning performance in children 

Sugar, being a readily available fuel source, enters the blood quickly after ingestion, triggering a rush of adrenaline. This rush of adrenaline often lead to hyperactive behaviour in children following dietary sugar intake.[4] A study conducted in 1986 took a look at the effects of sucrose on preschool children. Researchers discovered that in all subjects, there was a decrease in learning performance after children were given a sugary drink, suggesting that learning performance may also be affected by the dietary intake of sugar.[5]

5) Sugar weakens eyesight and causes myopia or nearsightedness

Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia in the world! Overconsumption of sugar is the primary cause of myopia in children. Modern diets high in sugar and refined starches stimulates production of a compound called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Too much IGF-1 stimulates excess growth of the eyeball during its development. This affects the development of the eyeball, making it abnormally long, a fundamental defect in myopia.[6]  The view that myopia in children is caused by reading and other close up activities is overly simplified. Traditional populations that subsisted on simple natural foods, also engaged in work which could strain the eyes in a similar way to reading, such as sewing and tool making for hours in dimly lit homes. Yet myopia had been rare among them. [6] It is our sugary diet that brought about a whole new generation of myopic individuals.[7]

6) Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer

Cancer cells have been long known to have a “sweet tooth”. They rely heavily on sugar or glucose for energy production.[8] Once cancer cells are established in the body, they depend on steady supply of glucose in the blood for their energy. Thus by reducing the amount of sugar and simple carbohydrates in the diet, the onset of cancer can be suppressed, and  the proliferation of already existing tumour cells can be slowed down, stopped and reversed by depriving the cancer cells of the food they need for survival.[9]

7) Sugar destroys your bones & teeth

Sugar causes tooth decay and osteoporosis! It is not simply the stickiness of sugar that causes food to remain on the teeth so that bacteria proliferates and destroys teeth enamel. Sugar consumption will bring about blood sugar fluctuations that influence calcium and phosphorus ratios in the blood. Phosphorus is a mineral that is important in facilitating the absorption of calcium. Excess sugar inhibits calcium absorption and depletes phosphorus. [10] Prolonged blood sugar alteration will result in calcium being pulled from the bones and teeth causing dental cavities and bone loss. [11]

8) Sugar causes heart problems

A recent research indicates that added dietary sugar increases the risk of death from heart disease.[12] People who consumed about  15% of their daily calories from added sugar had a 18% higher risk of dying from heart disease, compared to people who only took in very little added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that added sugars should be limited to 100 calories per day for women and 150 per day for men.[13]

9) Sugar increases type2 diabetes risk.

Research conducted at UC San Francisco indicates that sugar intake may be directly linked to diabetes. Data on sugar availability and diabetes rates from a total of 175 countries are gathered over the past 10 years. Diabetes rates increased the longer a population was exposed to excess sugar and it decreased when sugar availability went down. The study suggests that sugar can adversely affect the functions of the liver and pancreas.[14]

10) Sugar causes premature aging

Besides putting you at high risks of many degenerative and chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes and osteoporosis, a high sugar diet also makes your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.[15] It causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function. When that happens, the skin looks and feels less supple. Sugar also deactivates your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage—the main cause of skin aging. [16]

In view of the many nasty effects of sugar consumption, quitting it will significantly reduce health risks and boost your well-being.

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References:

[1] Sanchez, A., et al. Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Nov 1973;261:1180_1184. Bernstein, J., al. Depression of Lymphocyte Transformation Following Oral Glucose Ingestion. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.1997;30:613

[2] The Allergy & Asthma Cure, A Complete 8 Step Nutritional Program by Fred Pescatore M.D.

[3] Neurology November 12, 2013: 81(20); 1746-1752

[4] Paediatrics Research. 1995;38(4):539-542. Berdonces, J. L. Attention Deficit and Infantile Hyperactivity. Rev Enferm. Jan 2001;4(1)11-4 Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11235487

[5] Goldman, J., et al. Behavioural Effects of Sucrose on Preschool Children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.1986;14(4):565_577 Available http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3782627

[6] Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica March 2002 vol 80, p 125 Near-Sightedness Appears Linked to Excess Sugar in Diet by Cordain L, Eaton SB, Brand Miller J, Lindeberg S, Jensen C.

[7] Stefansson V. My Life with the Eskimo. MacMillan Co. New York, USA, 1919.

[8] “Cancer cells demonstrate a 3 to 5 fold increase in glucose uptake compared to healthy cells.” Demetrakopoulos, GE, Cancer Research, vol.42, p.756S, Feb.1982

[9] “Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer?” by Rainer J Klement and Ulrike Kämmerer Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011; 8: 75. Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267662/?tool=pubmed

[10] Couzy, F., et al. “Nutritional Implications of the Interaction Minerals,” Progressive Food and Nutrition Science 17;1933:65-87

[11] Cure Tooth Decay: Remineralize Cavities & Repair Your Teeth Naturally With Good Food by Ramiel Nagel

[12] Yudkin, J. Metabolic Changes Induced by Sugar in Relation to Coronary Heart Disease and Diabetes. Nutrition and Health. 1987;5(1-2):5-8.

[13] JAMA Internal Medicine “Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults” by Quanhe Yang, PhD; Zefeng Zhang, MD, PhD; Edward W. Gregg, PhD; W. Dana Flanders, MD, ScD; Robert Merritt, MA; Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD April 2014, Available: https://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1819573

[14] Medical News Today, March 2013, “High Sugar Consumption Linked To Type 2 Diabetes” by Joseph Nordqvist, Available: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257108.php

[15] Dyer, D. G., et al. Accumulation of Maillard Reaction Products in Skin Collagen in Diabetes and Aging. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1993:93(6):421_22.

[16] Prevention: How Sugar Ages Your Skin:Face Facts About Sugar By Karyn Repinski November 2011, Available: http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/how-sugar-ages-your-skin

 


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