Friday, June 8, 2018

What's The Big Deal With Sugar?

Last week, I pointed out some hidden sugars in the typical American diet. But what's the big deal? Why is sugar so bad for us? Consuming excess sugar has been linked to a host of ailments.

High sugar diets have been associated with obesity, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. A 2015 study found that a regular intake of sweetened drinks was tied to a greater incidence of the disease.

Heart Disease
In a 2014 study, Dr. Hu and his colleagues found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. Over the course of the 15-year study, people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar.  High-sugar diets increase levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and decrease levels of good HDL cholesterol.

Visceral Fat
Drinking sweetened beverages daily is associated with visceral fat, or the fat around internal organs. This type of fat, also called belly fat, may play a role in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

Chronic Disease
Sugar is a culprit for obesity, liver damage and cancer. Microbiologist Johan M. Thevelein says, "We all know that when you eat a lot of sugar, you have a tendency -- that has been clearly shown -- to become more obese. And obesity is linked to a higher risk of cancer."

Refined sugar messes with the hormones that make you feel full. When you eat too much sugar, you don't get feelings of satiety and can end up eating more of every kind of food.

Choose whole foods packed with nutrients that include protein, high-quality carbs and good fats to keep the amazing machine that is your body functioning at it's optimal level. For more information on sugar, check out my four-part blog from July of 2017.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your (low sugar) Food

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