You probably already realize that sugar does nothing for your waistline. Not only is it a source of empty calories, it causes a rapid rise in insulin. Since insulin is a fat storage hormone, this results in weight gain. But, the dangers of eating a high sugar diet extend far beyond body weight and there are many other reasons to eliminate it from your diet. Doing so is one of the best things you can do for your health. Discover these seven health risks of eating sugar that have nothing to do with body weight.
Diets High in Sugar Boost Triglyceride Levels
Triglyceride levels rise with a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates. When you munch on sugary and starchy foods, triglyceride levels in your bloodstream go up – and high triglyceride levels increase your risk for heart disease. High triglycerides are also an independent risk factor for stroke, irrespective of cholesterol level. Most people at risk for heart disease focus on lowering their cholesterol by reducing saturated fat in their diet, but a high sugar diet is the real problem.
It Puts You at Greater Risk for Gum Disease
Not only does a diet high in sugar cause tooth decay, it’s linked with a greater risk for gum disease or gingivitis. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that can progress to tooth loss and destruction of the jaw bone when left untreated. Diet plays a major role in both dental caries and gum disease, making sugar one of the main causes of unnecessary dental bills.
Pancreatic cancer is a cancer that carries a very poor prognosis, and consuming foods high in sugar and beverages and fructose-containing beverages, like soft drinks raises the risk. A diet high in sugar may also increase the risk of other forms of cancer as well. Diets high in sugar stimulate insulin release, and insulin and its close cousin insulin-like growth factor seem to fuel the growth of cancer cells.
How many sugary foods do you know of that are nutritious? When you snack on foods high in sugar and processed carbs, you deprive your body of other nutrient-rich foods and antioxidants that reduce your risk for disease. Aren’t your calories better spent doing something good for your body? Additionally, sugar depletes your nutrient levels in order to be metabolized.
Sugar Depresses Your Immune System
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1973 found a link between sugar and decreased activity of cells called neutrophils that are important for protecting against infection. Furthermore, eating sugary foods means you’re getting less vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from healthy foods that protect you against illness. Get rid of the sugar and replace it with healthier fare that ranks higher on the nutritional scale.
Sugar Depletes Neurotransmitters in the Brain
When you eat sugar, it incites the release of an excessive level of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and GABA, which is what produces the “sugar high.” When there are high levels of neurotransmitters, the brain reduces the number of receptors for these neurotransmitters, resulting in a decline. Among other things, these neurotransmitters regulate our moods; if there are not enough of them, then depression, mania, violence, inability to experience pleasure, pain, anxiety, fear, hyperactivity, inability to focus, cravings for addictive substances and much more appear.
Insulin Resistance & Type 2 Diabetes
Sugar and high carbohydrate foods are the primary contributing factor to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. When you consume sugar, or any food that breaks down into sugar, insulin is released to manage blood sugar levels. When there is a high level of sugar in the blood stream, insulin levels remain high. High levels of insulin on a continuous basis lead to receptors becoming resistant and eventually the development of type 2 diabetes.
Do you have a sweet tooth that sabotages your efforts in removing sugar from your life? Then, most likely, you are addicted to sugar, and you can learn how to successfully overcome these cravings in Break Your Sugar Addiction Today. Don’t let cravings put you at risk of obesity, nutritional deficiencies, mental health disorders, cancer, a weak immune system, dental issues, addiction, and cardiovascular disease; remove sugar from your diet today. It is really one of the simplest, most affordable and powerful self-care strategies you can employ.
Science Daily. “High Blood Triglycerides Are Independent Risk Factor for Stroke”
J Periodontol. 1984 Jul;55(7):419-23.
Am J Clin Nutr November 1973 vol. 26 no. 11 1180-1184.