There are solid reasons why sugar is called “the white death”.
From premature skin ageing and dwindling energy levels to elevated cancer risks and early diabetes onset, sugar is one of the major elements in each of these dreadful events.
Today, we’re giving you a comprehensive list of the dangers related to sugar consumption to keep you motivated, informed, and resolute throughout your sugar-free journey.
1. Sugar is a highly addictive substance
Eating sugar immediately causes a release of dopamine and natural opioids in the brain, quickly leading to addiction with all the usual signs: craving, bingeing, tolerance (sugar-addicted people eventually have to eat more sugar to feel satisfied), and withdrawal symptoms. People with sugar addiction tend to have impaired concentration, motivation, and lower quality of life in general.
2. Sugar leads to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome
Table sugar is scientifically known as sucrose – a carbohydrate that’s 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Glucose is one of the major sources of energy in the human body, but it needs the help of the hormone insulin to be transported inside the cells. Sudden spikes in blood glucose level (after consuming sugar) lead to elevated insulin synthesis to effectively capture the glucose. Eventually, the body gets used to these high insulin levels and starts responding to them ONLY when they are substantially elevated – this is known as insulin resistance, a state that’s considered a “stepping stone” to metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes.
3. Sugar significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
A huge research carried out back in 2013 revealed that every 150 kcal of sugar consumed per day (that’s roughly 9 teaspoons of table sugar or one can of classic Coke) increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by whole 1.1%. And if that doesn’t sound like something you should worry about, consider this: according to the British National Service Framework for Diabetes the average life expectancy of a person suffering from type 2 diabetes is reduced by up to 10 years.
4. Sugar causes fatty liver disease
Remember how we said that table sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose? Don’t think that only glucose is to blame for all the sugar-related problems: in fact, some scientific papers label fructose as “a weapon of mass destruction” for its effects on the human liver. This is because the cells in your body cannot directly metabolize fructose, they just don’t have the molecular structures for this. The only organ that can deal with fructose is the liver, and only in small amounts. All extra fructose molecules are stored as fat in the liver, causing the so-called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This condition disrupts all the functions of the liver, from neutralizing toxins to producing proteins.
5. Sugar drastically boosts the risk of developing certain forms of cancer
There are a lot of studies on the matter of sugar intake and risk of cancer, and they are all far from being encouraging. For instance, according to a 2011 research on 435 thousand participants aged 51-71 years, added sugar increased the risk of esophagus cancer, small intestine cancer, and pleural cancer while women also are at increased risk of ovarian cancer. Some older studies also indicate that increased sugar intake contributes to the development of breast cancer in women and colon cancer in the general population.
6. Increased sugar intake was linked to higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Numerous studies point out that refined sugar is one of the many risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease, but this is important even on the pre-clinical (undiagnosed) stage of the condition – and for your brain’s general health. For instance, studies indicate that having one or more sugary beverages per day is associated with lower total brain volume and poorer performance on cognitive tests.
7. Sugar causes faster ageing of the skin
Well, not exactly sugar, but the so-called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) – substances that are formed when proteins or lipids in the human body come into contact with sugar. When this happens, the said proteins and lipids undergo a process known as glycation, thus forming AGEs. Accumulation of AGEs in the skin reduces elasticity, contributes to the formation of wrinkles and premature ageing of the skin.
In 2014 a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association highlighted that people whose daily calories consist of 17 to 21% added sugar have a 38% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
This is the bad news. The GREAT news, on the other hand, is that you have all the needs, resources, and power to protect yourself from this threat. Sugar may be “the white death” but, just like with smoking or drinking alcohol, you are the one in control of the process.
Make the right choice: embrace a low-sugar life TODAY, and see for yourself how much better your life can be!
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