Growing up, we all had “too much sugar is not good for you” echoed over and over again that it became a sort of anthem but let’s admit it, that didn’t stop any of us from slowing down on the sweets and candies.
Children are not the only ones guilty of consuming too much sugary things because most people consume about 3-4 times the amount of sugar they ought to consume daily. This could be because most people don’t realize that the so-called healthy alternatives that have zero calories and zero sugar are also just as bad.
The bitter truth is that as sweet as it is, sugar is highly toxic and addictive, just as addictive as illicit drugs; and negatively affects the body’s organs in many ways.
Recently an American doctor called Robert Lustig has been calling for laws that restrict sugar as if it were alcohol or tobacco and I am sure just like the rest of the world, you raised your eyebrow at that but here are the different ways sugar negatively affects your body.
Excessive sugar consumption will cause the liver to become resistant to insulin and this ultimately leads to Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Another thing that happens to the liver with too much sugar intake is Leptin Resistance.
Leptin is also known as ‘satiety hormone’ and it is a hormone that is produced to tell the body it is full and needs to stop eating. Studies show too much sugar switches off this Leptin hormone so we don’t know when we are full, and this causes overeating.
The taste of sugar in our mouth sends signals to the brain to release dopamine, the feel good hormone. Dopamine, when released gives a pleasurable, euphoric feeling, but it doesn’t last. Drugs like cocaine, heroine and marijuana also cause dopamine surge to be released. In order to maintain that ‘high’, most people tend to use more and more drugs to give you that same feeling. When this signal pathway is overactivated, it causes problems because people tend to get addicted and crave the drug more. Sugar works in the exact same pathway and that is why most people have a sugar addiction and can’t simply stop after a slice of cake.
In the long term, this sugar addiction has been shown to cause depression. Excessive consumption of sugar and insulin resistance has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.
High sugar is the leading cause of heart diseases as a diet high in sugar increases obesity and diabetes risk, and both have been shown to increase the likelihood of heart disease. In addition, excess sugar ultimately affects arteries and circulation and may increase the likelihood of hypertension and stroke.
When we eat sugar, it attaches to proteins in the blood stream and forms harmful products known as advanced glycation end products also known as AGEs. Basically, this causes inflammation and causes your skin to age faster. These AGEs also deactivate the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving the skin more vulnerable to sun damage. Basically, a high sugar diet will age your skin faster and leave it more prone to skin conditions like acne, dry skin and premature wrinkling.
Sexual and Reproductive Organs
Excess sugar negatively impacts blood flow throughout the body, including the sex organs. Therefore, men who consume a high sugar diet may find it difficult to have an erection or to maintain one. Not only does this affect sex life, it also affects fertility. Sugar causes inflammation and exacerbates conditions such as endometriosis; making embryo implantation difficult. Furthermore, excessive sugar leads to hormonal imbalance which makes getting pregnant very difficult.
With all these in mind, you better think twice before you go on your next sugar binge.