You’ve been told for ages that eating fat will definitely make you sick, but unfortunately, the mega study that supported that was paid for by the sugar industry. The truth is that sugar consumption, rather than fat consumption is more lethal to your health. It can cause metabolic disease and the most common form of metabolic disease is diabetes. Eating excess sugar can cause metabolic syndrome. That syndrome includes insulin resistance, the precursor to type II diabetes. It also leads to obesity including visceral fat—abdominal fat, high cholesterol, inflammation and high blood pressure.
Eating sugary products promotes sugar hunger.
Sugar is addictive. It gives you a high, like an opioid and raises your energy level as your blood sugar spikes. Unfortunately, with each spike, there comes a dangerous and sudden drop. That’s when you’re starved for more sugar. It can even be worse if the sugar you’re eating is in the form of HFCS—high fructose corn syrup—which causes leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain that you’re full. In other words, it takes higher and higher amounts of the hormone to feel full, so you continue to eat, even past that feeling of bloating.
A diet that’s high in added sugar leads to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is the diabetes precursor and it comes from eating too much sugar, too frequently. Not only does it add weight, where the weight is distributed is important. It packs on around the mid-section and on the abdomen, where it crowds internal organs. When your body gets continuous rushes of sugar, it sends out more and more insulin. The cells fail to pick up the message of sugar in the bloodstream eventually and fail to grab the glucose for energy. Eventually, it becomes full blown diabetes.
High consumption of sugar can cause non-alcoholic fatty tissue liver disease.
Not only does the pancreas have to work hard when there’s too much sugar, the liver does, too. That’s doubly true if the type of sugar is fructose. It causes the liver to suffer from stress and inflammation, while allowing fat to accumulate. It’s the leading cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Studies of fatty liver disease show that people who consume more soft drinks tend to have this condition more than people who don’t.
- Eating too much sugar is about more than just metabolic disease. It can increase blood pressure and may be just as much of a culprit as salt.
- How much sugar should you consume. The AHA— American Heart Association—suggests that women should have less than 6-tsp and men have 9-tsp of added sugar a day.
- It’s harder to identify added sugar in processed foods, rather than those you make yourself. You have to read the labels and look for words like cane juice, dextrose, beet sugar and fructose. There’s a lot of names for sugar and if they’re high on the list of ingredients or there are several sugar synonyms, don’t eat it.
- Sugar consumption can cause other problems, such as gall stones, varicose veins and even affect your eyesight or cause premature aging by stimulating the production of advanced glycation end products—AGEs—that attack collagen and elastin, necessary to keep skin looking younger.