If you didn’t already realize, sugar is everywhere. Even those who don’t have a sweet tooth, and who don’t go out of their way to consume sugar, frequently still end up eating more than they should each day. It is present in many of the typical foods that we consume, and is often only revealed by a forensic examination of the ingredients label.
It has been estimated that an average adult consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. This is a very significant amount and can lead to all kinds of health problems, including gut dysbiosis and Candida overgrowth. Over the last few years, science has discovered even more ways in which sugar can damage your health (as you can see on our sugar infographic). Here are 16 ways that sugar will impact your body, including a few that you probably haven’t heard before!
1. Your Chromium Levels
Chromium is a trace mineral that is necessary for stabilizing blood sugar levels. It is found in different plant and sea foods as well as animal foods. It has been shown that high sugar consumption can negatively affect chromium levels. It is suspected that about 90% of those in the US don’t get enough chromium.
2. Your Liver
One particular type of sugar, known as fructose, has been shown to contribute to a fatty liver. This is a condition where fat globules accumulate around the liver and potentially lead to fatty liver disease.
3. Unstable Blood Glucose
Many individuals experience highs and lows throughout the day, such as fatigue and mood swings. Often these are caused by wild swings in blood glucose, which in turn are caused by excessive sugar intake. Individuals that don’t consume a lot of sugar on a regular basic tend to not have to deal with sugar cravings, and don’t experience these highs and lows to the same extent.
One study has been indicated that diabetes rates go up by 1.1% for every extra 150 calories that a person obtains from sugar. Some are talking about a new form of diabetes called Type 3 diabetes. This is in regards to some research that was done regarding the links between insulin-resistant diabetes, high fat diets and Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Sugar And Obesity
Here’s an obvious one. It’s common knowledge that sugar helps pile on the pounds. Kids in particular are notorious for wanting to consume sweet foods. As childhood obesity becomes a huge problem in the developed world, sugar has been identified as one of the major culprits.
6. Sugar And Your Heart
Does sugar affect the health of your heart? Not directly perhaps, but in some indirect ways it certainly can. For example, those who are dealing with obesity know that their extra weight is affecting the health of their heart. We also know that sugar has a direct link to diabetes, which in turn can lead to heart issues. A diet high in sugar is, in general terms, bad news for your heart health.
7. The Aging Factor And Sugar
Even if you’re relaxed about the impact of sugar on your health, what would you say if you learned it would age you too? When glucose enters the bloodstream, some of it attaches to amino acids and creates free radicals. These proceed to damage and harden the collagen and elastin in your skin. These, of course, are the building blocks that keep your skin strong, supple, and youthful. As your skin loses its elasticity, the visual results are sagging and aging.
8. Your Circulatory System
Too much sugar intake affects your insulin levels, which in turn affects your blood vessels. The insulin causes the smooth muscle cells to increase and prompts your artery walls to become tense. This can lead to high blood pressure, which in turn can contribute to heart disease or stroke.
9. Your Teeth
This may be the effect of sugar that we pay the most attention to. As children our parents were always after us to brush our teeth following a meal or treats. There is a link between sugar, Candida and tooth decay. And poor dental health has, in turn, been linked to multiple other health conditions.
10. Your Gums
Not only does sugar affect the teeth, but it can also contribute to gum disease. Chronic infections that take place in any part of the body, including the gums, can also have an adverse effect on your heart health.
11. Cholesterol And Sugar
Cholesterol is another very common problem that a lot of people are aware of. What they may not be aware of is that eating too much fat is not the only way to increase your “bad” cholesterol. Eating excess sugar can do just the same.
12. Behavior And Cognition
Many of us have seen how active many kids become after consuming sugar, a behavior that is attributed to the “sugar rush”. Adults also experience this but perhaps are betting at controlling it. More importantly, there are indicators that sugar can affect the way that children learn. When some public schools in the US cut back on the sugar in their school lunches and breakfasts, the average academic ranking improved by 15.7%.
13. Increased Stress Levels
After the sugar rush that comes with sugar consumption, there is the sugar dive. During this time the body releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones can cause you to feel edgy and irritable, and may contribute to long-term health problems if they remain at elevated levels.
14. Empty Calories
If you’re filling up with sugary foods, chances are you’re not getting all the nutrients that you need. Sugary foods are generally nutrient-poor. If you eat too many of them, they are likely pushing healthier foods out of your diet.
15. A Link To Depression
Some studies have shown that some consuming too much sugar and junk food may leave you at risk of developing mental health conditions. There is a well established link between sugar and depression.
16. Gut Dysbiosis
Lastly, eating too much sugar can change the environment in your gut and promote the growth of opportunistic pathogens like Candida albicans. When you lose the important balance of microorganisms in your gut flora, it can affect your digestion, your immune system, and much more.
These are just some of the more serious and major potential side effects linked to the consumption of sugar. Is sugar toxic for your body? As you can see, it certainly is. Dr. Eric Wood and I have made a low sugar diet the cornerstone of our Candida recovery plan. As well as restoring balance to your gut after a Candida overgrowth, lowering your sugar consumption can have multiple benefits for your energy levels, appearance, longevity, and overall health.