The Impact of Sugar on Your Body

sugarThe average American eats about 47 pounds of cane sugar a year, and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup a year.  You read that right, in some form, 82 pounds of sugar is consumed on average, per person, per year.  That’s a lot of sugar, and the truth is that most people grossly underestimate how much sugar they are actually ingesting.  Plus, sugar can impact more than just your waistline. Sugar impacts your entire body, from head to toe.

Brain

There’s some evidence that sugar may damage memory and slow learning. A study at UCLA indicated that sugar can harmfully affect connections in the brain. The study also found that omega 3s can offset the effects of sugar, but still the best remedy is to avoid sugar when you can.

Other studies have found that sugar may trigger the brain to have you consume more when you’re eating. A Yale study has found that fructose might actually increase your appetite by interfering with the hormones your body produces that let your brain know when you’re full.

The Mouth

You can brush, floss, and rinse until the cows come home, but if you eat sugar you are basically creating a paradise for bacteria in your mouth. Eating sugar increases the acidity in your mouth, increasing the amount of bacteria which then go to work wreaking havoc on your teeth and gums. So give those pearly whites a break and watch how much sugar you eat.

The Circulatory System

Saturated fat is the bad boy of circulatory system health, but sugar is being found to be just as bad.  Some studies are even finding that at certain levels sugar intake might double the risk of heart disease. This is due to the impact that sugar has on your weight, blood pressure, triglycerides, and insulin.

The Pancreas

You were probably wondering when the pancreas was going to come up.  Recently, a correlation has been found between rising levels of sugar in the food supply and the rising rates of diabetes in the population independent of obesity. This may be because sugar is put in things you may not even be aware of, like fat free options. Make sure to check the ingredients of foods you buy.

Joints

Chronic inflammation can be caused by processed sugars and other refined carbs and has been show to increase the risk of not only heart disease but also muscle and joint pain.

Energy

Sugar and other simple carbs are processed quickly by the body and it causes blood sugar to spike and then crash. When your blood sugar crashes, so does your energy level.  Ingesting more complex carbs, like whole grains, will provide more long lasting energy.

 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Steven Depolo

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.