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Sugar is one of those essential ingredients in the kitchen, such as salt, pepper or cooking oil. Sugar is an accompaniment for an endless numbers of other foods and drinks. To not have sugar in the home is often unheard of, what would we use to sweeten our coffee, tea, or what would be use …   Read More

Sugar is one of those essential ingredients in the kitchen, such as salt, pepper or cooking oil. Sugar is an accompaniment for an endless numbers of other foods and drinks. To not have sugar in the home is often unheard of, what would we use to sweeten our coffee, tea, or what would be use to make desserts? Sugar is indispensable and even sometimes unavoidable. Sugar is found also already included in the many things we buy ready-made, such as candies, pop sodas, ketchup, cookies, cereals etc. Not to mention that our bodies constantly makes sugar out of the foods we eat, such as starches, fruits and other foods. The awareness of sugar consumption has been now more prominent with spokespersons like Michelle Obama who has been lobbying to bring awareness on obesity, as it is the biological fact that our bodies will turn excess sugars into far thus being the number one contributor to obesity rates. If that is not enough, there are the problems that obesity brings, such as a high risk of diabetes, heart conditions, liver disease, addiction and cancer. As with my previous article on the red meats being called the “silent killer,” sugars very much fall into the same category. A lot of is being said about obesity and sugar being the contributor to weight gain, but there is not a lot being said about the real deadly consequences of long term, unchecked consumption of this other “silent killer.” It is silent, because many barely notice the toll it has in human lives. The true index of destruction is hard to determine as long as extended use of sugar is the onset of a number of other diseases. However, it is much more accepted, thanks to studies that confirm this, that sugar is the prime cause of the following conditions: Diabetes: This is the most common one, the disease linkage that most would recognize, although perhaps not understood fully. The problem lies in youth who grow up used to consuming fructose rich beverages, which many are not even sweetened with actual sugar, instead with its cheaper even more lethal GMO corn syrup, which contains more sugar punch than refined or sugar cane. Diabetes is caused due prolonged excess of glucose in the body, having high glucose in the bloodstream is very toxic, some people even go blind. As intelligent as our bodies are, they create a defense to sugar by becoming resistant to the hormone insulin. Continued resistance to the hormone insulin which can lead to problems with the pancreas and diabetes type II. Cancer: As with diabetes, the effect of long term consumption of sugar can be a good initiator to the onset of cancer, not only that, but as this link is not recognized as a preventative pattern, sugar consumption also plays a very good role in the thriving for cancer cells, as sugar is food for cancer cells. As with diabetes and sugar’s effect in the production of insulin, insulin being being a regulator of cancer cell growth, therefore having elevated levels of insulin in the body can contribute to the onset of cancer. Liver disease: In order to understand how sugar can lead to liver disease, we must first understand that when sugar enters the bloodstream, it breaks down to glucose and fructose. Fructose is metabolized by the liver in various amounts, when consumed in small amounts, the liver will transform it to glycogen and store it in the liver. When the liver receives too much fructose, the excess glycogen gets transformed into fat. Excess fat in the liver leads to cirrhosis. The important thing to note, eating too much fruit does not mean you are eating too much fructose. The other important to note is that the more Obesity: As sugar is transformed into too fat, prolonged consumption of excess sugar leads to weight gain. One thing that a lot of people tend to ignore about obesity is the fact that the root cause lies on behavior pattern rooted in addiction. Sugar happens to be highly addictive, this is more so when we are children. This is the reason it is precisely when we are children that we are more inclined to fall for this addiction. If nothing was ever done while we were kids, the addiction only takes a different form as we grow old, we go from wanting lollipops, marshmallow or gummy bears to seeking to have highly sugary drinks pops, or even highlight sugary alcoholic beverages, or perhaps it is crepe, or ice cream. Sugar is addictive because it has a direct effect on hormones and the brain. Heart disease: New studies have recently revealed that saturated fats are not as harmful as previously thought. Although the debate is not really over yet, it seems now the biggest culprit to the onset of heart disease has been sugar after all. As previously stated, sugar has direct effects on the hormonal balances, more precisely when it has to do large amounts of fructose which lead to triglycerides which contribute to abdominal obesity. Dental disease: This is perhaps the one consequence that we all have consistently heard about over the years. Not only is sugar empty in nutrients, but it also contains too many calories, so called “empty” calories. Perhaps, the main reason why sugar is bad for dental hygiene is because sugar provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth which is conducive to tooth decay.   There are more reasons to stop consuming sugar, but perhaps it may sound too harsh to simply stop cold turkey, but at the very least, we must try to significantly reduce our sugar intake, because if we continue indiscriminately there will most likely be dire consequences in the future. Sources: http://time.com/2863227/ending-the-war-on-fat/ http://consciouslifenews.com/study-sugar-harm-brain-health/ http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sugar-may-harm-brain-health/ http://www.salon.com/2014/07/08/sugar_may_harm_brain_health_partner/ http://authoritynutrition.com/why-is-fructose-bad-for-you/

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