A High-Sugar Diet’s Extremely Hurtful Impact on Your Health
November 19, 2017 | 2,762 views
By Dr. Mercola
Processed foods that contain extremely high amounts of sugar are the scourge of the modern diet. The sad thing is, most people seem unaware of the dangers posed by sugar.
Sugar’s Impact on Both the Body and the Brain
Studies have proved that excessive sugar consumption leads to conditions like diabetes, cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, inflammation and mitochondrial damage, and has led to increased cases of heart disease and obesity among children.
Science has shown a link between high sugar consumption and adverse brain reactions. This may explain how processed food companies tap into the minds (and stomachs) of consumers.
Increased sugar consumption was also shown to raise levels of dopamine, a feel-good hormone, in your body, making it resistant to this hormone’s effects and causing intense sugar cravings.
Moreover, a study conducted by a team from the Technical University of Munich discovered that two hormones — insulin and leptin — direct and regulate sugar intake into neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the brain.
Using positron emissions tomography (PET), researchers saw that when insulin receptors on astrocytes (non-neuronal cells that establish homeostasis in the brain) go missing, this leads to weakened hunger regulation, triggering overeating and constant hunger pangs. Speaking to The Independent, Dr. Matthias Tschöp of the university’s Division of Metabolic Diseases said:
"Our results showed for the first time that essential metabolic and behavioral processes are not regulated via neuronal cells alone and that other cell types in the brain, such as astrocytes, play a crucial role."
Major Effects of a High-Sugar Diet on Children
Teaching kids to follow a healthy diet at and monitor their sugar consumption can be one of the best decisions you can make. Statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA) revealed that children consume around 19 teaspoons of added sugar daily — three times more than the recommended amount.
This number is easily explained by the sugar-loaded processed foods these kids eat. One can of soda or a glass of fruit juice already contains 40 grams of sugar, while popular breakfast cereals, cereal bars, bagels and pastries are made with added sugars too. It’s no wonder there are many obese kids nowadays, with more at risk for cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and other inflammatory diseases.
This is very unfortunate, since devastating illnesses usually seen among adults are now affecting children who should be living a stress- and worry-free life.
Fast-Track Your Way to Better Health
If a major concern is limiting the impacts of a high-sugar diet on your health, these lifestyle tweaks could help. First, reduce your daily sugar consumption. While the AHA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have released daily sugar recommendations, keep your sugar consumption to 25 grams a day, and reduce it to 15 grams if you are insulin or leptin resistant.
Moreover, instead of using sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, opt for healthier alternatives like Stevia or Luo-Han. Ditch canned fruits. A healthy diet is crucial to maintaining better health. This means consuming organically grown fruits and vegetables, moderate portions of grass fed meats and substantial quantities of healthy fats. Enriching your diet with these ingredients works because it may reduce inflammation caused by eating too much sugar.
Limiting your food consumption to a specific windows of time daily is also important. Intermittent fasting or Peak Fasting, as this practice is commonly known, entails consuming your meals to, say six to eight hours per day, while fasting for the remainder of the day.
Intermittent fasting allows the body to efficiently burn fat for fuel, and at the same time helps control inflammation. This can lower a person’s risk for various conditions linked to high-sugar diets.
If you’re worried that you might be severely affected by high-sugar diets, it’s never too late to make simple and healthy strides to your lifestyle. Hopefully, the studies presented can give you an idea of what to do to counteract this rampant trend in foods today.
Take a look at more study results linking excessively high amounts of sugar in processed foods, and see other methods that you can practice to improve your well-being, by reading the article “How High-Sugar Diets Speed You Toward an Early Grave.”