You probably don’t consider sugar a toxic substance. However, when you ponder the damage that the average American inflicts on their bodies by consuming roughly 22-teaspoons sugar per day (according to the most recent American Heart Association statistics), you may suddenly have a scary new perspective concerning the sweet stuff!
Here are 10 toxic effects that refined sugar has on your body…
Sugar Raises the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Even though a diet high in refined sugars doesn’t give you diabetes outright, the sweet stuff can make you more prone to type 2 diabetes. For instance, the online publication, PLOS ONE, conducted a study that showed that for every 150-calories of sugar an individual consumed, their risk of type 2 diabetes was accelerated by 1.1-percent.
Sugar Can Make You Depressed
Although reaching for a chocolate bar, a bag of candy, or a pint of ice cream is habitual comfort in stressful or sad times, using sugar as a mood booster doesn’t work. In fact, research from the Public Health Journal linked diets high in fast food and refined sweets to a 40-percent high rate of depression due to the fact that those with higher resistance emit lower amounts of dopamine (the feel good hormone and neurotransmitter). For more information, check out this article on the Negative Effects of Sugar on the Brain.
Sugar Increases Fat Storage
We already know that the added calories that come from fructose-laden products (i.e., table sugar and products containing high-fructose corn syrup) cause fat accumulation. However, I’m not just talking about fat around your midsection. Fructose causes fat storage around your organs—especially around your liver—which raises the risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Sugar Causes Wrinkles
You already knew that too much sugar inside your body can cause insulin resistance. However, the refined sweet stuff also wreaks havoc on the outside as well! Sugar causes wrinkles and saggy skin when it attacks and breaks down protein fibers in collagen and elastin, which are essential for a taunt, smooth, elastic visage, as well as for protection from harmful UV rays.
Sugar Raises Cholesterol
There’s long been a scary connection between diets high in refined sugar and high cholesterol. And a research study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association supports this claim further. The study monitored a group of participants (excluding any with existing high cholesterol, high body weight, or diabetes from the study) and found a correlation between increased bad cholesterol levels and unhealthy triglyceride blood fats and high sugar diets. While those with low sugar diets had the highest good (or HDL) cholesterol levels.
Sugar Raises Risk of Heart Disease
The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association have long linked type 2 diabetes to increased risk of both heart disease and stroke. Both organizations credit 65-percent of diabetes patient deaths to either cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Sugar Makes You Overeat
You’ve heard claims that suggest eating a diet high in refined sugar messes with your appetite—meaning that those with high sugar diets often can’t tell when they’re full. In order for your body to send proper satiation messages to the brain, it requires leptin hormones. However, high levels of fructose obscure leptin levels so the brain doesn’t receive these messages on time and you overeat…even if you’re already full.
Sugar Restricts Blood Vessels
You already know that high sugar diets cause high insulin levels in the bloodstream. However, chronic high insulin coursing through the body causes abnormal cell growth around your artery walls—resulting in blood vessel restriction, high blood pressure, and ultimately a heart attack or stroke!
Sugar Zaps Your Energy
We’re all aware of the mid-day energy crash. However, dragging butt to the vending machine for a chocolate bar will only boost energy temporarily. Delivering a refined sugar spike in the form of a candy bar or donut will only set the stage for a full-on sugar crash and it will cause you to eat more sugar to repeat that temporary high—resulting in weight gain, lower energy levels, and troubled sleep.
Sugar is Extremely Addictive
You know that illegal drugs (i.e., heroin and cocaine) and even legal substances (i.e., cigarettes and alcohol) are highly addictive partly because the substances within trigger the production of chemicals and cause cravings. Sugar does the very same thing, targeting the brain’s pleasure center by triggering dopamine release. Eventually, as you crave that sugar high, it will be tougher to achieve so you increase your sugar intake. Before you know it, you’re hooked on the sweet stuff!