Did you know that consumption of sugar can be toxic to both your body and your dental health? The average American consumes 130 pounds of added sugars (those not found in nature) to their diet per year. That’s roughly twenty-two teaspoons a day. The American Heart Association recommends no more than five teaspoons for women, nine for men, and three for children per day. One can of soda contains about three teaspoons, on average. Why is excessive sugar intake bad for you?

  1. Sugar causes blood glucose to spike and plummet. This leads to mood swings, fatigue, cravings for more sugar (to spike back to a positive mood), and headaches. The positive swing in your mood is only temporary with sugar and leads to crashes.
  2. Primary factors in diabetes and heart disease lie in diets high in high-glycemic foods (foods that quickly affect blood sugar). Sugar is a large contributor to these factors. Recent studies have also found a direct correlation between high-glycemic foods and different forms of cancer.
  3. Bacteria and yeast feed on sugar. This, in turn, affects your immune system. A high sugar diet can enable bacteria and yeast to grow in the body at exponential rates.
  4. Did you know chromium is one of the main components required to regulate blood sugar? Sugars and other refined carbohydrates rob foods of chromium, preventing the body from being able to regulate blood sugar.
  5. Sugar accelerates aging, specifically sagging skin. Sugar bonds with proteins in a process called glycation. These molecular structures contribute dramatically to the loss of elasticity in aging body tissues (skin, organs, etc.).
  6. Sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay among all other food substances. When sugar sits on the teeth, it creates a haven for decay. Sipping sugary drinks all day only increases the damage.
  7. Gum disease can be caused by sugar as well. Sugar increases the acidity in the mouth which leads to enamel break down and infection. Did you know that chronic infections play a huge role in the development of artery disease? The inflammatory response in your body from large-scale infections are a considerable factor.
  8. Sugar actually increases stress. That temporary spike of energy from blood sugar releases stress hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine, and cortisol which can make us feel anxious, irritable, and shaky.
  9. If sugar makes up more than 15% of your caloric intake, you are depriving your body of essential nutrients.
  10. Sugar, more than fat, raises your cholesterol and contributes to heart disease.

How does sugar cause all of these problems? The digestive system breaks down sugars into two simple sugars: Glucose and Fructose. Glucose is found in every living thing on the planet. Our bodies produce this naturally. Fructose, on the other hand, is something our body doesn’t produce and has no physiological need for. As a matter of fact, the only thing that can metabolize fructose is the liver.

If we eat a little bit (fruit for instance) or just finished an exercise session, that fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until its needed. A high-sugar/high fructose diet can actually cause the liver to fill completely with glycogen which will overload the liver, forcing all new fructose to turn into fat. A fatty liver can lead to dangerous health problems. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a growing problem that is strongly associated with metabolic disease.

In addition, too much glucose is highly toxic so your body will naturally build up an immunity. This creates something called insulin resistance, one of the leading causes of Type II Diabetes.

Take a long look at your diet and consider your sugar intake. Stick with fiber rich sugars like fruits. The natural fiber blocks the sugar shock response to your system. Check your labels. If there is an -ose at the end of the ingredient it is a sugar. Anything with sugar or syrup after the name is also a sugar. Brush your teeth after every meal to regulate your dental health. Make sure you choose drinks low in sugar and acid for all day sipping.

You only get one body. Know how to care for it so it can take care of you.

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