Did you know that excessive sugar consumption decreases immune function. And we wonder why we all get colds during/after the holidays? Please tell me I’m not alone when I say I could fill five ice cream buckets with the left-over chocolate and candy from Christmas? Did someone say ice cream? Oh, and I got a pastry blender for Christmas and all I want to do now is make pies!! Wait, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, sugar is bad… do you see how often we compromise our immune system?
On average, the human body can only process about 2 teaspoons of sugar at any one time. Some of our most common soft drinks contain upwards of 19 grams [or 4.75 teaspoons!] of sugar in just 20 ounces of liquid (*cough*Mt.Dew*cough*). Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars… glucose and fructose. Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it. Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it. The liver metabolizes fructose into glycogen and then stores it. But it can only do this in small amounts (in about 2 teaspoon increments, as mentioned above). When we inundate it with excessive amounts of sugar/fructose, we force the liver to turn the sugar into fat. Doing this repeatedly leads to fatty liver and many other serious problems. Continued excessive sugar intake then leads to insulin resistance; which contributes to metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Sugar is highly addictive. Not only is it bad for us, but it makes us want more! Sugar releases high amounts of dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain. And once we come down from that dopamine high, the natural response is to get back up on it. The way sugar affects the brain and hormones leads individuals to decreased satiety. You are less likely to become satisfied with the empty calories contained in fructose containing foods, and therefore eat more. This is especially noted in children, where each daily serving of a sugar sweetened drink can increase the risk of obesity by 60%.
In addition, the more sugar you ingest, the more insulin your pancreas produces. Insulin can block the production of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain that you are full. Now, with higher insulin levels, you will feel hungrier, even after just eating. This stimulates starvation to your brain, and it responds by telling your body to star storing all the glucose as belly fat.
Fat is not what is clogging your arteries, sugar is. Remember what we talked about earlier when we overload the liver with excess sugar? Well, the liver has to turn the excess sugar into fat and sends it to be stored throughout the body, not just the liver. “Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, small, dense LDL and oxidized LDL (very, very bad), raise blood glucose and insulin levels and increase abdominal obesity… in as little as 10 weeks.”
Sugar and your teeth. Sugar gives a certain bacteria in your mouth an energy boost! And then it gets to work adhering to your teeth, eating away and softening them! There are some great suggestions herefor helping prevent this bacterial plaque buildup after eating sugar. [Who knew that cheese can neutralize saliva back to a normal pH?]
Here’s another bit of ‘sweet’ information. According to Google: “Four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon. To be precise, 4.2 grams equals a teaspoon, but the nutrition facts round it to four grams.” Now you can figure out how many teaspoons of sugar is in all of your food and drinks! Which ones will you be avoiding from now on?
Comment below with your favorite sugary drink and how many grams of sugar it contains for a chance to win a 1 oz. Pancrease tincture for FREE
Mine would have to be a Chocolate Chip Frappe from McDonald’s…. I just googled it you guys.. there are apparently 99 grams of sugar in a large one of those!!!!!! NOO! That’s about 24.75 teaspoons of sugar in 22 ounces of liquid! How do they even do that?!
Don’t forget to share this article with your sugar addict friends. Thanks for reading, blessings, Kerry