It’s often been said that you can catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar. The idea is to draw the flies in and trap them so that they eventually die. But it seems that this is also true of humans. Conservehealth wants you to know about one of the biggest silent killers of modern time. It’s naturally found in many plants, can be used to flavor all kinds of foods and it tastes good. But every good thing is best when used in moderation; and one thing modern living does a poor job of promoting is moderation. Sugar is the name given to sweet tasting soluble carbohydrates that we put in our culinary delights.
Your Brain on Sugar
Your brain reacts to sugar very similarly to the way it reacts to cocaine or heroin. With the brain using up half of the glucose or sugar your body takes up, it’s no wonder that the brain lights up with activity when we consume sugar. Cells need sugar to fuel their activity, and the brain has far more cells than any other part of our bodies. Although the brain will gladly accept these sweet offerings, it will bring about the decline of memory and cognition. The idea that Alzheimer’s and dementia are linked to sugar consumption and imbalances is becoming more widely studied. In fact, some have gone as far as to call Alzheimer’s disease, type 3 diabetes. It’s true, your brain’s main fuel is sugar, but too much will set it on a path of deterioration.
Your Body on Sugar
Most people think about diabetes when they think about sugar and the body. In actuality, it’s only type 2 diabetes that is linked to the consumption of sugar. Type 1 diabetes is more of an immune disorder, where the immune system attacks the pancreas, affecting its ability to produce insulin to manage blood glucose levels. Excess sugar also promotes belly fat and increases the risk of heart disease. When we take in too much fructose sugar, we create a leptin resistance, which in turn lowers the volume on the “I’m full” signal. Remember that there is no nutritional value in sugar, so it’s just empty calories that push your body towards obesity, inflammation, heart disease and liver toxicity.
Reversing the Damage
The long and short of reversing and minimizing the damage that sugar consumption has on the body is to simply cut sugar out of your diet. Reducing your sugar intake will help your body to repair and rebound. More sugar creates more sugar cravings, so be prepared for a true exercise in self-control when reducing your sugar intake. Start an exercise regimen and commit to consuming healthier foods and less sugar daily. If you’re finding this to be difficult, consult with a doctor and dietician to create a plan that works for you and your individual needs.
Keep in mind that the body only needs six to nine tablespoons of sugar a day to maintain itself optimally. Sugar is a silent killer that often does its worst damage over extended periods of time. But you have the power to change your health outlook with just a few adjustments to the amount of sugar you consume.