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Sugar and Our Health

Ways Sugar Harms Our Health

 

  1. Sugar provides merely empty calories.

KETO Empty calories - dietsodaAll Sugar, regardless whether they are from natural sources, organic, raw, refined or non-organic, contain a whole bunch of calories and NO essential nutrients –proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals. That is why they are called “empty calories.”

People who are all the time getting 20 percent or more of their calories from sugars and starch carbs (foods with high glycemic index GI, corn, wheat, starch products, fructose, etc.), will suffer severe nutrient deficiencies.

 

  1. The recurring cycle of cravings is the main cause for sugar addiction.

Sugar is highly addictive because it causes instant release of dopamine in the brain, like abusive drugs.

Every time we consume sugar, our brain gets totally psyched by sweets. Bingeing on foods with added sugars causes a massive surge of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, in our brain’s reward center. For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become deeply addicted to sugar and other junk foods.

KETO sugar-cravingHowever, a few hours later when the sugar is expended by our body, hunger and cravings set in anew.

Repeated blood sugar spikes can desensitize our brain’s reward center, which releases gradually less and less dopamine, causing us to need more and more sugar to score a dopamine rush.

In contrast, people who avoid sugar have little or no cravings for sugary and starchy foods (French fries, crackers, pasta, etc.) and feel emotionally balanced and energized.

The “everything in moderation” message is a very bad idea for those of us who are addicted to junk food  because …

The only thing that works for true addiction is “abstinence.”

 

 

  1. It is “sugar” that raises our bad cholesterol and gives us heart disease.

KETO - Heart disease risk due to carbs

For many decades, health authorities have blamed saturated fats for heart disease. However studies show that sugar, NOT fat, is one of the leading drivers of heart disease due to the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism. We have some more research on this topic coming up soon …

Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise …

  • triglycerides,
  • small, dense LDL,
  • oxidized LDL (very, very bad),
  • blood glucose level,
  • insulin level, and

… Fructose can increase abdominal obesity.

These are all most critical risk factors for heart disease.

 

  1. Sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

KETO Non-American-style-HI glycemic carbsThe way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster. Sugar leads to decreased satiety … and can get us addicted so that we lose control over our sugar consumption.

Sugar is a leading contributor to obesity in both children and adults. Regardless of age groups, people who consume the most sugar will be by far the most likely people to become overweight or obese.

The more we consume high-glycemic foods (foods that affect blood sugar quickly) including foods containing added sugar, the higher is our risk for becoming obese and developing diabetes and heart disease. Emerging research also suggests connections between high-glycemic diets and many different forms of cancer.

One of the most important things we must do to lose weight is to avoid all sugar consumption.

 

  1. Sugar interferes with our immune system.

KETO sugar & immune systemSugar suppresses our immune response.

More research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms between Vitamin C and sugar; however, it is a fact that bacteria and yeast feed on sugar and that, when these organisms get out of balance in our body, infections and illness are more likely.

Sugar DOES NOT help our immune system fight infections at all, resulting in a weakened defense.

  • Our body is unable to synthesize its own Vitamin C
  • We can satisfy our need for Vitamin C only from food sources or ingest as supplement.
  • Sugar and Vitamin C have very similar chemical structure.
  • Both sugar (glucose) and Vitamin C use the same transporters to enter cells.
  • When we eat sugar, it directly competes for space in our white blood cells with Vitamin C!
  • Elevated levels of glucose (whether in the intestines or in the blood) restricts Vitamin C from entering cells.
  • The more sugar in our system, the less Vitamin C can get into our white blood cells.
  • The elevated state of glucose levels cripples our immune system as long as five hours after each sugar consumption!
  • As a result, our white blood cells become as much as 40 % less effective at killing germs.
  • This long-term condition ultimately leads to chronically reduced immune function.

Consequently, people who choose high-carb foods with added sugar as their main energy source are critically compromising their immune response.

An interesting footnote: Out of all the mammals in the world, only a handful (including humans) are unable to synthesize their own Vitamin C. The reason for our short coming is due to a mutation in our GULO gene (gulonolactone oxidase) which codes a protein needed for converting glucose into Vitamin C.

 

  1. Excessive sugar consumption can set off “Insulin Resistance,” a precursor for metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

KETO type2diabetes-insulin resistanceInsulin is a vital hormone in our body which is secreted by our pancreas. The stimulus for insulin secretion is HIGH blood glucose. In reaction to insulin, our cells absorb sugar (glucose) out of the blood, having the net effect of lowering our high blood sugar levels into the normal range.

Insulin also prompts the cells to burn glucose instead of fat.

One aspect of the metabolic dysfunction that is caused by the Western diet is that insulin stops working as it should. Our cells become “insulin resistant.” Many studies show that sugar consumption is associated with insulin resistance, especially when it is consumed in large amounts.

This condition is believed to be the leading cause of several chronic diseases including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and especially type II diabetes.

 

  1. Insulin Resistance due to excessive sugar consumption can progress to “type II diabetes.”

KETO Insulin-Resistance-SymptomsSugar causes blood glucose to spike and plummet like a yo-yo. This constant exposure to spiking blood sugar levels force the pancreas to produce increasingly more insulin in order to keep up with the demand. This is crucial, because chronically elevated blood sugar levels can otherwise cause severe harm.

With ongoing carb and sugar consumption, and continually spiking blood sugar, our cells become increasingly resistant to the effects of insulin. As insulin resistance becomes progressively worse, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down. At this point, our blood sugar levels skyrocket and the diagnosis of type II diabetes is made.

Given that even moderate amounts of carb and sugar consumption can cause insulin resistance, it is not surprising to see that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages have up to an 83 % higher risk of type II diabetes.

Having too much sugar in the blood is highly toxic and is one of the reasons for other complications like blindness caused by diabetes.

Bottom Line: Sugar is the leading driver of type II diabetes because of the harmful effects of sugar on the function of insulin.

 

  1. Sugar, due to its harmful effects on metabolism, can contribute to cancer.

Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells. Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating the cell growth and multiplication. For this reason, many scientists regard having constantly elevated insulin levels (a consequence of high carb and sugar consumption) contribute to cancer.

The metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, another probable cause of cancer.

Read more …

 

  1. Sugar has fat-promoting characteristic due to its effects on hormones and the brain.

KETO-HI-fructose-corn-syrupSugar both drives fat storage and makes our brain think it is hungry, setting up a “vicious cycle.”

Not every calorie is created equal. Calories from different food sources have different effects on our brain and the hormones that regulate our food intake.

Studies show that fructose does not lower the hunger hormone ghrelin nearly as much as glucose does. Fructose consumers have less activity in the satiety centers of the brain and feel hungrier. Over time, as the calories from sugar feel increasingly less fulfilling, this can translate into an increased calorie intake.

Calorie for calorie, sugar causes more insulin resistance in the liver than other edibles. The pancreas has to release more insulin to satisfy the liver’s needs. High insulin levels, in turn, interfere with the brain’s receipt of signals from the hormone called leptin, secreted by fat cells. Leptin sends the signal to our brain when the appetite has been sated. Eating stimulates secretion of insulin and leptin. The conventional view holds that insulin, like leptin, feeds back in the brain to limit food intake. However, chronically elevated insulin levels do not feedback negatively to curb eating and block leptin’s negative feedback signal too.

Fructose generates greater insulin resistance than other foodstuffs, and that fructose calories, therefore, fail to blunt appetite in the same way as other foods.

 

  1. Sugar accelerates aging.

KETO skin aging n sugarSugar contributes to sagging skin, the clear indication of aging.

In a process called glycation, some of the sugar molecules we consume cross-link with protein molecules in our blood stream. These new sugar-protein molecules are called “advanced glycation end products” (AGEs). These new molecules tend to gravitate toward dermal collagen and elastin found in our skin, organs and arteries.

As our body does not recognize AGEs as natural part of it, it produces antibodies that cause inflammation in the skin. Effects of the glycation at the cellular level of the skin’s structure result in sagging, wrinkling, loss of elasticity, stiffness, accelerated aging, and compromised barrier function.

The more sugar we eat, whether processed or natural, the more sugar circulates in our blood, the more AGEs are produced, and the faster glycation damage takes hold.

 

  1. Sugar causes tooth decay.

With all the other life-threatening effects of sugar, we forget the most basic damage it does. Everyone knows eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but few are aware of exactly how that happens.

It’s not the sugar itself that does the damage, but rather the chain of events that takes place after we eat that piece of cake.

When sugar molecules sit on our teeth, they accelerate decay of our pearly whites more efficiently than any other food substance. Our mouth is full of bacteria, many of which are beneficial to our oral ecosystem. However, certain harmful oral bacteria actually feed on the sugars we eat to create acids that destroy the tooth enamel. Without treatment, cavities can progress past the enamel and into the deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain and possible tooth loss.

KETO tooth decay

  1. Sugar causes gum disease, which leads to heart disease.

Periodontal diseases are autoimmune disorder; gingivitis causes wounds that affect the gums and periodontitis damages the bone and connective tissue that supports the teeth.

The bacteria that form plaque and tartar release toxins that stimulate the immune system to overproduce powerful infection-fighting factors called cytokines. Ordinarily, cytokines are important for healing. In excess, however, they can cause destructive inflammation. Recent research demonstrates that chronic infections, such as those that result from periodontal problems, play a role in the development of coronary artery disease. The connection is related to widespread effects from the body’s inflammatory response to infection.

 

  1. Sugar increases stress.

KETO Depressed overweight-woman 1Unstable blood sugar levels often lead to …

  • Stress,
  • mood swings,
  • fatigue,
  • anxiety,
  • irritability,
  • shakiness,
  • headaches, and
  • cravings for more sugar.

When we’re under stress, our stress hormone levels (adrenaline, epinephrine and cortisol) rise; these chemicals are our body’s fight-or-flight emergency crew, sent out to prepare the body for an attack or an escape.

  • Stress hormones are also called into action when blood sugar is low.
  • After a blood-sugar spike, there’s a dive to offset the negative effects.
  • This dive of blood-sugar causes the body to release stress hormones.

One of the main things these hormones do is raise blood sugar, providing the body with a quick energy boost. The problem is, these hormones make us also feel extremely anxious, irritable and shaky.

 

  1. A high-sugar diet often results in VITAMIN D deficiency.

KETO Vitamin D Deficiency-Broken-NailLack of sun exposure isn’t the only cause for vitamin D deficiency. Excessive sugar intake (especially in the form of fructose) can magnify the problem!

High intake of fructose triggers following events in our body …

  • Fructose increases the secretion of vitamin D degrading enzyme (24-hydroxylase),
  • 24-hydroxylase breaks down vitamin D in the kidneys,
  • Fructose decreases the secretion of the vitamin D synthesizer enzyme (1α-hydroxylase).
  • 1α-hydroxylase impairs our body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D, and
  • The consequence is reduced vitamin D

The vicious cycle gets even worse! Vitamin D suppresses inflammations that may be caused by fructose. On the other hand, low vitamin D levels adversely intensify the inflammatory properties of fructose.

Potential harmful effects of vitamin D deficiency caused by high fructose consumption are:

  • greater susceptibility to infection,
  • higher risk of autoimmunity,
  • increased rates of certain cancers, and
  • overall lower immune function.

Vitamin D deficiency induced by fructose rich Western diets also sets off non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

 

  1. A high-sugar diet often results in CALCIUM deficiency.

KETO Ca deficiency-OsteoporosisCalcium is another critical nutrient for our body which is negatively impacted by a high sugar intake! Calcium …

  • supports our skeletal health (bones and teeth),
  • acts as electrolyte signal for our muscles to contract, and
  • assists in blood coagulation at open wound locations.

Vitamin D regulates the transportation of calcium in the small intestines. Consequently, our calcium absorption from dietary sources is greatly dependent on vitamin D3 levels in our blood. Since fructose has “vitamin-D-lowering effect,” high fructose diet can have a ripple effect on our ability to absorb calcium from food sources. That spells trouble during times when we need calcium the most, especially during pregnancy or healing broken bones.

Along with fructose, a high intake of other forms of sugar increases calcium excretion by the kidneys through several mechanisms –by inhibiting tubular reabsorption.

 

  1. A high-sugar diet often results in MAGNESIUM deficiency.

KETO Magnesium-Deficiency-muscle-crampsMagnesium is pretty important for every organ in our body.

Both high sugar intake and elevated insulin levels (which can result from a high intake of refined carbohydrates, including sugar) increase the excretion of magnesium by the kidneys –by inhibiting tubular reabsorption; the same process that leads to calcium excretion.

The interaction between sugar and magnesium is a two-way street:

  • Sugar depletes magnesium, while …
  • … magnesium plays a role in stabilizing blood sugar, by
  • influencing cellular uptake of glucose and insulin secretion.

I know it sounds complex but we will not dive into any further biomedical details. That much is known that people with diabetes or chronically high insulin tend to have higher magnesium requirements and deplete magnesium more rapidly.

  • When magnesium levels are too low, blood sugar regulation can also be impaired.
  • This condition sets the stage for even greater magnesium depletion due to the increasingly higher levels of glucose in the blood!

Obviously, during sugar metabolism our body’s magnesium reserves are being guzzled through. We have to put an end to this evil cycle.

Because magnesium …

  • regulates muscle and nerve function,
  • makes protein,
  • builds bone,
  • synthesizes DNA, and
  • regulates blood sugar levels.

 

  1. A high-sugar diet often results in CHROMIUM deficiency.

KETO Chromium loaded Brazil-nutsChromium is a metallic trace mineral we need in very small amounts. It is an essential part of metabolic processes that …

  • regulate blood sugar,
  • macronutrient metabolism (metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein), and
  • Chromium helps insulin transport glucose into cells, where glucose is used for energy.

Chromium is found in a variety of animal foods, seafood, plant foods and nuts. A person most likely doesn’t get enough of the trace mineral if consuming excessive amounts of simple sugars and refined flours causes more chromium to be excreted in the urine.

The industrialization of the American food supply chain reflected in the loss of chromium from foods, especially sugar, contributes to this.

Chromium and sugar also have an interactive effect due to chromium’s role in blood sugar regulation. Just as a high sugar intake can contribute to chromium deficiency, chromium deficiency can contribute to poor glucose tolerance and higher blood sugar levels. Ample chromium is needed for insulin binding, increasing the insulin receptor number, and insulin receptor phosphorylation.

 

  1. Sugar takes the place of important nutrients.

According to USDA data, people who consume the most sugar have the lowest intakes of essential nutrients ––especially …

  • Vitamin A,
  • Vitamin C,
  • Folate,
  • Vitamin B-12,
  • Calcium,
  • Phosphorous,
  • Magnesium, and
  • Chromium.

Ironically, those who consume the most sugar are children and teenagers, the individuals who need these essential nutrients most.

 

  1. Sugar affects behavior and mental faculty of children.

Millions of parents confirm the harmful effects of sugar on children’s behavior. Parents and educators often contend that sugar and other carbohydrate ingestion dramatically impacts children’s ability to learn and behavior, particularly their activity levels.

 

Slashing Sugar

KETO Complications caused by ObesityNow that we know the negative impacts of sugar on our body and mind, the first step is getting educated about where it lurks —a food does not even need to taste all that sweet for it to be loaded with sugar.

When it comes to frozen and packaged foods, be aware that just because something boasts that it is low in carbs or a “diet” food, doesn’t mean it is free of sugar. And, much of processed food labeled “reduced fat” instead has sugar added to make it more palatable.

Eliminate the so-called ‘healthy’ sugars –honey, brown sugar, and cane juice- from your food regimen too. They may sound healthy, but sugar is sugar. Whether it comes from bees or sugar cane, it causes your blood sugar to rise. Honey and unrefined sugars are slightly higher in nutrients, but their calories still count.

We urge you to avoid all sweets. We mean all fruits, the so-called ‘healthy’ sugars, grains, and beans.

Our scheme is to purge our system of sugar.

 

 

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