We’ve all heard that consuming excessive amounts of sugar is bad for our health. But how much damage does sugar really cause? Read on to discover what overdoing it on the sweet stuff really does to your body.
Sugar is addictive
The biggest problem with eating refined sugars is that they are addictive. The Doctors report that just like many other addictive substances, consuming sugar releases dopamine and serotonin, which cause you to feel pleasure. As your blood sugar levels rise, you experience a high. But once the sugars have exited your bloodstream, you experience a low, which can make you crave more sugar, which can cause the cycle to repeat itself. And the more sugar you consume, the more you crave it, which causes you to have to eat more to get the results you want.
Sugar can lead to weight gain
Certified holistic health counsellor Rachel Leslie explains that because refined sugar is made up of only one substance, it breaks down quickly and easily in the bloodstream. Sugar in the blood triggers the pancreas to produce the hormone insulin, which moves sugar out of the blood. When there is more sugar than the body can reasonably use, it is stored as fat. In addition, the production of insulin halts the production of another hormone, called glucagon, which is responsible for telling the body to burn fat cells to create energy. So naturally when you’re creating more fat and simultaneously prohibiting your body from burning fat, you wind up with undesirable weight gain.
Sugar is hard on the brain
Forbes reports that a diet high in sugar reduces the production of a chemical in the brain known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF. BDNF aids in the forming of new memories and helps us learn new things. Research also indicates that reduced levels of BDNF can increase the risks of dementia and depression. In addition, research has shown that chronic consumption of sugar may slow the mechanism in the brain that tells you to stop eating. The anorexigenic oxytocin system is responsible for telling your body you are full, but oxytocin cells can be blunted by the over-consumption of sugar, which can cause you to eat far more than you require.
Fixing the problem
Undoubtedly our bodies need natural sugars. The natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables are crucial to our health. What isn’t crucial is artificial or added sugar. So when you’re in need of a sweet treat, reach for a scrumptious bowl of berries rather than a chocolate bar.