It's true that sugar doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to health. It occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as dairy, some vegetables, fruits, and grains. If you're considering switching to a low carb diet then you will be staying away from sugar and eating more protein and fat instead.
Since the body digests sugary foods slowly, sugar still offers a supply of energy to cells, unless you're on a low carb diet where your body goes through ketosis and burns fat as opposed to carbohydrates. Read the Body Reboot book and learn why eating a diet that's high in fat and protein as opposed to carbs is a better alternative. According to experts, eating vegetables, and other healthy foods reduces the risk of disease, but problems can occur when too much sugar is added.
Consuming too much sugar
However, problems occur when you consume too much added sugar — that is, sugar that food manufacturers add to products to increase flavor or extend shelf life.
In the American diet, the top sources are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods. But added sugar is also present in items that you may not think of as sweetened, like soups, bread, cured meats, and ketchup.
The result: we consume way too much added sugar. Adult men take in an average of 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the National Cancer Institute. That's equal to 384 calories.
“Excess sugar's impact on obesity and diabetes is well documented, but one area that may surprise many men is how their taste for sugar can have a serious impact on their heart health,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Impact on your heart
In a study published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, Dr. Hu and his colleagues found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. Over the course of the 15-year study, people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar.
“Basically, the higher the intake of added sugar, the higher the risk for heart disease,” says Dr. Hu.
Consuming too much added sugar can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation, both of which are pathological pathways to heart disease. Excess consumption of sugar, especially in sugary beverages, also contributes to weight gain by tricking your body into turning off its appetite-control system because liquid calories are not as satisfying as calories from solid foods. This is why it is easier for people to add more calories to their regular diet when consuming sugary beverages.
“The effects of added sugar intake — higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease — are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke,” says Dr. Hu.
You probably already knew that sugar was bad, but now you understand what sugar can do to your body. When sugar is there it's easy to get carried away — we use it to ease stress, have something tasty, or bake a cake for a friend's birthday. However, according to the experts on Harvard Health Publishing article, too much sugar leads to high blood pressure, weight gain, fatty liver disease, and more. It's best to stay away from sugar and instead, consider going on a low carb diet such as the ketogenic diet.
At the time of writing this post, we're currently giving away free copies of the Body Reboot book which discusses the benefits of a keto diet. We're giving away free copies because it's our mission to increase awareness and to help people lose weight and get healthy! If you help us cover the cost of shipping, we’ll send a copy to your door FREE. Go over to this page to see if there are any copies left.
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