Exposed: Sugar and its Life-Threatening Side Effects

We get it. It’s hard to resist reaching for the cupcake or doughnut. Many people think it’s an all or nothing approach to eating sugar and junk food. While it’s essential to eat less sugar, that doesn’t mean it has to be cut out altogether. If cutting out sugar is the ultimate goal there’s a diet that can help with that. The ketogenic diet, which we go into greater detail in the Body Reboot book, is a high fat, low carb diet that eliminates sugar cravings. By turning a body into a fat-burning machine sugar is easier to say no to. It’s also life-saving because as it turns out sugar can have deadly effects. Wondering what type of havoc sugar can run on your body? Here are some life-threatening ways too much sugar can put your health at risk.

Harvard discusses a study done by Jama Internal Medicine, and the study revealed that even if you aren’t overweight, having a diet that’s high in sugar can still lead to heart disease. They also talk about what type of high-sugar foods and beverages are the worse.

A sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight. So says a major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Over the course of the 15-year study on added sugar and heart disease, participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar. Overall, the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index (a measure of weight).

Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks are by far the biggest sources of added sugar in the average American’s diet. They account for more than one-third of the added sugar we consume as a nation. Other important sources include cookies, cakes, pastries, and similar treats; fruit drinks; ice cream, frozen yogurt and the like; candy; and ready-to-eat cereals.

1. Eyesight

Cheat Sheet discusses how eyesight can be affected by sugar. By consuming too much sugar you may experience eyesight problems at some point.

Recent findings connect sugar to vision problems like blurriness, double vision, and long-term eyesight issues. High blood sugar can lead to swelling in the lens of your eye, putting you “at a higher risk of developing cataracts,” according to the American Optometric Association.

It can also cause the blood vessels in your eyes to narrow, putting you at risk of glaucoma. Untreated, this could permanently damage your optic nerve. If this wasn’t scary enough, high blood sugar makes you susceptible to age-related macular degeneration, a condition where your retina deteriorates.

2. Certain diseases

No one wants to increase their likelihood of getting a disease, but Mercola puts it bluntly by stating that eating too much sugar can lead to various diseases from fatty liver disease to cardiovascular disease.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — The truth is excess sugar consumption is driving the rising rates of NAFLD, even in children. NAFLD can cause fatigue, mental confusion and other ills, underscoring why it’s important to eliminate processed fructose from your diet.

Cardiovascular disease — Although it may come as a surprise to you, besides diabetes, sugar intake is closely related to heart disease. In fact, studies show that those who consume 25 percent or more of their daily calories as sugar are twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who get less than 7 percent of their calories from sugar.

Hotze discloses that dementia is another problem that can happen from a bad, sugar-laden diet.

Dementia is a complex illness. Physiological, genetic, and nutritional elements may play a role in the development of certain forms of dementia. For example, it appears Alzheimer’s disease may occur due to a buildup of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain, which disrupts normal function. A study published in the Journal of Gerontology found animal models of dementia may develop due to excess sugar consumption. The excess sugar is thought to cause an insulin reaction that might increase deposits of beta-amyloid proteins and increase the risk of developing dementia.

Web MD also adds to the above source’s input by saying that your heart can get affected. Extra insulin can affect your heart which can result in a heart attack or other serious health conditions.

Your Heart — When you eat excess sugar, the extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries, part of your body’s circulatory system. It causes their walls to grow faster than normal and get tense, which adds stress to your heart and damages it over time. This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Research also suggests that eating less sugar can help lower blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. Plus, people who eat a lot of added sugar (where at least 25% of their calories comes from added sugar) are twice as likely to die of heart disease as those whose diets include less than 10% of total calories from added sugar.

3. Depression

No one likes getting depressed, and Mercola communicates that the more sugar you eat, the higher the inflammation you may experience. Inflammation can result in depression and other mental health conditions.

This is another thing you may not realize, but depression is linked to inflammation. In fact, approximately one-third of depressed patients have been found to have high levels of inflammation in their bodies, and since sugar directly affects the inflammatory processes in your body, the connection is clear.

Cheat Sheet briefs us on how mental health gets affected by sugar by adding that not only does sugar cause inflammation, but it messes up your hormones. Hormones that aren’t regulated can affect your mood and result in you not feeling your best.

Too much added sugar messes with your hormones and causes inflammatory responses in your brain. (Chocolate cake may make you feel better, but the feeling won’t last, especially if you make it a habit.)

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of becoming depressed as a result of a diet high in added sugars, but it can also happen to anyone. Thankfully, a healthy diet may improve your mood, calm your anxiety, and make you feel less stressed.

Furthermore, WebMD also states that when you eat sugar you’ll get a burst of sugar, but then your energy crashes. A lack of energy leads to feeling unsettled and not your best.

The occasional candy or cookie can give you a quick burst of energy (or “sugar high”) by raising your blood sugar levels fast. When your levels drop as your cells absorb the sugar, you may feel jittery and anxious (a.k.a. the dreaded “sugar crash”). But if you’re reaching into the candy jar too often, sugar starts to have an effect on your mood beyond that 3 p.m. slump: Studies have linked a high sugar intake to a greater risk of depression in adults.

4. A decrease in brain function

It’s scary to think that sugar leads to a decrease in brain function but that’s what Cheat Sheet tells us. Find out how too much sugar can impact your cognitively:

You can download all the brain training apps you want, but if refined sugars are a regular staple in your diet, you’re likely going to suffer the consequences. Too much sugar can impact your memory and cognitive function, especially as you age.

The Huffington Post says too much sugar is even a risk factor for dementia. Your brain needs sugar to continue functioning normally, but overloading it can cause even more long-term damage. If you really care about your brain, be mindful of what you’re eating.

Hotze adds to Cheat Sheet’s thoughts by stating that sugar results in memory impairment.

Memory impairment can develop for several reasons including various diseases and lifestyle choices. Researchers are also looking at the link between memory and nutrition. Research published in Behavioral Neuroscience indicated that high sugar consumption might negatively affect memory.

5. Diabetes

You may have heard that sugar consumption can also cause you to get diabetes, which is the case and Web MD talks about why that’s the case.

An abundance of added sugar may cause your liver to become resistant to insulin, an important hormone that helps turn sugar in your bloodstream into energy. This means your body isn’t able to control your blood sugar levels as well, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Cheat Sheet also talks about how eating too much sugar results in experiencing diabetes and other serious health issues.

Your pancreas is responsible for producing insulin, which helps the sugar you eat move from your blood to your cells. According to Mayo Clinic, type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin. High blood sugar causes your pancreas to produce more insulin, and if this continues, it simply can’t keep up.

Type 2 diabetes has many risk factors, but a sugar-heavy diet is often what pushes your body from insulin resistant to diabetic. Many cases of type 2 diabetes are both preventable and reversible with big lifestyle changes. This usually involves a combination of weight loss, regular exercise, and eating fewer refined sugars.

It’s true that sugar is not something your body needs, which is why you should find a healthy diet that works, such as the keto diet. By switching to a diet that’s high in fat you’ll be replacing carb consumption which means you’ll crave sugar less. To learn more about keto, simply help us cover shipping and receive the Body Reboot book free.

Sources: Cheat Sheet, Harvard, Jama Internal Medicine, Mercola, Web MD, Hotze

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