Wellbeing Wednesday: Why we need to eat less sugar. Almost all the processed food in the world contains sugar, that’s the reason we eat huge amounts of sugar every year. Eating too much sugar has some unpleasant consequences, so why do we eat this much sugar and how are we able to fix this.
Why do we eat a lot of sugar?
Sugar is a really sweet nutrient known by many names. To give you an idea how many “nicknames” sugar has, we’re giving some examples: glucose, HFCS, dextrose, maltose, sucrose, lactose, caramel, agave, disaccharides, polysaccharides, and many more.
Every year the average Belgian eats and drinks about 10 kilograms of sugar. One of the main reasons for this mass consumption is the fact; sugar is handled in many soft drinks and food. Mayonnaise, ketchup, peanut butter, microwave dishes, chips, fruit yoghurts, cereals are only a few examples of processed food with way too many sugars added.
The World Health Organization suggests eating a maximum of 25 grams of sugar a day. If you know Belgians eat about 95 grams of sugar a day and Americans even eat an astonishing 126 grams a day, we can say an average human exceeds this limit with a pretty scary amount. If you want to find out how much sugar an average human in your country consumes, you can check it out right here.
9 reasons why sugar is something you better avoid
Sugar stimulates your fat storage
The hormone insulin filters the sugar out of the blood and transports it to the body cells. If – or better said when – they are filled up, the hormone insulin ensures the surplus gets stored in your fat reserves. In other words, sugar means fat storage.
Sugar affects your immune system
By eating too much sugar you take the risk your stomach and intestines get acidified. This may sound weird because sugar is a sweet nutrient, but anyway it undermines your immune system. You get more exposed to diseases and other complaints. Not that nice!
Sugar activates neurotransmitters
The neurotransmitters dopamine and endorphin get stimulated. This can give you a nervous feeling. It even can lead to depressed feelings and indolence. There are doctors who place sugar in the same category as hard drugs; sugar stimulates the same circuits inside your brain as the substances nicotine, alcohol and cocaine.
Sugar is bad for your teeth and bones
This is especially the case for refined sugar. Your body needs minerals to break down the sweetener. And there are no minerals in refined sugar. As a consequence the body distracts minerals from the stock inside your bones and teeth. Your skeleton is the biggest source of minerals. But f you distract minerals from your bones all the time they become dense.
There is the possibility you’ll get ill of too much sugar
As you have read before, the average Belgian eats and drinks 4 to 5 times the amount of sugar suggested. This glut will be transformed into triglycerides. These are fats; they increase the risk of arteriosclerosis. This induces the chance of a heart attack.
Sugar increases your blood sugar level
A peak in your blood sugar level is never healthy. A peak will be followed by the feeling of hunger which increases the chance you’ll eat again. This raises the chance of getting obese.
Sugar can be addictive
The neurotransmitter dopamine gets released when you eat sugar. Dopamine is a so called ‘feel good’ matter you’re brain develops. Because you eat sugar, you stimulate the brain in releasing this substance. When the sugar doesn’t induce this chemical reaction anymore, you’re feeling of being on top of the world disappears. What’s the consequence? You take another shot of sugar, but a little more than the first time, because you’re body needs a little more to get the same thrill.
You eat more of it
Sugar, and especially fructose, doesn’t have an effect on the two hormones ghreline and leptine. These 2 hormones regulate the feeling of hunger and saturation.
Influence on emotions
The peaks in your blood sugar level and the big amounts of insulin in your blood flow may have an influence on your brain. Emotional breakdowns can be the result.
What do you get out of this article?
Eating too much sugar can have nasty consequences. You probably aren’t aware of in how much food sugar is processed. If you don’t want to consume this enormous amount of sugar, you probably shouldn’t buy any processed food.
Replacing sugars with sweeteners isn’t a good idea either. The sweeteners processed in light products can trick your brain into believing you are consuming nutrients. This of course isn’t the case and as a result there is the possibility you’ll eat or drink even more without being aware of it.
Some countries already introduced a ‘sugar tax’. The politicians of those countries are worried about the fact this enormous amount of sugar consumption will have an impact on healthcare costs.
Source: NL Bewust Gezond