Hidden sugar is in most processed, packaged, fast and restaurant foods. Refined white flour converts to sugar in the body exacerbating the sugar overload. Excess sugar plays havoc in our bodies, a simplistic analogy is, like acid in a metal drum, it has an acidic inflammatory effect in our bodies and promotes dangerous waistline weight gain.
The world health organization is now campaigning to reduce sugar as it is one of the main culprits in the world obesity epidemic.
But with science now confirming sugar is more addictive than hard drugs like cocaine it can be a hard habit to overcome. Food manufactures fight a billion dollar drug baron like war on the ignorant Australian public with sugar saturated foods that they know are highly addictive. William Dufty author of Sugar Blues predicted 40 years ago what science has now confirmed. "The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction."
We need to take stock of the damage this sweet poison is having on ourselves, families and communities. Here are just some of the negative effects sugar has on your body.
The web site Prevention identified these strange research facts about sugar you may not be aware of.
- The fructose in added sugars triggers your liver to store fat more efficiently, and in weird places. Over time, a diet high in fructose could lead to globules of fat building up around your liver, a precursor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, something rarely seen before 1980.
- For every 150 calories (9 teaspoons of sugar) per person each day, diabetes prevalence rises by 1.1%.
- Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These unwanted invaders attack nearby proteins, damaging them, including protein fibers in collagen and elastin, the components that keep your skin firm and elastic. The result of too much sugar? Dry, brittle protein fibers that lead to wrinkles and saggy skin. There's more! AGEs promote the growth of fragile collagen and deactivate your body's natural antioxidant enzymes. This opens the door to more sun damage, which, as we all know, also damages and ages your skin.
- Added sugars cause excess insulin in the bloodstream, which takes its toll on your body's circulatory highway system, your arteries. Chronic high insulin levels cause the smooth muscle cells around each blood vessel to grow faster than normal, according to The Sugar Smart Diet. This causes tense artery walls, something that puts you on the path to high blood pressure, and ultimately, makes a stroke or heart attack more likely.
- There is an unsettling connection between sugar and cholesterol. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that, after excluding people with high cholesterol and/or diabetes and people who were highly overweight, those who ate the highest levels of added sugars experienced the biggest spike in bad cholesterol levels and dangerous triglyceride blood fats, and the lowest good (HDL) cholesterol levels. One theory? Sugar overload could spark your liver to churn out more bad cholesterol while also inhibiting your body's ability to clear it out.
- Brown University neuropathologist Suzanne de la Monte, MD, coined the term "type 3 diabetes" after her team was the first to discover the links between insulin resistance, high-fat diets, and Alzheimer's disease. In fact, her work suggests Alzheimer's is a metabolic disease, one in which the brain's ability to use glucose and produce energy is damaged. To paraphrase, it's like having diabetes in the brain.
- Sugar makes you feel famished. Emerging research suggests regularly eating too much sugar scrambles your body's ability to tell your brain you're full. Carrying a few extra pounds and living with type 2 diabetes can throw off your body's ability to properly put off leptin hormones; leptin's job is to say, "I'm full! Now stop eating!" Fructose also appears to play badly with leptin; eating a high-fructose diet means your body feels hungry, even when you're overeating.
- You know the feeling. You grab a chocolate candy bar, and with it, get that brief jolt of energy. Soon to be replaced by unrelenting fatigue. Science shows it takes just 30 minutes or less to go from a sugar rush to a full-on sugar crash. This sugar spike-and-crash sets you up to want more sugar—a vicious cycle. To add insult to injury, The Sugar Smart Diet points out that sugar also triggers the release of serotonin, a sleep regulator. So much for an energy bump!
- We might reach for sugar to feel better, but we're getting the opposite effect in the end. A study published in Public Health Journal followed nearly 9,000 people to study the link between depression and eating sugary sweets and fast food. After six years, those who ate the most junk faced a nearly 40% greater risk of developing depression, compared to those who shunned junk food the most. In people with insulin resistance, it appears the brain releases lower levels of feel-good dopamine.
Reuters insists, Adults and children must cut the amount of sugar they consume by as much as half in North America and Western Europe and even more in other areas to lower risk of obesity and tooth decay, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
New guidelines meant people should reduce the amount to less than 10% of their daily energy intake - or to about 50 grams or 12 teaspoons of sugar for adults, experts at the U.N. body told Reuters.
A cut to less than 5% would be even better, they added.
The WHO's recommendations to health ministries cover free sugars such as glucose and fructose, and sucrose or table sugar added to processed foods and drinks as well as sugar naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices.
"We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay," Branca said in recent statement.