Are you paying close attention to the foods you’re eating on a daily basis? Did you know that an inordinate amount of sugar is actually really bad for you? If not, you should be careful not to consume too much sugar in your regular diet!
In many ways, added sugar may be the single worst ingredient in the typical modern diet. Sugar has harmful effects on the body’s metabolism and excessive amounts significantly contribute to a variety of diseases and health conditions.
At Vitality Fitness, we know that your diet plays a large role in your body’s overall composition. If you’re looking to tweak your diet to help you achieve your fitness goals, here are a few important reasons why you should avoid excessive amounts of sugar:
Sugar Lacks Essential Nutrients and Can Harm your Teeth
Sucrose and high fructose corn syrup are two of the most common sources of added sugar in our diets. While these substances contain a significant amount of calories, they are devoid of any essential nutrients. This is why most added sugars are commonly referred to as “empty” calories.
If your diet has you consuming 10-20% of your calories as sugar, this may cause significant issues down the road as a result of nutrient deficiencies. Because it provides a source of easily digestible energy to the bad bacteria in your mouth, sugar is also very bad for your oral health.
Fructose Only Metabolizes in the Liver
Prior to sugar entering the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it’s broken down into two simple sugars, glucose and fructose. While glucose is naturally produced in the body, there is no known physiological need for fructose. With that being said, eating small amounts of fructose, from a source such as fruit, isn’t an issue because it these amounts will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until further needed.
When we consume too much sugar, however, and the liver is already full of glycogen, consuming more sugar can overload the liver and cause it to begin turning fructose into fat. If this habit continues over time, this can lead to fatty liver, which can lead to a number of serious health problems. Those who are more active can also get away with consuming larger amounts of sugar than those who are inactive.
Sugar Can Lead to Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a hormone in the body that allows glucose to enter cells from the bloodstream and essentially inform them to begin using it as an energy source, rather than fat. Excessive blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body can be highly toxic, and, over time, your cells can begin to develop a resistance to insulin.
Insulin resistance has been studied extensively and is believed to be a leading cause of many serious health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes. Many studies have suggested that excessive sugar consumption is directly linked to insulin resistance.
While excessive amounts of sugar can lead to many other complications, we hope that this has been enough to help you reconsider the intake of sugar in your regular diet. Not all sugar is bad, but it’s quite clear that too much can be devastating!