Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sugar - The Not So Sweet Side Effects...

What's wrong with eating a little sugar? Well, let's start with insulin. When you eat sugar, your blood sugar quickly rises and your pancreas immediately responds by secreting the hormone insulin. Insulin, whose job among many other things, is to quickly remove the sugar out of the blood stream by delivering it to cells where it can be used for energy. If sugar is allowed to hang out in the blood stream it does damage by attaching to red blood cells and creating sticky compounds that that clog up your system.
There are 2 major problems with this. One, most of us don't use our muscles enough that would create a demand for the energy from the sugar so it will get stored as fat or will continue lurking in the blood stream, wreaking havoc.
The second problem is our bodies were designed to respond to natural foods that contain sugar such as fruits. When we fill our system with candy, ice cream and cake, the pancreas has to shoot out more insulin to get the job done and high amounts of insulin create a whole other set of issues.
Insulin tells the kidneys to hold on to sodium, increasing blood pressure. High insulin levels have also been linked to metabolic syndrome which is a type of prediabetes that increases the risk of heart disease.
Table sugar is not the only offender with the insulin effect on the body. Refined carbs such as mashed potatoes, white rice, white bread and pasta are quickly converted to sugar in the body since your pancreas can't tell the difference.
Sugar in not non-nutritive but it is anti-nutritive. When sugar is found in whole foods such as apples, berries and even sugarcane it comes complete with the vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed for complete digestion. When it's found in your sugar bowl or in chemical compounds such as high fructose corn syrup, your body has to borrow from it's stores of nutrients in order to process it. That is one reason why sugar is considered an immune system depressor.
Sugar is addictive and just like any addiction, you may experience withdrawals when removing it from your diet. Do yourself a favor and kick the "not so sweet side effects" that occur from eating sugar.