Author: Dr. Brent Barlow • Date: July 6, 2016 • Appears in:
Part 1: 3 Reasons To Reduce Sugar Excess
Sugar is sweet in many senses of the word "sweet". It sweetens the flavour of everything you put it in and plays an important role in many of the treats we love the most. Sugar has been there at our birthdays, holidays and other special events. Sugar has even been there when we’re grieving. The purpose of this article is not to convince you to stop enjoying sugar when it’s appropriate. The purpose is to highlight the top reasons excess sugar is a problem because if you address excess sugar consumption there’s a good chance you may feel some great benefits.
1. Excess Sugar Steals Your Energy
Excess sugar steals your energy by giving you a temporary burst of false energy and then leaving you alone later only to crash. The mechanism is as follows. When you eat excess sugar it gets absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream. When blood sugar is elevated you experience a temporary high of both physical and emotional energy. High blood sugar (within limits) feels good. In fact, high blood sugar can often feel great. However, in order to utilize the sugar just consumed the pancreas must make insulin. The more excessive your sugar consumption, the more insulin required. Also, the more often you eat excessive sugar, the more insulin surges will be required. As insulin does its job with sugar metabolism you start to lose your sugar buzz. Insulin pulls sugar into the cells of the body and reduce blood sugar below where it was before the excess sugar. This is why you get an energy buzz followed by a crash. The more often you do this the deeper the energy crashes and fatigue become.
2. Excess Sugar Causes Weight Gain and Fat Deposition
Excess sugar causes weight gain and fat deposition by at least two main mechanisms. First of all, excess sugar spikes insulin levels. Insulin is a type of growth hormone. When insulin is high your body is automatically in fat deposition mode. This means it’s impossible to burn fat and lose weight with excess insulin. Secondly, excess sugar that is not burned for energy is stored as fat. The old myth was that fat consumption lead to fat deposition in the body. While this is partially true, the real equation is that excess sugar leads to fat deposition. This is because fat is our natural storage container for excess energy we consumed from sugar and carbohydrates.
3. Excess Sugar is Bad For Your Brain and Nervous System
Excess sugar is bad for your brain and nervous system and is a key contributing factor in causing or worsening many people’s health concerns. Symptoms like headaches, ADHD, ADD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, brain fog, non-Parkinson’s tremors, and many more neurological disorders may be affected by excess sugar consumption. These symptoms are affected by sugar in many potential ways including the mechanisms already mentioned above. Another mechanism not mentioned is damage caused by products called glycosylated end products. These are harmful by-products produced as a result of excess blood sugar. They are a significant problem for people with pre-diabetes and diabetes but they also can exacerbate other symptoms. One of the main problems with glycosylated end products is that they damage arteries, veins, and nerves. This is why diabetics are at a high risk of vascular disease and nerve damage.
Enjoy sugar in moderation as a treat. Avoid daily excess sugar consumption. You may not realize the negative effects of excess sugar until you address it and reduce your sugar consumption for a few weeks. However, you may be surprised to see some of your symptoms improve simply by avoiding excess sugar.