If you are trying to lose weight, you may be wondering why sugar is bad for you.
Of course, there are the obvious reasons. Foods and drinks with added sugar have lots of calories without being filling, and they undermine your health. As we know, too many calories cause weight gain.
Something else that makes sugar bad is that it negatively impacts your health and nutritional improvement efforts because it displaces other healthier choices. Overall health suffers when more nourishing foods are substituted for sweets. You may want to think of it this way. You can greatly improve the quality of nutrition by replacing sugary foods with fruits and vegetables.
Why Is Sugar Bad For Your Health?
It is not merely the empty calories in sugar that creates the problems, nor the excess calories. You need to know why sugar is bad for you even if you are getting plenty of nutrients while not consuming too many calories and at the same time maintaining a healthy weight. You can still harm your body by adding a lot of sugar to your diet. Below is a list of the top 5 reasons why sugar is bad.
#1. Sugar suppresses your immune system.
Just by eating a candy bar or drinking a bottle of soda, you are taking in a large dose of sugar. This in turn temporarily suppresses the ability of your immune system to respond to normal challenges. This effect will last for a few hours, and that means that if you eat sweets throughout the day your immune system will be at a disadvantage all the time.
#2. Sugar promotes inflammation.
Part of the body’s immune response is inflammation, so it is not always bad when it happens. However, by eating lots of sugar you are fueling an excess of inappropriate inflammation which is not useful at all and can actually set disease process and aging into motion. Just by cutting back on sweets you can avoid the build-up of excess inflammation.
Tip: If you are looking for a way to slow the process of aging or increase the amount of weight loss, do everything you can to enhance your body’s natural ability to produce human growth hormone. That means avoid those foods that are high in sugar.
#3. Sugar suppresses the body’s natural release of human growth hormone.
We have all seen them, those in-flight magazines with ads depicting really buff guys promoting a radical new anti-aging program. This guy looks to be about 50 even though the ad says that he is getting close to 70. If this is true, he has likely been injecting human growth hormone. He has also been watching what he eats, working out in the gym two hours a day, and using lots of self-tanner. There is no doubt that the HGH has had a lot to do with his phenomenal physique.
The effects of these hormone treatments can be dramatic, but they come with risks and great expense. I do not personally recommend that anyone go this route. If you really want to slow the ageing process, it is important to enhance your body’s natural ability to produce human growth hormone. You should also avoid foods high in sugar for best results and avoid undue stress, exercise and space meals farther apart.
#4. Sugar promotes glycation.
You can look at sugar molecules as if they are going in a singles bar. Once they enter the bloodstream they begin searching for things with which to hook up. They are attracted most to other molecules like fat and protein. This kind of hook-up is called glycation, and just as with other hook-ups, the results are not so good. Glycated molecules are much the same as drunken sailors as they careen around in the body. They break things and pee all over everything.
This action creates toxic compounds that are called advanced glycation end products, otherwise known as AGEs. Get it? This is poetic justice in its purest form. AGES set the aging process into fast-forward mode. The damage created by them is pretty much irreversible and it is not good for weight loss efforts either.
#5. Sugar raises the body’s insulin levels.
There is a rather predictable result when an influx of sugar enters the body. To begin with, blood sugar levels soar. Not long afterwards, the pancreas releases a good amount of insulin as it tries to clear the sugar out of the blood and into the cells. Insulin levels return to normal levels as blood sugar levels decrease. The problem is that as you consume more sugar, the body is required to call for more insulin, and this has a tendency to backfire.
As time goes on, and you continue eating sugar, more insulin is required to do the job. Sometimes, the pancreas simply refuses to answer the call. Why is sugar bad? Because too much of it can cause you to become an insulin-dependent diabetic, that’s why. As the cells and organs of your body are chronically exposed to high levels of insulin, the ageing process is accelerated.
Is There A Safe Amount Of Sugar?
Now that the living jelly beans have been scared right out of you, I will put things into perspective. The occasional indulgence in a small amount of sugar or sugary treat isn’t going to instantly give you wrinkles or trigger the failure of multiple organs. The horror show you just experienced is intended to describe a situation in which the diet is chronically loaded with sugar.
So, what constitutes high levels of sugar? According to the World Health Organization, if you maintain a sugar intake that is under 10% of total calories, you should be fine. That amounts to about 50 grams of sugar for most people. That is about what can be found in one 20 ounce bottle of soda or 28 small Swedish fish. Of course, if you are already overweight, or there are other risk factors involved like diabetes or heart disease, your best bet is to keep it to more like 5%.
You Can Have Your Cake And Eat It Too
By engaging in vigorous workouts, you can mitigate the negative effects of sugar and experience weight loss. That is because sugar is more efficiently metabolized during strenuous exercise. Of course this all depends on whether or not you are diabetic.
Efficient metabolism means that the sugar is not allowed to hang around in the blood stream making trouble. In addition to that, unlike the desensitizing effects of chronic sugar intake, exercise sensitizes the cells to insulin.
The truth is that by consuming a few simple sugars along with protein following a good workout, the body’s recovery will be enhanced. The perfect situation, of course, would be that you select natural, nutrient-dense sources for that sugar. Fresh fruit is a perfect example. To sum it all up, if you would like to enjoy a sweet treat now and then without feelings of guilt, workout first and then reward yourself with a nice treat afterwards.