Yes, we all know that sugar is bad for us. Some of us get it and some of us don’t, but unfortunately, it still remains a huge part of our diets. So why is sugar so bad for us? The answer might be quite different than what you think. You see, sugar, as well as other high-glycemic carbohydrates, creates a condition called hyperinsulinemia, which means too much insulin in the blood. Insulin is the hormone that balances sugar levels in the body and moves sugar into the cells. Too much of it causes problems and can lead to direct weight gain as the excess sugar gets converted to fat. This can also lead to type 2 diabetes if the condition persists over an extended period of time. High levels of insulin are also implicated in many other issues in the body that can not only deteriorate our health but insidiously prevents us from Aging Well. This is the part that most people don’t know. We generally think it’s just a calorie problem. This is not the case.
These high insulin levels have now been well-documented as being associated, if not the cause, of such conditions including arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, polycystic ovarian syndrome, neuropathy, hormone dysfunction, gallbladder and digestive dysfunction and possibly cancer. That’s because hyperinsulinemia causes high levels of inflammation in the body which, in many cases, is the beginning of several of the disease processes that affect us. Knowing this, we can now look at sugar from a different point of view. It’s not about spoiling your fun and diet but about improving your health, your life, and your longevity by allowing your body to age well and decreasing the processes of deterioration that is caused by sugar.
Glucose is the main sugar found in the blood and is the primary source of energy for the brain, muscle, and blood cells. As well as circulating in the blood, glucose can also be stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. Some have called glucose the energy of life.
Fructose is a sugar that’s naturally found in fruit. It can only be metabolized in the liver and does not circulate in the blood. The tissues of the body particularly the brain and muscles cannot use fructose for energy. Fructose also does not affect glucose levels in the blood either which makes it appealing to the diabetic diet. This is a big mistake as we will see later.
When glucose and fructose are combined it’s called sucrose which is commonly known as table sugar. Fructose, however, does have some issues. Consuming large amounts is problematic in our diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Some researchers are now referring to fructose as a poison. OMG, how can that be when all we’ve heard throughout our lives is that fruits and vegetables should be one of the main staples of our diet, especially in the realm of natural healthy eating. The answer was revealed in Dr. Robert Lustig’s 2009 speech entitled The Bitter Truth about Sugar which can be viewed on YouTube. I would encourage all to watch.
He explains biochemically how fructose is processed in the liver. When fructose enters the liver, it gets changed into fat, and this fat, in high enough levels, will begin to develop a fatty liver. In short, this fatty liver situation causes insulin levels to rise in the liver which then causes insulin resistance. This insulin resistance causes the pancreas to produce even more insulin leading to even higher insulin levels. The continued high insulin levels attempt to store more sugar and fat in the liver and the cells of the body causing even more insulin resistance leading to even higher insulin levels and around and around we go. It gets totally out of control. Hello type 2 diabetes.
In part 2 we are going to continue to look at the consequences of too much sugar, particularly fructose and what it really does to our bodies. Click here to read part 2 now.
Disclaimer** Blogs are not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice of physicians. The information included is for general or educational purposes only. Readers should consult their physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to this information or any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Reading this information does not create a physician-patient relationship.