Sugar leads to excess weight and premature aging; it makes our body addicted and puts it at risk for cardiovascular disease. In this article, Dr. Robert Lustig proves these postulates. Read on.
Sugar leads to obesity
13% of the calories the average American consumes each day is sugar. 22 teaspoons a day (if you add up all the sucrose consumed during the day through food) at a rate of 6 for women and 9 for men. But blaming the food industry for your extra pounds is unrealistic. According to Lustig, the person himself chooses how to dress the salad – sweet sauce or olive oil.
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Sugar fools our brain
Sucrose is composed of two monosaccharides – glucose and fructose. The latter increases the body’s resistance to the hunger hormone (leptin). Usually, a person loses control over their appetite when they consume excessively high-calorie foods. But research has shown that fructose also tricks our brains.
Leptin regulates the body’s energy metabolism and tells the brain, “I am full.” Fructose prevents leptin from entering the brain and makes you feel full.
Sugar is a catalyst for aging
According to Dr. Lustig, sugar makes a significant contribution to the aging process since fructose, which makes up 50% of the sucrose molecule, releases oxygen radicals, which, in turn, accelerate the rate of development and death of cells and also contribute to the development of chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus 2 types, cardiovascular and other diseases).
At the same time, Lustig warns that sugar “hides,” at times, in unexpected products. For example, ketchup and tomato paste.
Sugar causes our body to “rust”
When sugar interacts with proteins, the so-called Maillard reaction occurs in the body. Under normal conditions, this reaction’s rate is so low. However, the higher the blood sugar level, the faster the reaction rate. Accumulating reaction products lead to numerous interruptions in the functioning of the body. In particular, the accumulation of some late products of the Maillard reaction provokes age-related changes in tissues. Literally – they “rust.”
According to Lustig, the habit of pampering yourself with something sweet supports and accelerates this process.
Sugar leads to the accumulation of fat in the liver
Liver steatosis is a metabolic disorder in which fat accumulates in the liver cells. One of the main causes of steatosis is an unbalanced diet. When you consume too much sugar, your liver cannot handle it. The pancreas tries to come to the rescue and starts making extra insulin. This is the so-called non-alcoholic steatosis (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).
A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who consume 1,000 extra calories a day from sweets are overweight, only 2% of cases, but 27% have fat accumulation in the liver.
Sugar is a “drug”
Dopamine is the “desire hormone.” It is an important part of the brain’s “reward system.” Dopamine induces feelings of pleasure when we have sex or eat delicious food. Psychologically speaking, dopamine is our motivator. If a person has a disturbed production of this hormone, he does not want anything; he does not get satisfaction.
Sugar promotes the production of dopamine. Simultaneously, the body gradually sits down on a sweet “needle” and requires more and more doses; otherwise, pleasure does not come.
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Sugar is an arterial killer
The endothelium is the cells that line the inner surface of blood and lymph vessels and cardiac cavities. The endothelium performs several important functions; blood clotting control, blood pressure regulation, and others. The endothelium is susceptible to chemical damage, which in turn can result from sugar.
According to Lustig, sugar is found even in meat and bought in a semi-finished form in the store. To stay healthy and to prevent excessive sugar consumption, he recommends the following.
- do not buy semi-finished products
- read labels carefully
- eat natural (Organic) products
- buy yogurts with a sugar content of no more than 10 grams (for example, Greek)
- replace lemonade with natural juices
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff
Sources: Life hacker