Sugar consumption initiates a chain reaction of abnormal changes within the human body. To begin with, added sugars accumulate within your body over time to upset the balance of hormones that maintain many important bodily functions. Glucose levels rise in the bloodstream and that causes your pancreas to release more insulin. At the next stage, this new infusion of insulin causes your body to store more calories as fat. Excess insulin also unbalances your leptin levels, the hormone that tells your brain that you are full and can quit eating now.
Since your brain can no longer hear the normal stop eating signals, more weight gain occurs and with it comes obesity. With obesity comes sluggishness and insufficient physical exercise, which brings on more weight gain. A vicious cycle has begun and obesity sets in motion its own chain reaction of unhealthy changes within your body.
Your waist size expands with obesity, your cholesterol and blood pressure usually go up, so do your triglyceride and blood sugar levels. The result is a condition known as Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of symptoms and abnormalities that greatly increase your risk for contracting diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and having a stroke. “Over time, consuming large quantities of added sugar can stress and damage critical organs, including the pancreas and liver,” commented scientists at the group Sugar Science, explaining how eating sugar can lead to Metabolic Syndrome. “When the pancreas, which produces insulin to process sugars, becomes overworked, it can fail to regulate blood sugar properly. Large doses of the sugar fructose also can overwhelm the liver, which metabolizes fructose. In the process, the liver will convert excess fructose to fat, which is stored in the liver and also released into the bloodstream.”
Five Symptoms Together Equal Metabolic Syndrome
1) Large waist size: 40 inches or more for men, 35 inches or more for women.
2) High triglyceride levels: 150 mg/dL or higher.
3) Abnormal total cholesterol, or HDL levels: under 40 mg for men, 50 mg for women.
4) High blood pressure: 135/85 mm or higher.
5) Abnormal blood sugar: 100 mg/dL or higher.88
How many people in the U.S. have been afflicted with metabolic syndrome? Nearly one in five Americans over the age of 20 has a diagnosable case of it, according to the American Heart Association. Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and all of Western Europe all show similar statistics. That’s enough victims for us to call it what it is—an epidemic.
By Brian Clement, PhD, LN
Learn more about how Sugar relates to your health in Brian Clement’s latest book Sweet Disease.
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