Is sugar toxic? It is when you consider how much the average American consumes each year, a whopping 130 pounds of added sugars. That’s about 22 teaspoons a day, way over the max set by the American Heart Association.
American Heart Association’s recommended sugar levels, which are 5 teaspoons for women (20 grams); 9 teaspoons for men (36 grams); and 3 teaspoons (12 grams) for children. For reference, a can of soda generally contains up to 12 grams of sugar; a single slice of whole wheat bread contains up to 2 teaspoons of added sugars.
New science shows that this overload of sugar, often stemming from hidden added sugars, is affecting your body in all sorts of strange ways.
Sugar Turns You Into A Junkie
Much like street drugs, sugar triggers the release of chemicals that set off the brain’s pleasure center, in this case opioids and dopamine. And as they do with street drugs, people develop a tolerance for sugar, meaning they need more sugar for a feel-good “fix.” In rat studies looking at sugar addiction, when animals binge on the sweet stuff, they experience chattering teeth, tremors, shakes, and anxiety when it’s taken away.
Sugar Turns You Into A Eating Machine
Sugar. Makes. You. Feel. Famished. Emerging research suggests regularly eating too much sugar scrambles your body’s ability to tell your brain you’re full. Carrying a few extra pounds and living with type 2 diabetes can throw off your body’s ability to properly put off leptin hormones; leptin’s job is to say, “I’m full! Now stop eating!” Fructose also appears to play badly with leptin; eating a high-fructose diet means your body feels hungry, even when you’re overeating.
Sugar Makes You A Zombie
You know the feeling. You grab a chocolate candy bar, and with it, get that brief jolt of energy. Soon to be replaced by unrelenting fatigue. Science shows it takes just 30 minutes or less to go from a sugar rush to a full-on sugar crash. This sugar spike-and-crash sets you up to want more sugar—a vicious cycle. To add insult to injury, The Sugar Smart Diet points out that sugar also triggers the release of serotonin, a sleep regulator. So much for an energy bump!
Sugar Makes You Frown
We might reach for sugar to feel better, but we’re getting the opposite effect in the end. A study published in Public Health Journal followed nearly 9,000 people to study the link between depression and eating sugary sweets and fast food. After six years, those who ate the most junk faced a nearly 40% greater risk of developing depression, compared to those who shunned junk food the most. In people with insulin resistance, it appears the brain releases lower levels of feel-good dopamine.
Sugar Destroys Your Face
Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These unwanted invaders attack nearby proteins, damaging them, including protein fibers in collagen and elastin, the components that keep your skin firm and elastic. The result of too much sugar? Dry, brittle protein fibers that lead to wrinkles and saggy skin.
There’s more! AGEs promote the growth of fragile collagen and deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. This opens the door to more sun damage, which, as we all know, also damages and ages your skin.
source: Business Insider