Why Too Much Sugar is Bad for You:
- Too much of anything is bad, right? This old proverb rings true when it comes to your diet, especially when it comes to sugar.
- While you certainly don’t need to eliminate all sugar from your diet, you do need to consume it in moderation.
- If you eat too much sugar, the effects can be detrimental to your health and wellness over time. Find out more here about why too much sugar is bad for you.
What is glucose?
Your body uses glucose as an energy source. Basically, it breaks down carbohydrates from food and turns them into sugar that can be used immediately or stored in your body until you need it.
When you eat sugary foods, your blood sugar spikes, causing insulin to come out of your pancreas and try to counterbalance those high levels of sugar in your bloodstream by signaling cells to absorb sugar from your blood and store it for later use.
This leaves less glucose available for use by other parts of your body (like brain cells), which actually makes you feel tired. Your body then needs to expend extra energy trying to get more glucose from food into your bloodstream.
What does glucose do in your body?
While it’s true that glucose keeps us alive, our bodies have no essential need to consume a large amount of it. Excess glucose is stored as fat, which increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
A study from New England Journal of Medicine found that eating too much sugar can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 50 percent. Other health risks associated with excess sugar consumption include obesity and high cholesterol levels
. One 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar – that’s more than most children should eat in an entire day! The sweetest thing you can do is limit your intake of processed foods and make an effort to eat whole foods with low amounts of added sugars.
How do we get energy from glucose?
Our bodies convert dietary carbohydrates into glucose, a simple sugar that fuels our cells’ energy-producing mechanisms.
Glucose in turn circulates through our bloodstream and supplies energy to our brain, eyes, heart and every other cell in our body.
In most healthy people, normal blood glucose levels fluctuate between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), according to Mayo Clinic.But too much of a good thing can be dangerous:
Not only does excess glucose lead to tooth decay; it also causes type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin resistance in many individuals over time.
Fortunately, there are ways you can help your body keep its blood sugar levels balanced. One especially effective way is by simply limiting your intake of sugary foods and beverages.
Why should I be concerned about my blood glucose levels?
If you’re like most people, you probably are not aware of just how sensitive your body’s blood glucose levels can be. The average adult human body keeps blood glucose levels within a pretty tight range.
That’s good because too little sugar in your blood can cause exhaustion and brain fog. On the other hand, too much sugar in your blood can lead to prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes—two diseases that have exploded worldwide over recent decades.
If you aren’t concerned about how sensitive your body is to insulin or how likely it is that you could develop Type 2 diabetes, then read on…but if you don’t think those conditions apply to you right now or ever—then it’s high time that they did!
What’s so special about intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting may seem counterintuitive to weight loss, but it can actually be a major help. To understand why, we need to first understand how your body processes food.
When you eat, your metabolism ramps up and your body begins processing glucose for energy—but when you stop eating, that metabolic state slows down dramatically.
The same thing happens with exercise; if you take a long run on Sunday morning and then don’t work out again until Tuesday night, when you get back to running your body will be in full swing again! That’s what intermittent fasting can do: provide that extra kick whenever needed.
Is there any evidence it works in practice?
It may be logical, but that doesn’t mean it actually works. That doesn’t stop people from trying to justify their plans with logic—and logic alone.
Anyone who uses rigorous logic to construct a plan will come up against what’s known as the fallacy of deriving an ought from an is, and it’s easy to do.
Wanting to lose weight is perfectly logical, but wanting does not make it so—you have to actually take steps towards losing weight if you want it in your life.
Building a comprehensive fitness plan that you stick with makes perfect sense, but putting pen to paper and then taking action are two very different things. If you really want something, why wait? Carpe diem!
Who should avoid IF?
While IF may be safe for most healthy people, you should check with your doctor before trying it. Those who have diabetes or other conditions that impact blood sugar should talk to their doctor before beginning an IF diet.
As mentioned above, those on a very low-calorie diet (less than 800 calories per day) will need to check with their physician about whether IF can play a role in their health plan.
And anyone taking prescription medications needs to consult his or her physician as well — especially because some medications are impacted by IF and may require refills less often.
In addition, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding need to consult their physicians as they may not be able to follow IF safely while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Does IF require calorie restriction?
Contrary to popular belief, intermittent fasting doesn’t require that you dramatically cut your caloric intake. One of my go-to strategies is simply skipping breakfast and having lunch early in the day (around noon).
What many people tend to do, however, is eat a large breakfast or have several smaller meals throughout the day.
While eating numerous times during one 24-hour period has been a longtime strategy for weight loss, it’s only relatively recently that scientists have begun looking into whether it can also help prevent diabetes
. So far results seem promising: Scientists at Harvard University found that eating more frequently than usual didn’t interfere with blood sugar levels in people who already had Type 2 diabetes—and even improved them in some ways.
Will I have to live with the side effects forever?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to reverse high blood sugar, and it’s a chronic condition that will stay with you. With careful management, though, you can learn to live with it.At first, your body needs extra insulin just to keep up with all of your food intake—particularly those sugary treats.
Over time, you may be able to manage your insulin doses more carefully so that you only need them when your blood sugar levels rise or they don’t increase as much when you eat something sugary.Unfortunately, no one ever gets over diabetes or becomes cured—but living well is possible despite your diagnosis.