This past year we’ve followed Cory Booker, the New Jersey Senator, and his non-sugar diet. We’ve read reviews about That Sugar Film. A Gallup poll came out saying 61% of adults now actively try to avoid sodas because of the sugar. With so many people talking about sugar without really discussing the consequences, we thought we would explain exactly why sugar is so harmful.
We asked our health expert, Jodi Hutchinson, to break down the science, and explain how sugar affects our bodies. If you understand the science you can make educated choices about your health.
Glucose is a form of digested sugar in the body. When we eat sugar such as soda, cake, candy and white flour products, – or foods with high glycemic index, our blood glucose levels rise rapidly. Our body then releases insulin, also known as the super fat-storage hormone. Insulin takes all that sugar and stores it into your cells and muscles which helps lower your blood sugar level in your blood. However, most of our cells are fairly full of energy and the excess sugar is converted to fat.
Insulin also has another function. It will send signals to your fat cells telling them to pick up more fat from the bloodstream, thereby avoiding burning the fat that the cells already carry and storing it on your belly, hips and thighs. When you eat sugar and refined carbs your own fat cells get reprogrammed to be hungry. Yes, that’s right, your fat cells make you over eat and feel hungry and they can be demanding. The more sugar you consume, at any one time, results in a greater rise in blood glucose and, consequently, in insulin, which keeps you in fat-storage mode for an extended period of time. It makes you gain weight.
Women’s health initiative showed that a diet high in sugar and white flour had an elevated risk of cancer. Journal of National Cancer institute concludes that it is not obesity that is a risk factor for breast cancer but rather women with higher insulin levels. A 2012 article in the journal Nature, discusses how sugar should be handled as a toxic substance that should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol.