Find out what sugar does to your body. Most people know that sugar can be very bad for you, but they don’t understand the mechanisms behind sugar addiction and how sugar exactly effects your body. Find out in this video.
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When you consume sugar, your body breaks it down into glucose, which your cells can use as fuel to perform many different functions. It’s found in various foods and beverages like fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and sweet drinks. That’s right sugar is even found in vegetables so it’s not inherently bad. But consuming too much sugar can have adverse effects on your body, your health, and your weight. So in today’s video, I want to give you the step-by-step process of what happens as you eat sugar, based on all the available scientific data.
It all originally begins when sugar first makes contact with your tongue. Immediately it undergoes a complex process of digestion and absorption, which is critical to providing your cells with the energy needed to carry out their tasks. So there are enzymes in your saliva that’ll start to break down the sugar molecules into simpler smaller molecules. These enzymes are known as amylases and their job is to break the chemical bonds between the glucose and fructose molecules that make up sucrose, converting it into simple sugars. From there, the sugar moves to your stomach, where it gets mixed with gastric juices and enzymes. These enzymes help separate the individual sugar molecules from other components of the food or beverage that you consumed. Once that’s done, the sugar moves from the stomach into your small intestine. This is where the bulk of the absorption process takes place. Here the sugar gets further broken down by enzymes and then gets absorbed into your bloodstream.
Glucose is absorbed directly into your bloodstream, while fructose is absorbed more slowly and primarily metabolized in the liver. Once the glucose reaches your bloodstream, it gets transported to your cells, where it’s used as fuel for things like contracting muscle tissue, supporting brain function, and producing hormones and enzymes. Unfortunately just like fructose and other forms of sugar, if you consume more glucose than your body needs, the excess will get converted into glycogen, and that excess glycogen will first be stored in your liver and muscles. Since your body doesn’t need it at the moment, this glycogen can be used later as a source of energy when your body does in fact need it.
That’s great because throughout human evolution we often have had to go extended periods of time without food. The stored glucose, alongside stored body fat, helps act as an energy reserve in these kinds of scenarios. Now, if your body has reached its glycogen storage capacity, any excess glucose is converted into fat and stored in your adipose tissue. This excess fat can lead to weight gain and obesity if it tips you over into a calorie surplus.
Another obvious effect that’ll happen after sugar enters your bloodstream is that it’ll raise your blood sugar levels. This causes your body to release insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to regulate your blood sugar. The way it does this is by removing glucose from your bloodstream and then funneling it into your cells, where it can be used for energy. That’s a really good thing because having elevated blood glucose levels, also known as hyperglycemia, can lead to some very bad side effects, like damaging heart health and increasing inflammation. The problem, however, is that consuming too much sugar can negatively impact insulin production and insulin response. Excessive sugar consumption can cause the pancreas to work so hard at excreting insulin that you can develop insulin resistance, a condition in which your body becomes less responsive to this very important hormone insulin.
This means that your body has to produce more insulin to achieve the same effect on controlling blood sugar levels. Research links insulin resistance to a range of health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. As I said when your body becomes resistant to insulin, your pancreas will have to work harder to produce more insulin, which, over time, can lead to pancreatic burnout and a decrease in insulin production, also known as type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that’s characterized by high blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance and a reduction in insulin production. It’s estimated that 462 million people around the world are affected by type 2 diabetes which is a little over 6 percent of the world’s entire population.” (1) This number likely will only increase over the upcoming years and decades because people are more obese and continue to eat unhealthier than ever before.
The adverse effects on insulin production that come from consuming too much sugar are largely…