At Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, Florida, we not only help you become stronger and fitter, we also encourage you to look at other areas that affect your fitness and health. Consuming too much sugar is one of those areas and it’s easy to do, especially if you have average eating habits. Some form of sugar seems to be in all types of products that are processed. Eating food with added sugar can have disastrous effects on your body and make it harder to get results at the gym.
New labeling makes it easier to identify the amount of added sugar.
At one time manufacturers hid the amount of sugar by using a variety of different sugars, so no one would appear at the top of the ingredient list, tricking the public into thinking sugar wasn’t a major ingredient. Why would any manufacturer do that? It helped sales. Being a bit sneaky about the amount of sugar in a product can lead you to eat it, not realizing how unhealthy it is. Sweet foods taste better to many and sugar is also addictive. It triggers the opioid receptors in the brain that bring pleasure. While it’s great for sales, because it makes you want to eat more, it’s bad for your health.
Keep your immune system running at full steam by skipping sugar.
If you’re like many Americans, you look for ways to boost your immune system, especially when there’s a chance infection from the latest flu or virus. You may take vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D or other type of nutrient. If you’re consuming foods with added sugar, all those extra vitamins may not make a difference. If you have a high amount of glucose in your bloodstream from eating too much sugar, the body latches onto the sugar, not the vitamin C, since they’re both similar in structure. That leaves the white blood cells—the phagocytes—powerless when it comes to fighting infection. Even healthy foods can have this effect. Orange juice is high in sugar and raises blood sugar levels quickly. Your body is blocked from using the vitamin C because of the glucose. Eating the whole orange slows the absorption of sugar because of the fiber, so you get the vitamin C benefits it contains.
Do you have insulin resistance or have problems losing weight?
Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. It occurs when there’s too much glucose in the bloodstream. The body then produces more insulin. Normally, that would be all it takes, but with insulin resistance, the insulin doesn’t trigger the cells to open for the nourishment. That causes the body to produce even more insulin. Too much sugar causes the normal processes triggered by insulin to function improperly, which makes the pancreas work overtime and eventually causes the whole system to break down. Switching to a healthier diet with less added sugar, exercising and reducing stress can help prevent the problem.
- Food’s high in added sugar are not heart healthy. While salt is often thought the culprit in high blood pressure, sugar is also a problem. If sugar comprises more than 25% of your calories, it also can cause the liver to increase fat in the bloodstream, which also can cause heart disease.
- Sugar can cause premature aging. The glucose combines with proteins in a process called glycation. Ironically, that creates AGEs— advanced glycation end products. Those cells attack the elastin and collagen in the skin and make you look older.
- Too much sugar can lead to inflammation. Inflammation can lead to diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, bowel disorders and cancer.
- The more sugar you have in your diet, the more potential you have for cognitive problems. High sugar intake can also lead to obesity, which is the leading cause of preventable deaths, even surpassing smoking.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness