Sweet taste is the first basic taste we encounter, thanks to lactose in breast milk (as well as in most infant formula). Further sugar is a quick source of energy for cells. So biologically the body orients towards sweet as the plant seeks out the sun.
As kids, we were taught that too much of sugar would rot our teeth, but today we know that ramifications of a life long sugar splurge are scarier than a finger waggering dentist. Sugar can cause cavities but of much greater concern is sweet stuffs link to body wide inflammation.
Sugar can contribute to cellular inflammation deep inside the body. These microscopic wounds fester below the pain threshold. Because many of us dont see or feel the damage, there is little incentive to cut back on the inflammatory diet that is causing this constant cellular damage. Left unchecked can unleash dozen of different diseases like Diabetics, heart diseases and auto immune disorders.
Sugar is an alien chemical to the human system.
It takes 10-15 Years roughly of a high sugar diet before a person develops a chronic illness. The sweetest poison of a cell is sugar. A multitude and common. Physical and mental Ailments are strongly linked to the consuming of pure refined sugar.
1 teaspoon contains 4 gms of sugar. To maintain a healthy equilibrium in the body the blood circulates roughly 2 teaspoon of sugar at a given time.
All naturally sweet food such as ripe fruits, yam & dairy tend to be dense in nutrients & calories. The sweets our ancestor enjoyed came entirely from whole food like fruits, roots and tubers. These were available only in small quantities or at certain times of the year and contained health enhancing macro & micro nutrients such as fiber, antioxidants and other phytochemicals. The presence of all that naturally occurring fiber, our ancestral bodies digested any sugar they ate much more slowly so glucose entered their blood stream in a steady stream. Because they were active, they burned through that sugar almost immediately as much needed fuel.
To day, basic human biology is the same, but most of the sugar in our diet doesn’t comes from whole foods, instead it is refined, purified, crystallized and liquefied, and our lives more sedentary. As a result the concentrated sugar in modern diet hits the body like a hurricane, and often the energy it produces has no where good to go.
Hidden sugar lies at the heart of many modern day health epidemics. “No one knowingly pour a packet of sugar but the modern tasty food consumed from bread to sauces to salad dressing and a can of 12 – ounce sweet drinks, you are likely to have a problem with sugar.
One reason why we find sugar so addictive is that it activates the Brain’s reward centre, causing it to release feel good substance such as Dopamine & beta endorphin. Some people have a lower level of beta endorphin, so that they get a bigger rush from sweets. Research show that people who are a sugar sensitive have naturally lover levels of these feel – good chemicals and are biologically driven to eat more sweets from a very early age.
Sugar is almost seductive because It makes it easier for the aminoacid tryptophan to get into the brain, where it is converted into serotonin. Serotonin is known for its ability to bestow mellowness, and calm. Sugar calms us down, makes us feel relaxed and at peace with the world, but at a price.
Why is sugar so devastating to our health?
A constant sugar deluge robs the body of its ability to ward off stress and chronic illness. After a sweet drink, the blood sugar increases, the pancreas responds by releasing insulin, prompting cellular doors to swing open & glucose rushes into the cell. The blood sugar falls and energy decreases. The adrenal gland floods the body with hormone adrenalin, triggering inflammation. When liver detects the rising adrenaline it releases stored sugar and the cycle begins again. In response to repeated excessive rise in blood sugar, the adrenal glands eventually exhaust them selves; when this happens, the immune system falters & fatigue occurs.
Few of the malfunction related to life time sweet indulgence, is Type 2 Diabetes, the most serious repercussion of excess sugar in the diet. But long before that the inflammation associated with prediabetes, Causes havoc on the body, setting the stage for heart diseases, cancer & general fatigue among other serious problems.
Scientist have long known that Cancer cells love glucose. Data supports the general hypothesis that Cancer cells are addicted to glucose and that by restricting glucose metabolism, one can stop their growth.
Sugar enables yeast to growth and invade tissues and cause problems ranging from fungal infection to rashes, thrush and leaky gut syndrome.
Our body’s defenses get exhausted by sugar, so that when real trouble comes, the immune System cannot respond. Thus it when it comes to sugar it helps to be Stratergic. It’s time to start making informed choices. Here are some TIPS.
Six teaspoon of added sugar/day for women.
Nine teaspoon of added sugar/day for men.
Put protein, healthy fat and fiber to Mix. All of there slow digestion averting blood sugar spikes.
Curb omega – 6 fatty acids.
Limit fresh fruity juice and Prioritize on low sugar fruits. You can systematically reverse – engineer the damage the modern food supply is doing to your body by simply making better choices.
Dr. Madhanika Madhavan M.D
Professor of physiology