What happens to your body when you eat sugar

What happens to your body when you eat sugar

Excess sugar intake is linked to many health problems. Recent research has shown that high sugar intake can greatly increase heart disease risk, and a new MRI technique even confirmed that cancer cells feed on sugar.

A piece of fruit, or even a treat like ice cream, isn’t going to cause you too much trouble… provided it truly is just that – a treat and not something that you overindulge in,” says Dr. Joseph Mercola, a leading health expert and physician. “Most Americans, however, are overindulging – and that’s putting it mildly. The average American consumes one-third of a pound of sugar per day, half of which is processed fructose.”

By now it is a fairly well known fact that added sugars are harmful to health. However, Americans are still consuming way too much.

The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization recommend no more than 9 teaspoons of sugars per day and 6 teaspoons for women – the less the better.

The average American consumes about 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

Dr. Mercola outlines the following health effects of what happens to your body when you eat sugar:

A study in mice, published in the journal Neuroscience, revealed that a high-sugar diet led to changes in gut bacteria that were in turn related to a significant loss of cognitive flexibility, which is a measure of your brain’s ability to adapt to changing situations. Impairments in both long-term and short-term memory were also noted.

Rats were fed a fructose solution as drinking water for six weeks then tested their ability to remember their way out of a maze.6 The rats fed fructose syrup showed significant impairment in their cognitive abilities — they struggled to remember their way out of the maze.

They were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.

According to a meta-review, the preponderance of research clearly shows that once you reach 18 percent of your daily calories from added sugar, there’s a two-fold increase in metabolic harm that promotes pre-diabetes and diabetes.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded that “most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet,” and there’s “a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for cardiovascular disease mortality.”

The 15-year-long study, which included data for 31,000 Americans, found those who consumed 25 percent or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who got less than 10 percent of their calories from sugar.

When you eat refined processed sugars, they trigger production of your brain’s natural opioids – a key ingredient in the addiction process. Your brain essentially becomes addicted to stimulating the release of its own opioids as it would to morphine or heroin.

The following infographic published by Prevention shows how sugar can affect every part of the body and almost every facet of health.


Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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New MRI technique confirms that cancer feeds on sugar.
High sugar intake greatly increases heart disease risk.
Study links sugar to memory problems.

1. “Health Effects of Eating Too Much Sugar.” Mercola.com. Mercola.com, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
2. “Your Body On Sugar (Infographic).” Prevention. Prevention, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
3. “Relationships between Diet-related Changes in the Gut Microbiome and Cognitive Flexibility.” Science Direct. Neuroscience, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
4. “Fat, Sugar Cause Bacterial Changes That May Relate to Loss of Cognitive Function.” Oregon State University. Oregon State University, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
5. “‘Metabolic Syndrome’ in the Brain: Deficiency in Omega-3 Fatty Acid Exacerbates Dysfunctions in Insulin Receptor Signalling and Cognition.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
6. “Added Fructose.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
7. “The Link Between Dietary Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality.” JAMA. JAMA, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.

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