High Sugar Intake: Damages Skin, Causes Liver Disease and Almost 40% Greater Risk of Developing Depression – Not to Mention Makes You Fat

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gut bacteria copySugar becomes toxic when you consider the average American consumes 130 pounds of added sugars every year. That’s roughly 22 teaspoons a day, far exceeding the maximum set by the American Heart Association in 2009.

“The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons. The AHA recommendations focus on all added sugars, without singling out any particular types such as high-fructose corn syrup.”

Research shows that this overload of sugar, often caused by hard-to-detect hidden added sugars found in so many foods, impacts your body in all sorts of dangerous and undesirable ways.

Chronic high sugar intake and junk food leads to higher risk of depression.

People with insulin resistance release lower amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in controlling the pleasure/reward center in the brain. Many people crave and consume sugary foods with the aim to elevate their mood; however, quite the opposite effect is experienced.

 

A study published in Public Health Journal tracked nearly 9,000 people to determine any possible link between depression and eating sugary sweets and fast food. After six years, those who ate the most junk food and added sugar faced a nearly 40 percent greater risk of developing depression, compared to those who avoided junk food.

The link between sugar and damaged collagen and elastin in skin.

Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs. These new molecules attack nearby proteins causing structural changes and damage. And that includes protein fibers in collagen and elastin; the skin structural components that keep your skin firm and elastic.

 

The result of too much sugar and AGEs? Dry, brittle protein fibers that lead to wrinkles and saggy skin.

AGEs promote the growth of fragile collagen and interfere with natural antioxidant enzymes. This in-turn allows for skin to be more susceptible to the sun’s UV rays. And you know that means – premature skin aging.

Table sugar component and liver disease.

The fructose, a sugar component of table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, in added sugars triggers your liver to store fat more efficiently. Over time, a diet high in fructose may result in fatty globules around your liver. This condition is a precursor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition hardly seen before 1980.

 

Avoid drinks with lots of added sugars, including healthy-sounding smoothies. You’re better off if the fructose in your diet comes from natural sources like fruit—the fiber helps blunt a sugar shock to your system.

Plus, a piece of fruit likely has much less sugar than a commercial smoothie full of added sugars (some of them contain 54 grams, or about 13 ½ teaspoons worth of sugar!)

Sugar and diabetes and metabolic disease.

One study found that for every extra 150 calories from sugar available per person each day, diabetes prevalence rises by 1.1 percent.

It’s easy to recommend giving up beverages like soda, but the truth is that accounts for just one-third of your added sugar intake. You have to go further, really honing in on labels. Much of the hidden sugars hide out under your own roof, in unassuming places like ketchup, frozen dinners, beef jerky, and bread.

Just use sugar substitutes? Hold on… new research does not bode well for traditional sugar substitutes.

The whole point of sugar substitutes is offer the same sweet taste with none of the calories to help with weight loss and other conditions such as diabetes. While this counterintuitive fact has puzzled researchers for some time, this new study has revealed an interesting connection, your gut bacteria. Read the research reported in Nature.com.

 

The scientists conducted experiments on mice that yielded promising findings. They found that mice that drank water with artificial sweeteners aspartame, saccharin and sucralose developed glucose intolerance. Glucose intolerance is often a precursor to more serious conditions such as Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

Read the full article on artificial sweeteners and glucose intolerance research.

Discover how to replenish gut bacteria for greater immunity and higher metabolism while supporting weight loss.