How does sugar affect your body?
Sugar is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, grains and diary. The consumption of these kind of “natural” sugar is fine, as the body acquires other essential nutrients and the sugar is slowly processed and released in the body. On the other hand, refined sugar, which is found in processed food and sweets, is not rich in macro-nutrients, resulting in us consuming far too much sugar. This type of sugar is digested quickly and often produces a spike in blood sugar levels. This results in you feeling energized, but only for a short time and leaves you feeling more sluggish later on.
Consuming too much sugar has a negative effect on your whole body. It can raise blood pressure, increase chronic inflammation, weight gain and increase risk of diabetes. Also when we take in a lot of sugar, it changes the PH of our blood and in response, our body needs to regulate this. In order to do so, it uses up minerals from around the body, such as magnesium and calcium which are needed for muscle contraction and bone strength and could suffer as a result.
Various studies have shown that a diet high in sugar is linked to increased inflammatory process along the body and contributes to insulin resistance. A high sugar diet contributes to the presence of low-grade inflammation through a number of processes:
– The glycation process, when a protein or fat combined with sugar in the blood, results in inflammation.
– Increased gut permeability contributes to inflammation,as the process of toxins, bacteria and undigested food particles move out of the gut to end up in the blood stream.
– Sugar is associated with excess body fat and increased levels of LDL cholesterol. This bad type of cholesterol is related to higher levels of c-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation.
Along with all these factors, the presence of low-grade inflammation is also linked to stress, smoking and certain medication. In relation to injury and pain, the presence of inflammation around the body can also slow down the recovery process therefore it’s important to look at the diet of each individual as the food we eat plays a huge role in how our body functions.
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