The old saying tells us that sugar is sweet and candy is dandy.
The new truths tell us that sugar has a profound negative impact on your body and brain.
The detrimental effect of the sweet-tasting product goes beyond the obvious weight gain and cavities.
Sugar negatively impacts every part of your physical body.
Whether it’s consumed in its natural form in fruits or products that contain high fructose corn syrup, sugar is up to no good.
Read on to discover the many different ways sugar negatively impacts your body and brain.
How Sugar Affects The Body and Brain
Eating sugar is like pushing down on the gas pedal on aging.
It accelerates your biological aging process which is called cell
Cell division is normal but as sugar causes it to prematurely divide, aging is accelerated.
You see, every time your cell divides, you lose a part of your DNA called telomeres. It’s like the plastic section at the end of your shoestring wearing down and breaking.
The more it breaks down, the faster you age and more prone to inflammaging and age-related diseases.
The more sugar you consume, the shorter the telomere gets and eventually, the cell stops dividing.
When cells stop dividing, they either die or turn senescence or what is also known as zombie cells.
Zombie cells then send out distress signals to other cells turning them into zombie cells.
These zombie-like cells cause oxidative stress and free radicals which age the body, decrease your healthy years and accelerate age-related diseases.
Aging not only occurs on the inside but also on the outside with increased wrinkles.
Continued excessive sugar consumption can lead to diabetes and eventually organs failing.
Obesity is on the rise, and in some parts of the world, it’s classified as an epidemic.
Consuming too much sugar contributes to weight gain and all the detrimental effects the extra weight has on the body.
The extra weight takes its toll on joints and muscles, including the heart.
Every part of your body must work harder to support and move the excess weight.
The heart and lungs must work harder to pump blood and oxygen to a larger body, which often leads to heart attack and strokes in obese people.
Insulin becomes less effective as more sugar is consumed and eventually, the body becomes insulin resistant.
Blood sugar becomes elevated and the person is diagnosed with diabetes.
Not only does this harm the body, but the elevated blood sugar level reduces the cognitive function of the brain.
People with diabetes are much more likely to develop dementia as they grow older.
Alzheimer’s disease is being called type 3 diabetes because of the rapid brain function decline people with diabetes experience.
Oral Health Decline
As sugary soft drinks wash over the teeth multiple times during the day, they leave behind food for damaging bacteria, which are naturally found in the mouth.
The bacteria feed on the sugar and release acid by-products which erode tooth enamel.
While dentists can repair or remove the decaying teeth, missing teeth impact your appearance, ability to eat, speak and can even lead to jaw pain and chronic headaches.
Oral health issues caused by sugar, like tooth decay, inflamed gums, and periodontal disease, also increase the risk of heart disease.
The inflammation in the gums or bacteria in a decayed tooth can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body wreaking havoc on your entire system.
Rates of heart problems, diabetes and strokes are increased in people who have poor oral health.
Increased Risk of Depression
Eating a healthy diet improves your physical health and boosts your mood.
A diet high in sugar does just the opposite; it harms your physical health and increases your risk of depression.
Consuming sugar causes swings in blood sugar levels, as the level of sugar rises and falls in the bloodstream, it reduces the sensitivity of receptors in the brain.
As the receptors become more and more desensitized, depression deepens. It’s like a crash after a sugar rush that never goes away.
Sugar Has a Drug-like Effect
Your brain uses more energy than any other organ in the body.
The brain derives the needed energy from our sugar intake, and the more we take in, the more the brain demands we take in.
Sugar has a drug-like effect on the reward center of our brain. Consuming just a little sugar creates a craving for more from the brain so the body can feel good.
This drug-like effect causes the body and brain to become addicted to sugar, leading to an ever-increasing demand for something sweet to eat.
Self-control is decreased as the demand for sugar is increased.
Foods that cause blood sugar to rise, produce a greater addictive drive in the brain and lead to feelings of hunger when in actuality the body is not hungry, the brain is just demanding its sugar-fix.
Loss of Memory
Studies have shown that just one instance of elevated blood sugar can result in loss of memory.
Little by little, the cognitive function of the brain diminishes each time the blood sugar rises above normal levels.
Consuming sugar, in artificial or natural form, causes a sudden spike in blood sugar which can lead to brain disorders.
Sugar causes inflammation throughout the body, and especially in the brain.
This inflammation is almost always present in people who develop dementia or Alzheimer’s.
If a high-sugar diet is stopped and a low-sugar diet adhered to, memory loss can be reversed in some cases.
Sounds gruesome, but that is what happens to a brain on sugar – it shrinks.
As the brain shrinks so does learning ability, motor function, problem-solving, memory, and all other cognitive functions.
Sugar decreases the brain chemical called BDNF, which is essential for new memory formation and learning.
New learning and memories are stopped and old memories fade as the brain shrinks in size.