Sugar: our bodies response to too much

Sugar continues to be in the headlines of today’s health and fitness news. The World Health Organization (WHO) ( recommends only 10% of our total daily caloric intake be from sugar. With the prominence of obesity, diabetes mellitus type II, and heart disease, the WHO is rethinking the 10% daily recommendation and decreasing it to 5%. That would take decrease our sugar intake to 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of a day. Equivalent to 10 Hershey kisses. The average daily American sugar intake is 22 teaspoons a day.

Here are some of our bodily responses when we have an abundance:

  1. Insatiable hunger. When ingesting large amounts of fructose, increases Leptin. Leptin tells our body when our tank is full. Over eating fructose increases leptin circulating which decreases our sensitivity. This is reversible with removal of fructose. (Advances in Nutrition, 2012; doi: 10.394/an.112.002659)
  2. Weight gain and Obesity. A mixture of sedentary lifestyle and sugary foods, which are packed with calories, leads our bodies to packing on the pounds. Consuming one soda a day has been found to lead to 15 pounds of weight gain over a year. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.058362)
  3. Insulin Resistance. Over consumption of sugar leads to increase insulin levels. As a result our bodies become less sensitive and leads to more glucose, sugar, in our blood. This can lead to fatigue, hunger, decrease concentration, and elevated blood pressure. If not corrected can lead to diabetes. (Nutrition and Metabolism, 2005, doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-2-5)
  4. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. The number of people developing type 2 diabetes has exploded between 1988-2008 by 128%, which is equivalent to about 25 million people today, or about 8.3% of the population. Overexposure of sugar in our diet increases our development of diabetes and portion control, decrease sugar intake, lessens our risk. (PLOS One, 2013, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057873)
  5. Liver failure. Our bodies metabolize fructose through our liver. This process causes a stress response that can leads to inflammation. High doses of fructose have been found to be a component of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, fatty deposits in our liver. If left unchecked these fatty deposits can lead to scarring and liver failure. (World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2013 doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i8.1166)
  6. Hypertension. High blood pressure has been associated with salty foods. One study has found consuming 74 or more grams a sugar a day is strongly associated with an elevated risk of high blood pressure. (American Journal of Physiology DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00680.2007)
  7. Nutritional deficiencies. High sugar/processed foods are “empty calories” and have little or no nutritional value. With over consumption of these foods we pass whole foods, fruits, which are full of essential nutrients our body require. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.058362)

Questions? Consult with one of our knowledgeable Providers at MHC Medical to assess your daily consumption of sugar today.

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