The consumption of too much sugar can be one of the many culprits in metabolic disease, referred to medically as metabolic syndrome. It’s actually a cluster of different conditions that include increased blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, visceral fat—fat around the waist and higher bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Those cause an increased risk for more serious conditions like, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
Your metabolism is the chemical reactions in the body that make food available to the cells.
There are three types of food, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The body breaks them down with enzymes in the digestive system and then they’re available for use in the cells as fuel. If there’s an abundance of fuel available, it’s stored in the liver, muscle tissue or as body fat. A failure in the system can cause ill health. Large amounts of sugar in the diet can cause stress to the pancreas and liver. In the case of the pancreas, which produces insulin, it becomes overworked and fails to maintain blood sugar regulation properly. The liver can be overwhelmed by high levels of fructose, since it metabolizes fructose. That leads the liver converting the fructose to fat, fatty liver syndrome and a release of fat in the blood stream.
Excess sugar can cause insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is the precursor of type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome, obesity and cardiovascular disease too. When there’s glucose in the bloodstream, the body produces insulin to unlock the cells so the glucose can get in and feed them. Sometimes, the cells don’t respond to the insulin, leaving the glucose free in the bloodstream, so the pancreas continues to produce more. It becomes a vicious circle with the pancreas working overtime.
Besides increasing the risk for diabetes, sugar increases the risk for heart disease.
Those markers that help identify metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, an imbalance in cholesterol levels, weight around the middle and high blood sugar levels, increase your risk for heart disease and other diseases. Diabetes also takes its toll on people. It causes kidney failure an increased potential or lower-limb amputation, blindness, as well as twice the risk for pancreatic cancer and colon cancer. It’s obvious that sugar is part of the cause, since controlling diet can help reduce blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure.
- Besides causing metabolic disease, sugar can lead to a myriad of conditions that are as varied as weaker eyesight, arthritis, gall stones and varicose veins.
- Sugar also causes premature aging by combining with proteins in a process called glycation. They form a new molecule called advanced glycation end products—AGEs. These attack other cells like collagen and elastin that keep the skin firm, making you look older before you should.
- Not only is a healthy diet good for metabolic diseases, so is adequate exercise, which can help reduce or eliminate insulin resistance.
- Consuming too much sugar is bad for the memory. According to studies, sugar slows the brain and hinders memory and learning.