The Overconsumption of Sugar and Health Hazards

What is overconsumption of sugar?
Overconsumption is defined as equaling more than six teaspoons a day and the average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons a day! OUCH! We are a nation of over consumers!

American Overconsumption = American obesity epidemic

There are many health hazards associated with sugar and can be divided into four categories, which are: Increased Risk of Diseases and Sicknesses, Nutrient Imbalance or Deficiency, Bodily Impairments, and Behavioral Changes. (from Mercola.com)

Increased Risk of Diseases and Illnesses
Research has shown that sugar is linked with many diseases and illnesses. Here is a list of those that have been directly linked to sugar taken from many sources and compiled into one list.

  • Cancers
  • Heart Disease
  • Promotes chronic degenerative diseases
  • Causes atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases
  • Causes cataracts and nearsightedness
  • May lead to autoimmune diseases like arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis
  • Causes emphysema
  • Liver Disease
  • Contributes to osteoporosis
  • Contraction of appendicitis, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins
  • Parkinson’s disease (people with said disease have high sugar intake)
  • Feeds cancer cells
  • Can induce cell death
  • Increases fasting levels of glucose
  • Increases systolic blood pressure
  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Significant increase in platelet adhesion
  • Leads to formation of kidney stones and gallstones
  • Rapid sugar absorption promotes excessive food intake
  • Obesity
  • Decreases insulin sensitivity, leading to high insulin levels and eventually diabetes
  • Reactive hypoglycemia
  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal tract problems
  • Food allergies
  • Increases risk of gout and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Acidity in saliva, tooth decay, and periodontal diseases
  • Gum disease
  • Greatly promotes uncontrolled growth of Candida albicans (yeast infections)
  • Toxemia in pregnancy
  • Contributes to eczema in children
  • Worsens symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Increases risk of polio
  • May lead to epileptic seizures
  • Could lead to high blood pressure in obese people
  • Increased consumption in intensive care units can induce death

Nutrient Imbalance of Deficiency
Sugar can, like alcohol overconsumption initiate many deficiencies in our bodies. These include:

  • Upsets the mineral relationships in your body
  • Chromium deficiency
  • Interferes with the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and protein
  • Increases total cholesterol, triglycerides, and bad cholesterol levels
  • Decreases good cholesterol levels
  • Lowers vitamin E levels
  • Body changes sugar into two to five times more fat in the bloodstream compared to starch

Bodily Impairments
Also like alcohol there are impairments that happen as a result of overconsumption and many are serious and life altering changes.

  • Has potential to induce abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual
  • Suppression of immune system, increasing risk of contracting infectious diseases
  • Loss of tissue elasticity and function
  • Weaker eyesight
  • Premature aging
  • Increases advanced glycation end products wherein sugar molecules attach to proteins and end up damaging them
  • DNA structure impairment
  • Can cut off oxygen to brain via intravenous feedings
  • Change in protein structure and causes a permanent alteration of protein acts in your body
  • Changing of collagen structure
  • Skin aging
  • Impairs physiological homeostasis of bodily systems
  • Lowers ability of enzymes to function
  • Increases liver size by making liver cells divide, increasing the amount of liver fat
  • Increase kidney size and producing pathological changes
  • Pancreatic damage
  • Increase in body’s fluid retention
  • Affects urinary electrolyte composition
  • Slows down ability of adrenal glands to function
  • Compromises lining of capillaries
  • Brittle tendons
  • Can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind’s ability to think clearly
  • Causes hormonal imbalances
  • Increases free radicals and oxidative stress
  • Change in protein structure and causes a permanent alteration of protein acts in your body
  • Changing of collagen structure
  • Skin aging
  • Impairs physiological homeostasis of bodily systems
  • Lowers ability of enzymes to function
  • Increases liver size by making liver cells divide, increasing the amount of liver fat
  • Increase kidney size and producing pathological changes
  • Pancreatic damage
  • Increase in body’s fluid retention
  • Affects urinary electrolyte composition
  • Slows down ability of adrenal glands to function
  • Compromises lining of capillaries
  • Brittle tendons
  • Can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind’s ability to think clearly
  • Causes hormonal imbalances
  • Increases free radicals and oxidative stress
  • Leads to substantial decrease in gestation, with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age infant
  • Dehydration among newborns
  • Affects carbon dioxide production when given to premature babies

Behavioral Changes
Research has shown you can become addicted to sugar consumption so it isn’t any great surprise to find these behavioral changes associated with sugar overconsumption.

  • Addictive and intoxicating, similar to alcohol
  • Rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, and anxiety
  • Leads to difficulty in concentration, drowsiness, and crankiness in children
  • Results in decreased activity in children
  • Reduces learning capacity and can cause learning disorders that could affect schoolchildren’s grades
  • Increases risk of antisocial behavior
  • Decrease in emotional stability
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism

Combating the effects of overconsumption

Choosing a well-balanced diet tailored to your specific body type helps, with extra emphasis on food rich in fiber, which helps slow down the absorption of sugar, and food rich in high quality omega-3 fats, which are also crucial to lessening the impact of eating excessive sugar. Avoiding food with high sugar content and constantly rehydrating with fresh and pure water are recommended.

Lastly, exercising every day, along with optimizing your vitamin D levelsgetting enough sleep, and managing your stress levels can also help minimize the effects of excessive sugar intake. Exercise in particular is known to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce stress levels, suppress ghrelin (the appetite hormone), speed up metabolism, strengthen bones, and boost your mood.