How Sugar Makes You Fat, Sick and Tired

How Sugar Makes You Fat, Sick and Tired

Weight Loss Fort Wayne IN Vilulu

By the Numbers

Have you ever noticed how chronic diseases have continued to increase…and increase…and increase over time? The United States, and in most cases the whole world, is getting sicker by the day and perhaps not-so-surprisingly it could be in large part due to sugar consumption. Just look how it has climbed in comparison to our ancestors.

  • Early ancestors                                                 15 grams/day
  • Prior to WWII                                                     16-24 grams/day
  • 1977-1978                                                          37 grams/day
  • Today’s recommended intake                        25 grams/day
  • Today’s actual intake                                      73 grams/day

It’s probably no surprise that since the early 1900’s the rates of diabetes and obesity has skyrocketed. Diabetes used to affect 3 in 100,000. Now it affects 8,000 in 100,000 and 2 in 3 Americans are either obese or overweight.

A Sugar is a Sugar…..right?

Wrong. All sugars are not created equally! The most common forms of sugar are the “oses”: glucose, sucrose, and fructose. Each type is characterized by its sweet flavor, but has a different chemical form and is digested and utilized differently by the body.

Glucose is the most common form. In fact, it is found in every single living organism. Our bodies are pros at breaking it down in the pancreas and quickly using it as fuel…that is, if we need it.

The Problem: if we consume more sugar than our body needs a cascade of events takes place, starting with insulin, that causes our bodies to store the energy in the form of fat. That wouldn’t really be an issue if we used the fat later, but in our society we tend to have a constant flow of sugar. A never-ending cycle continues as we eat sugar, burn some sugar, have too much sugar left over, convert the unused sugar to fat, eat more sugar….and so forth and so on. Not allowing our bodies to get into a state of fat-burning is literally making us fat! My mother always said “you are what you eat.” I guess in a way she was right.

Fructose, unlike glucose, is metabolized by the liver. From now on, consider it the dark horse in this parade! NOT because it is naturally unhealthy but because we make it unhealthy. Natural fructose comes from honey, fruits, and root vegetables. Unnatural fructose is manufactured and we put it in practically everything, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup. If your dinner came from a box or a can, it most likely contains fructose. Even low fat foods have it! In the course of one year, the average American consumes 63 pounds of the stuff!

The Problem: fructose is metabolized by the liver instead of the pancreas it doesn’t trigger an immediate insulin release. (Which after hearing about insulin before you might think is a good thing….think again!) If you don’t release insulin, you don’t release a compound called leptin. Leptin is the “satiety” hormone. In other words, it makes you feel full. Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and you only stop eating because you run out of food on your plate? That’s probably because there wasn’t enough real food to release adequate amounts of leptin to signal your brain that you were full. If that weren’t enough….there’s unfortunately more bad news when it comes to fructose. When it is metabolized by the liver it creates uric acid (ever had gout before?), it creates “very low density lipoprotein” otherwise known as LDL (ever had high cholesterol before?), and it creates free fatty acids (ever had inflammation before?).

When you consume too much of either glucose or fructose, especially over a long period of time, the insulin levels become increased overall. Eventually your cells become resistant to it. I like to think of it as tuning-out the annoying big brother that keeps shouting instructions at you. When you don’t listen, he shouts louder and so does your body. Eventually, when your cells completely “tune out” it creates type II diabetes.

Sick and Tired

When you get to the point where your cells get insulin resistant it makes it incredibly difficult to metabolize vitamin C. You probably know that vitamin C plays a huge role in the immune system. In fact, it is so closely tied to blood sugar levels that if levels are at 120 or higher it reduces phagocytic activity (basically the body’s ability to kick germ booty) by 75% or more. That means you are far more susceptible to getting sick.

Insulin resistance also causes your body to lose magnesium which has more far-reaching effects than just sore, tight, or spasming muscles. Magnesium is a co-factor (a.k.a. ingredient) in cellular energy production. It causes low energy on a cellular level that resonates to your whole body having low energy!

The Solutions

Obviously, do your best to decrease all known sugar sources to 25 grams per day or less, especially high fructose corn syrup. Always read food labels to see if high fructose corn syrup is an ingredient but if it’s not that doesn’t mean that some other form of processed sugar. Be aware, SUGAR HAS MANY NAMES!

Pace yourself when eating and wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. This allows time for leptin to give you that full, happy feeling. If you feel stuffed after a meal, you ate too fast and too much.

Substitute healthy alternatives. I don’t mean the sweeteners that come in little pink, yellow, and blue packets! Stay away from those chemical-laden alternatives at all costs! Instead, try stevia, raw honey, lohan, and birch xylitol.


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