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The Outcome of Sugar Consumption on the Body

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We all know to go easy on the sweet stuff, but what actually happens to your system when you indulge? Here are eight ways sugar affects the body.

Brain Issues

Fructose—the sugar that naturally occurs in fruit and is a component, with glucose, of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar—lights up the brain’s reward center, says pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, MD, of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. But over time, a diet packed with fructose (especially from HFCS) can make it tougher to learn and remember, animal research suggests. To stay in peak mental shape, try sticking with savory snacks.

Increased Appetite

By revving the brain’s reward and appetite center, fructose can interfere with feelings of satiety, research reveals. Translation: That extra cookie may not curb your craving after all.

Faster Aging

Too much sugar can hinder the repair of collagen, the buzzed-about protein that keeps skin looking plump, studies show. A steady diet of sugary treats can result in reduced elasticity and premature wrinkles. Indulge your sweet tooth with fruit instead. Experts say it’s A-OK to eat two to four servings of the natural sugar source each day.

RELATED: 9 Ways to Quit Sugar for Good

Excess Sugar Converts to Fat

Pause before you slip that additional packet into your a.m. coffee. The liver has an innate capacity to metabolize sugar and use it for energy—but only to an extent, explains Dr. Lustig. The fructose that’s left over is converted into fat in the liver, raising your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Cell Damage

Fructose accelerates the usual oxidation process in our cells, says Dr. Lustig. The result? Proteins, tissues, and organs can become damaged, and our risk of health conditions, including liver disease, kidney failure, and cataracts, rises.

Addiction to Sugar

Eating sugar leads to the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes us like something and want more of it. “As dopamine receptor neurons get overstimulated, the number of receptors to bind to decreases, so you’ll need a bigger hit of dopamine to get the same rush,” explains Dr. Lustig.

RELATED: 5 All-Natural Sweeteners That Are (Somewhat) Healthier Than Sugar

Increases Stress

Sweets can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the near term, research shows. But continue OD’ing on sugary refined carbs and your risk of insulin resistance, which stresses the body from the inside, goes up. To find your calm, sweat instead: “Exercise is the best treatment for stress. It makes you feel good and reduces cortisol,” says Dr. Lustig.

Ineffective for Energy Production

Refined carbs, like those in white bread and pasta, quickly cause a rise in glucose in the bloodstream, so you might feel extra energized—for a while. But this short-term fix can actually leave you more sluggish later on (when you eventually crash). Instead, opt for protein-rich snacks between meals, such as Greek yogurt with fresh berries or fresh veggies and hummus. They help stabilize blood sugar and keep you going longer.blog picture of a green button with a phone receiver icon and 24h underneath

For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Additional Topics: What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care is an well-known, alternative treatment option utilized to prevent, diagnose and treat a variety of injuries and conditions associated with the spine, primarily subluxations or spinal misalignments. Chiropractic focuses on restoring and maintaining the overall health and wellness of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, a chiropractor, or doctor of chiropractic, can carefully re-align the spine, improving a patient’s strength, mobility and flexibility.

 

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "The Outcome of Sugar Consumption on the Body" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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