Because of today’s modern world, it’s all too easy to overload on sugar. Sugar is in almost everything we eat, including bread, yogurt, fast food, and microwavable meals. Unfortunately, when individuals eat 10 to 20 percent of their calories in sugar, they can become malnourished and unhealthy. Recent studies show that high levels of sugar consumption may even contribute to brain damage and liver failure.
It wasn’t always so easy for people to get so much sugar in their diets. Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of California, points out that sugar was very expensive until the mid 18th century. Today, people consume 20 times more sugar than those living before that time period.
Sugar Causes Liver Failure
Our high sugar consumption can cause major problems within our bodies. Liver failure is one of these problems. This is because the human liver has a lot of trouble in metabolizing refined sugar. Dr. Lustig states that your liver can only metabolize around six teaspoons of sugar every 24-hour period.
Unfortunately, the average American eats around 20 teaspoons of this substance on an average day. The liver converts this extra sugar into fat, which goes into the bloodstream and is stored in the liver. This leads to high cholesterol and an issue known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Excess sugar damages the liver as much as alcohol does, and it can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
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Sugar and Brain Damage
Too much sugar can also lead to brain damage. A study published in the July 2013 issue of Alzheimer’s and Dementia found that people who had type 2 diabetes due to excessive sugar intake also suffered from brain dysfunction.
A 2007 study found that people with high blood sugar were unable to form memories as well as people with lower blood sugar. Yet another study led by a team of researchers at Charité University Medical Centre in Berlin found that high blood sugar actually alters the physical structure of the brain.
Other Illnesses Caused by Sugar
Sugar is harmful to the human body in many other ways. It contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. The Journal of the American Heart Association published a 2013 study in which researchers discovered that sugar decreased heart function. It’s equally disturbing that some studies have linked high sugar consumption to several types of cancer.
A Sugar Detox
It is possible to detox from sugar, but it is difficult to achieve. This is because you can actually become addicted to sugar. When you stop eating sugar, you may feel fatigued, and you may become irritated more easily.
The good news is that it only takes three days before your body begins to function better without sugar. Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a family physician, nutrition researcher, and a New York Times best-selling author. He notes that after these three days, you won’t crave sugar as intensely as before. He recommends not eating any sugar for this amount of time. You will also have to avoid foods such as honey, agave nectar, and processed animal products. Instead, you can eat fresh fruit, beans, and slow-burning carbs like oatmeal. Dr. Fuhrman recommends replacing the sugar in recipes with dried fruits.
Sugar is present in almost all processed foods. To detox from sugar, it is important to obtain whole foods. You will need to prepare meals and choose ingredients more wisely. However, making these changes, in the long run, can help you live a longer, healthier life.