Are you fun of sugar? You aren’t alone since the majority of Americans cannot get enough of the sweet white powder. For many people added sugar lights up the reward/addiction region of the brain that drives sugar addiction.

The national nutrition recommendations (aka the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs)) are updated and released every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. The 2015 guidelines included added sugar as a stand-alone category for the first time in history. Why do you ask? Likely because of companies and lobbyists that have a lot of money and power and have been able to hide the damaging effects of sugar.

Aside from the fact that sugary foods will cause your waistline to expand, that is only the beginning of the story. 

Below are five ways sugar hijacks your health beyond making you fat:

  • Sugar Can Cause Metabolic Problems Passed Down from Mother to Future Generations

It turns out breastfeeding is not the only thing that sets a child up for optimal health. For all the women out there who plan to eventually become moms, it’s important to reduce your sugar intake. High sugar foods can lead to metabolic problems that get passed down for multiple generations.

Researchers also found that being obese is likely to lead to genetic abnormalities that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease and they can last for at least three generations. No matter how much you weigh, cut back on the sugar to help set your baby up for a healthy life.

  • Sugar Can Increase Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

Butter and eggs are not the cause of heart disease. It turns out sugar has been playing a pretty significant role without taking any credit. Several risk factors for Cardiovascular Disease are associated with calories from sugar and refined grains. These risk factors include high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and insulin resistance. Do your heart a favour and pass on the sugary drinks and cakes and snacks.

  • Sugar Significantly Increases Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

My boss, Dr Mark Hyman, often refers to this as Diabesity since diabetes and obesity go hand in hand. Sugar is one of the number one culprits of Diabesity. Regular consumption of soda was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes in a large 2011 study. Those that consumed one can of soda per day had a 24% increased risk of diabetes. Other studies have reported an even higher risk.

  • Sugar Increases the Risk of Cognitive Decline

In Functional Medicine, we often refer to Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia as Type 3 Diabetes. Structural changes in certain areas of the brain that are associated with memory decline can occur as a result of higher blood sugar levels. Preserve your brain health and mental capacity as you age by keeping sugar consumption at a minimum.

  • Sugar Can Decrease Nutrient Status

Consuming foods or beverages that are high in sugar can cause a crowd out effect for nutritious foods and nutrients. A 2013 CDC article found that eating added sugar leads to lower vitamin and mineral levels plus weight gain! My tip would be to save your calories for unlimited vegetables and crowd out the sugar!

Source:  Being Brigid

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