Crave a little something sweet most afternoons? Think that biscuit or soft drink is doing you little harm? Think again. Leading Sydney naturopath Victoria O’Sullivan tells us the dangers of sugar – including premature ageing!
1. Causes weight gain & increases risk of risk of diabetes
Sugar consumption stimulates the release of the fat-storing hormone insulin. “Most body fat results from excessive amounts of sugar and starch – a form of complex sugar – in our diets, that isn’t burned off as daily energy output.
2. Cardiovascular disease
Excess sugar consumption is also likely to lower our HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and increase LDL cholesterol (the bad type), creating the ideal environment for plaque to build up on arterial walls. Clogged arteries not only increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but also diabetes, heart attack and stroke.”
3. Sugar causes premature ageing
Constantly raising our blood sugar through the use of sugary foods and drinks can cause a reaction in the body that triggers the production of molecules called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE). It is becoming more commonly understood in the naturopathic industry that elevated levels of AGEs in the body can lead to accelerated aging of your skin as well as vital organs.
4. Can cause a yeast overgrowth
A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can expose us to an unhealthy yeast overgrowth in our bowels, known as Candida Albicans. A yeast overgrowth can cause bloating, unexplained fatigue and cravings for sugar or carbohydrates. In many cases, a yeast overgrowth causes the liver to work harder to remove its toxic by-products, straining the organ excessively.
5. Weakened immune function
A sugary intake is likely to suppress our white blood cells (which fight bacteria and viruses), potentially weakening our protection against viruses. “Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, but did you know that sugar can disrupt the body’s absorption of this important nutrient?” Victoria says.
Could you live with less or no sugar?