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Sugar: Wolf is Sheepskin?

By Xin Chang

 

The world is filled with harmful articles about fast food and the many ingredients in fast food. Sugar is among the top of this list, and the use of it has received a lot of criticism. And yet, many people still consume large amounts of Sugar. So what exactly makes this common ingredient so unreliable?

In Chemistry, we learned that sugars can broken down into fructose and glucose. When we eat food, they are absorbed into our bloodstream. The fructose parts of our meal must then be converted into glucose in our liver. We burn energy to support  life in our bodies, but if we consume more sugar than we burn, the excessive sugar does not just disappear. They must go somewhere, and this “somewhere” is fats. All the excess sugar  is converted to fats in our liver. Some of the fats stays inside the liver, but the many of the rest is stored in fatty tissues around our body.

This is main reason why when we eat too much sugar, we tend to slow and subtly start to gain weight, and after long periods of time, the change becomes noticeable (especially if you do not have a particularly active lifestyle).

Additionally, many critical medical conditions may develop from the overuse of sugar. Some of these include:

  • Diabetes – Eating too much sugar in our diet can lead to obesity, increasing our risk of developing diabetes. Patients with this condition are not sensitive enough to produce the insulin needed to store glucose. They may also not be physically fit produce enough insulin to store excess glucose. Then their blood sugar levels will not regulated properly leading to thirst and tiredness in the short-term, and damage to blood vessels, nerves and organs, in the long term. This disease has no cure.
  • Heart disease: Obesity, caused by overeating and consuming large amounts of sugar, also will raise blood pressure, raise the bad cholesterol levels while lowering the good cholesterol levels. These all contribute to a high risk of heart disease.
  • Fatty liver disease: Excessive sugar can be stored as fat in the liver. This type of condition has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, liver disease and even liver cancer.
  • Tooth decay: When eating sugary foods, bacteria in the mouth break down the carbohydrates and produce acids which dissolve minerals in our tooth enamel.  The longer the sugar is contact with teeth, the more damage bacteria can cause. This can cause pain, infection and loss of teeth.
  • Bad moods: Sugary foods like chocolate, cake and biscuits all have been tagged as “bad mood food”. After they quickly provide energy and a sharp increase of blood sugar, it will then cause unstable blood sugar levels and when blood sugar level fall, it can make your mood dip.  This cycle will make you feel tired, anxious and irritable.

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