Dave has to start watching his sugar intake.  This isn’t going to be easy, because Dave loves sweets. I thought it would help to know exactly why sugar is bad for you.  We have all heard that sugar is bad for us.  I think I always associated it with weight gain, and being overweight is bad for you. While that is true, there are other important reasons that too much of the sweet stuff is bad for you.  In addition to adding pounds to your body, too much sugar puts you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even dementia.  Sugar has been linked to heart disease even in people who are not overweight. I also read that sugar has also been linked to raising inflammation in the body.  Ongoing inflammation is linked to a whole slew of health conditions.  I’m going to have to look into the inflammation issue more in the future, because it keeps popping up in my research.

The slippery slope of too much sugar…

Sugar digests rapidly, and is quickly absorbed into you system.  This makes your blood sugar level spike up, which then makes your pancreas produce more insulin.  Too much of this action and your pancreas can have a hard time keeping up the pace on insulin production, then your blood sugar level rises more.  “Insulin resistance” occurs when insulin stops working the way it should, and your pancreas starts making even more to try to compensate.  This can lead to more insulin production problems which can ultimately lead to diabetes.   Insulin resistance is the thing that the doctor will talk about when they start warning you about the possibility of becoming “pre-diabetic”.

Increased blood sugar levels are also associated with heart disease.  The more I read, the more I think that saturated fat is not the big evil in nutrition, but sugar might be. (Sorry Dave)  While I still think it’s important not to over-do the fat, cutting the added sugar down is probably more important.  Too much sugar can raise your triglycerides (bad stuff), LDL and oxidized LDL (really bad stuff) as well as raising your weight, all things linked to heart disease.

Sugar is also linked to cancer (uncontrolled growth and multiplying of cells).  Insulin is said to be a key component in controlling this kind of growth.  Over production of insulin, because of too much sugar, may therefore contribute to cancer.  Also the increased inflammation sugar is linked too is another possible link to causing cancer as well as dementia.

I know this is all a big bummer to the sweet tooth, but there you have it.  Good reasons for cutting back.  Now I just have to figure out how to do that.