a mountain of big and small gummy bearsGeneral 

Why is Sugar Bad for You?

Statistically, every German consumes more than 34 kilograms of sugar per year. And we don’t even need the substance. Carbohydrates from bread or pasta provide the energy our body needs. The body can then produce sugar itself from these carbohydrates. Sugar provides our body with nothing but superfluous calories, which are known to make us fat. However, scientists are finding more and more evidence that sugar also makes us ill.

Risk of household sugar

Sucrose (household sugar) consists of glucose, also called glucose. The other part is fructose. The two substances are processed differently in our bodies: Fructose is digested through the intestine. The body uses glucose with the help of the hormone insulin. If our insulin balance gets out of control, diabetes develops.

Research indicates that fructose is less filling than other sugars, which means that there is a risk of eating more. It also promotes the formation of fat deposits, not only in the visible fat but also in the body: if you consume a lot of fructose, you also store fat in the liver. Even children can develop fatty liver in the same way as alcoholics do. It can be an early sign of metabolic syndrome, a bundle of diseases: Diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Read about using essential oils to balance blood sugar.

Fork and spoon outline made out of sugar

Treacherous sweetness of fructose

Nevertheless, more and more products are sweetened with fructose – ketchup, ready meals, sauces or mueslis, for example. The word “fruit” makes sugar appear harmless. That’s why some manufacturers advertise with it. But fructose is no less caloric or healthier than normal sugar. Sometimes, however, fructose is not labelled at all. A special labeling obligation for fruit sugar does not exist so far, so Armin Valet of the consumer center Hamburg. For humans with a Fructose incompatibility this can lead to health problems.

Juices naturally contain fructose. Especially the popular smoothies are often full of them. That is also no miracle, they exist nevertheless of fruits in highly concentrated form with their natural fruit sugar content. Many people therefore underestimate the sugar content of fruit juices and smoothies.

Of course, fruit sugar is also found in fresh fruit. Some types of fruit, such as seedless grapes, contain comparatively high levels of fructose, while others, like most berries, contain little. Nevertheless, we should not do without fruit, as it contains not only vital vitamins, but also fibre, which prevents the sugar from reaching the liver too quickly. That is why even fruits with a relatively high natural sugar content are healthier than foods that contain added sugar.

Sugar as a drug

Sweet taste sells well, so almost all ready meals contain sugar. It stimulates the same areas in the brain as alcohol or nicotine. Scientists agree on this. Some researchers even call the greed for sweets a real addiction. But this thesis is controversial. Pharmacologist Professor Rainer Spanagel is researching at the University of Heidelberg what changes a high sugar consumption can cause in the brain. Salty saliva is a cause for concern.

Energy supplier for tumor cells

Is it still okay to just keep eating sugar as long as you don’t get fat? Not necessarily, because the insulin balance can also be disturbed in slim people. About fifteen percent of all type 2 diabetics are slim. They can also be affected by secondary diseases, including cancer.

It is known that tumour cells need a lot of sugar to multiply. An international team of scientists at Harvard Medical School headed by Professor Lewis Cantley is also investigating the role sugar plays in the development of cancer cells. The biochemist believes that it is likely that in many cases high sugar consumption is the prerequisite for the development of cancer. This is still only a guess. But Cantley also recommends that slim people eat as little sugar as possible.

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