Our bodies require glucose. It requires glucose as an energy source for muscles, brain function and as energy for red blood cells. The Carbohydrates we consume from food gets converted to glucose in the liver. The other way we can make glucose is via gluconeogenesis or the breakdown of amino acids or protein.
Humans can make their own glucose, we don’t actually need to consume sugar and carbohydrates.
Many researchers believe that sugar is the main cause the of the major obesity epidemic that is facing the world today. Excessive amounts of sugar intake have been linked to autoimmune diseases, cancer, physiological changes and neurodegenerative disorders.
Consuming carbohydrates promotes a cycle of dependency. Any ingested carbs are burnt for immediate energy and the excess are sent to storage. They are transported to the liver to be converted to the storage form of glucose called glycogen. Glycogen is then stored in the liver and muscles as reserves. If the muscle and liver site storage areas become full the excess is then stored in the fat cells. This causes the pancreas to release insulin, a master hormone, to try to regulate our blood glucose levels back to normal. This triggers a decline in energy, which in turn activates the hormone ghrelin to tell the brain, hey we have no energy down here, we need more food. This then activates our craving for sugar and carbs for that immediate energy. This cycle happens over a few hours, so our hunger is activated by our craving or need for carbs. If we can tap into or rely on our huge fat stores, we eliminate this craving, this hunger and need for carbohydrates to fuel our energy.
The other problem this has is that the spike in insulin triggers a fight of flight response, in that the body thinks there is no glucose available. This can trigger gluconeogenesis (turning amino acids or proteins into glucose).
Reliance on sugar can cause hyperinsulinemia or chronically high elevated blood glucose. This causes a stress on the body and elevated levels of cortisol have been linked to a large number of illnesses. It can also cause damage to organs by the production of Reactive Oxygen Species, which are free radicals in the body containing oxygen, caused by glycation or the binding of excess glucose molecules to protein.
Here are a few points about sugars:
- Simple sugars include glucose (dextrose), fructose and galactose (milk sugar), sucrose (aka- table sugar), maltose and lactose.
- High fructose corn syrup is synthesized from regular corn syrup (glucose). By converting glucose to fructose through an acid enzyme process, the resulting high fructose corn syrup is an inexpensive and very sweet food additive that has made it into almost every kind of processed food.
- Glucose and fructose are metabolized quite differently in the body, glucose through insulin and fructose in the liver.
- Fructose is, in fact, considered “low glycemic” because it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels, however, it has also been linked to metabolic disorders and increased obesity rates
- Sugary soft drinks and fruit juice should be avoided at all cost