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Sugar doesn’t just increase your waistline, but your chances of disease

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on April 19, 2016

Sugar doesn't just increase your waistline, but your chances of disease

We know sugar causes obesity, but it isn’t just the extra calories that are a problem for our health.

Excess sugar in our diets causes raised blood glucose levels. When blood glucose is high, the pancreas produces more insulin. And this is where the problems start.

When blood glucose is higher than normal, this is called ‘pre-diabetes’. About 2 million Australians have pre-diabetes, which makes them more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease. It’s a particular problem because many people don’t realise they have the condition until it’s too late. If they are diagnosed, it’s possible to reverse the symptoms before they develop into a more serious disease.

High blood glucose also causes damage to blood vessels. This is usually repaired in the breaks between meals, where antioxidants can come in and repair them. Eating sugary snacks between meals gives your body less time to repair itself, which can increase the chances of a heart attack.

Raised insulin levels are also associated with a higher risk of cancer. This is because it promotes cell growth, making it more likely that they will develop into cancer cells.

So, how can you reduce your risk? Basically, by keeping your blood glucose and insulin at a normal level. Avoid soft drinks and sugary snacks, and try to make as much unprocessed and whole foods as you can a part of your diet. And as always, if you’re not sure about whether you’re at a healthy level, make sure to see a doctor.

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