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Why it’s not just the calories in sugar that are bad for us

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on April 20, 2016

We know sugar causes obesity, but new research shows that the problem isn’t just those excess calories.

Our health is also affected by the impact sugar has on our blood glucose levels. Too much sugar in our diets causes raised blood glucose levels. When blood glucose is high, the pancreas produces more insulin, and this is what’s a real danger to our health.

When blood glucose is higher than normal, this is called ‘pre-diabetes’. About one in three English adults have pre-diabetes. This means they are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease. It’s a real problem because often, people don’t realise they have the condition until it has developed into something more serious. The good news is if it is diagnosed early, it’s possible to reverse the symptoms and reduce the risks.

High blood glucose also causes damage to blood vessels. The body usually deals with this in our breaks between meals, where antioxidants can come in and repair the damage. 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? 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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