Many of us consume large amounts of sugar without being aware of it, either because we eat processed foods, which usually have added sugars, or because in our daily meals we include more servings than we need that contain complex carbohydrates (for example, bread, kinds of pasta, fruits or dairy). Generally speaking, few people are aware of the quality of their diet and the amount of sugar they intake daily.
It is important to know how much sugar enters our metabolism since its excessive consumption has serious effects on our health. The most immediate is weight gain, which in turn is related to the development of several diseases, in our organism.
Obesity caused by the consumption of sugar almost immediately affects the cardiovascular system, but it can also cause inflammation in the intestines or, even more dangerous, significantly affect the functioning of the pancreas, decisive for processing fats and proteins. Moreover, obesity is a direct cause of the development of diabetes, a degenerative disease that, however, is perfectly preventable.
But why is sugar consumption capable of damaging even the brain? Precisely this has to do with its relationship in regards to diabetes, since according to recent scientific research, suffering from diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
If we consume excess sugar this produces a failure of the pancreas, because insulin, which is the hormone responsible for synthesizing and making it digestible for our body, takes much longer to “break down” or even never break down the sugar molecules.
The brain produces its own “insulin-type molecules” to synthesize sugar, and this is responsible for the regulation in the release of the different neurotransmitters, which have extremely important functions related to cognitive and motor activity, also helping dopamine production.
If for some reason these mechanisms fail than brain functions also fail. The main function impaired is memory since the availability of dopamine receptors is reduced. This reduction is a sign of neuronal stimulation. When the brain enters that state, the regulation of the receptors decreases to protect the brain from damage, although there is a feeling of well-being or satisfaction is also generated in the process, as the (damaging) effect reaches the brain’s reward center.
An additional problem created is that later you need more sugar to get the same level of temporary feeling of “pleasure”. This is the cycle through which an addiction develops. On the other hand, other studies have observed that excessive daily sugar consumption affects the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in learning and memory processes.
The World Health Organization recommends that we limit the consumption of sugar to an equivalent to a maximum of 25 grams per day. If you want to reduce your sugar intake you can replace it with the calories found in vegetables and fruits. This will make your metabolism accelerate and get your energy boosted naturally.