The Unsweet Side of Sugar - From Premature Aging to Diabetes

BlogHer Original Post

Sugar Makes You Sick and Look Old -- So Why Do We Continue To Eat So Much Of It?

I was just flipping through the channels last week, and on one of the morning shows they were talking about foods that make you look old. Apparently, sugar tops the list. Why did that come as such a surprise to me? I'm sure it has something to do with turning forty, but I guess that's another post. Anyway, I wanted to find out more about this sugar phenomena. Could it really be true that sugar causes premature aging? It turns out, yes.

Most people do not realize this but excess sugar is considered one of the main causes of premature aging. The more sugar we eat, the more sugar we have entering our bloodstream. Over time, this can result in a process known as glycation, which is when a glucose (sugar) molecule damages a protein molecule by sticking to it. The new molecules formed are called advanced glycation end-products, or AGEs. AGEs damage collagen in skin, cartilage, and ligaments and promote a loss of elasticity. Wrinkles form and skin begins to sag. -- see full article

Sugar accelerates aging...

It even contributes to that telltale sign of aging: sagging skin. Some of the sugar you consume, after hitting your bloodstream, ends up attaching itself to proteins, in a process called glycation. These new molecular structures contribute to the loss of elasticity found in aging body tissues, from your skin to your organs and arteries. The more sugar circulating in your blood, the faster this damage takes hold. -- read more

Can sugar suppress the immune system?

Sugar is known to suppress the immune system, mess up your digestive system and cause a long list of side effects that are harsh enough to cause havoc all over your body. -- read more

Raise your blood pressure?

Sugar may be as big a villain in raising blood pressure as salt, says Harry G. Preuss, M.D., of Georgetown University Medical School. And the typical American diet, packed with both salt and sugar, is worst of all, he says. In animal studies, he finds salt and sugar together boost blood pressure more than either alone. Sugar appears to disrupt the metabolism of insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure. Also, heavy consumption of sugar induces salt and water retention. -- read more

Cancer?

The study, which looked at 64,500 people over the course of 13 years, linked high blood sugar with cancers of the pancreas, skin, womb, and urinary tract. High blood sugar was also linked to breast cancer for women under 49. -- read more

This is only scratching the surface. The list of reasons not to eat sugar goes on and on.

Addicted?

The Fit Shack did a post wondering if we could be addicted to sugar? I think I might know the answer to that one. Once I start eating sugar, it's almost impossible for me to stop.

And, you can't talk about the problems with sugar and not mention Diabetes.

BlogHer has several great blogs by women living with Diabetes. Amy Tenderich has Diabetes Mine and then there is Diabetes Dialogue, and also Living With Diabetes, to name a few.

A few weeks ago I did a post on Childhood Obesity and Type II Diabetes at Women 4 Hope.

I also came across a post by Denise with information on the symptoms and diagnosis of Diabetes.

And since it's always nice to end on a positive note...

There is one bit of positive information coming out on sugar. Studies are showing a connection between dark chocolate and a decrease in blood pressure. -- see post

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
also at Women 4 Hope and CatherineBlogs.com

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