Most people cannot survive without sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrate as it contains starch, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen. When consumed, it fuels us with energy to get through the day. The main function of carbohydrates is to provide our body with fuel and allow us to grow.
However, today, the world has become increasingly unpopular. 80 percent of our diet is loaded with white products. This means that the average adult consumes 63 grams (16 teaspoons) of sugar on a daily basis. This is more than twice the amount of sugar that is recommended by health experts around the world.
Humans and animals alike are attracted to how sweet sugar tastes. In the wild, this indicates that food is safe to eat as most poisonous foods taste bitter or sour. However, in today’s world, fizzy drinks, candy, and processed food have become increasingly popular. Now, sugar is associated with happiness.
Due to this reason, most products that we consume every day are loaded with sugar. Sugar helps boost the texture and taste of a product and may also be used as a preservative to ensure that bacteria do not grow on it. Even though our taste buds may be crazy for the taste of sugar, our body is not.
When we consume more sugar than needed, the excess is stored away as fat. This causes a rapid increase in obesity as well as health problems. Even though it is difficult to keep track of all the sugar we consume in a day, you must figure out what sugars are bad for your body. For example, processed sugar is terrible for your body, while fruit sugar is beneficial.
How Does the Body Process Sugar?
When you consume sugar, it is broken down into glucose by the enzymes found in the small intestine. This glucose finds its way into the bloodstream, where it is taken to the tissue cells found in the muscles and organs. Glucose is then converted into energy. Beta cells, found in the pancreas, are responsible for keeping an eye on the glucose in the bloodstream. These cells release insulin in order to control glucose.
This shows that if you consume too much sugar, it is stored by your body to ensure that your blood sugar levels stay leveled. If your body does not produce insulin, or if the cells in your body stop reacting to it, you may develop diabetes. This would cause the blood sugar levels in your body to be dangerously high.
What Happens When You Eat Too Much Sugar in One Sitting?
Sugar is an essential part of our diet that helps keep the body energized and alive. However, when understanding how the body processes sugar, you must also understand that eating too much sugar can be detrimental to the body.
If you eat more sugar than your body needs, your body will need to figure out a way to store it for future needs. This creates a number of problems. In fact, overconsumption of sugar is known to cause diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
How Sugar Affects the Brain
Human beings are naturally programmed to crave sugar. In the past, our ancestors consumed a large number of sweets to match their high-energy consumption so that they could survive in the wild, even when food was not readily available. However, even though we have more access to food today, it is difficult for us not to overindulge in sweets.
The brain is to blame for this sugar addiction. When you consume sugar, the brain releases happy hormones called serotonin and dopamine. These hormones make you feel happy and energetic, activating the nucleus accumbens. The nuclear accumbens is another part of the brain that is linked to the idea of reward.
Sugar addiction is no different from drug addiction. This is why the body craves sugar. If you consume sugar regularly, dopamine transporters are activated that force you to consume more sugar so that you can feel pleasure and happiness. Fructose is a common sweetener present in foods and drinks that do not stop you from feeling hungry the way glucose does. This means that if you consume too much fructose, your body will not be able to tell you that you are full.
Common Foods that Contain Sugar
Sugar can be found in various foods. You need to look for anything that ends with –ose. Glucose and fructose can be found in honey, fruits, and vegetables. Moreover, galactose and lactose, also forms of sugar, are found in dairy products and milk. Maltose, on the other hand, is found in barley.
These are all-natural forms of sugar that are not bad for you, as long as they are consumed in moderation. In fact, they can be super beneficial for the body! For example, even though apple contains sugar, it also contains fiber. This helps the body absorb less fructose.
You need to stay away from artificially added sugar that is found in candies and drinks to improve the texture and taste. This kind of sugar is usually known as sucrose, sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is a common ingredient found in a number of drinks and is artificially extracted from corn. If you ever want to figure out how much sugar you are consuming, check the food labels for “carbohydrates- of which sugars” to get a better idea.