Irving Primary Care

High Glycemic Foods: How Sugar Can Erode Your Health

Do you know why high glycemic foods are unhealthy for your body? They cause a spike in your blood sugar level and increase the insulin level in your body.

High glycemic foods are perhaps a major risk factor for developing different types of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer, as these cancers respond to insulin in a snap.

Some examples of high glycemic foods include sugar, rice, bread, white potatoes, flour, raisins, soda, cookies, breakfast cereals, and some fruits like bananas, watermelon, cherries, and grapes.

Given the concentration of added sugar in these foods, it is no surprise that they contribute to obesity and diabetes. 

Avoiding too much sugar is probably the most common health advice – and beneficial too. Here are five reasons why.

1.   Promotes weight gain

Obesity rates are on their rise across the world – and sugar is the culprit.

Sugar-sweetened foods and drinks are loaded with fructose, a simple sugar that stimulates your hunger and desire for higher glycemic foods. Moreover, excessive sugar intake causes leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that signals your body to stop eating when it is full. This explains the weight gain!   

2.   Increases the risk of diseases

High glycemic diets are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Consuming too much sugar leads to inflammation, obesity, and high levels of blood pressure, triglyceride, and blood sugar – all risk factors for cardiac complications.

Furthermore, obesity also poses a major risk for diabetes. Eating high glycemic foods leads to insulin resistance, which then results in high blood sugar levels and an increased risk for diabetes.

In addition to this, sugary diets also increase your chances of developing depression. The impact sugar has on blood sugar levels, hormones, and inflammation negatively affects your mental health.

3.   Triggers the skin aging process

While wrinkles are a natural sign of aging, high sugar intake can worsen them and speed up the aging process of your skin.

Sugar reacts with the protein in your body to form advanced glycation end products, which play a key role in premature skin aging. These compounds also cause damage to elastin and collagen resulting in decreased firmness and stretchiness of the skin and increased sagginess.

4.   Drains your energy

While it is true that sugary diets improve energy levels by increasing blood sugar and insulin levels, that boost in energy is fleeting and does not last for long.

The increased blood sugar levels upon sugar consumption suddenly crash, leading to major fluctuations in your energy levels.

5.   Leads to fatty liver

A high intake of sugar is also associated with an increased risk of fatty liver.

Your liver is responsible for the exclusive break down of the fructose you get from high glycemic foods. The liver then converts the fructose into energy or stores it as glycogen. Once the glycogen storage limit is reached, the excess is converted into fat.

An overloaded liver is prone to alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Given the negative health effects of added sugar, it is important to limit your daily sugar intake and cut back on high glycemic foods. Focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods instead – and your sugar habit will be a thing of the past in no time!