Chemical abnormalities can create a drastic change in your health, especially when a few different groups of abnormalities accumulate. Some experts call this biological condition “metabolic syndrome.” It now appears that sugar may play a large part in producing this abnormal state.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
A syndrome is generally characterized by a cluster of symptoms. A syndrome is not a disease, but it could be part of a disease, and in some cases, could lead to disease. A syndrome can also be described as an accumulation of several risk factors that are interrelated.
When referring to “metabolic” syndrome, the five risk factors are: high triglycerides, low good cholesterol (HDL), high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and abdominal fat. These factors significantly increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
When one of the above factors is combined with another—or two others, or three or more others—your risk of “disease”, for example, Coronary Heart Disease (CDH) increases exponentially.
You have to have at least three of the five risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
Does Metabolic Syndrome Really Exist?
Many regard metabolic syndrome as a valid condition. Some others, however, are wary of committing to the term “syndrome” even though each of the high-risk areas is interrelated.
The bottom line: According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans currently have metabolic syndrome, and the CDC estimates that approximately 75 million Americans suffer from it.
Regardless of the legitimacy of its “name”, the truth is that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and large waists (over 35 inches for women and over 40 for men) contribute to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Those are facts.
Statistics also show that when any of those factors are combined, your risk of diabetes is increased by five times.
A dire chemical abnormality is irregular blood sugar levels. Resistance to insulin can cause fluctuation of blood sugar. This is usually when a diagnosis of diabetes is presented.
So Where Does Sugar Fit In?
Until the 1850s, there were few-to-no medically recorded cases of diabetes in the U.S. Coincidentally, there was a surge of sugar-filled products during that era. Soda, candy, and ice cream began becoming commonplace. Due to mechanical advancements, treats could be made by machine (instead of by hand), and were exceedingly more available to the public. In 1885, there was the introduction of Dr. Pepper, followed by Coca-Cola the following year.
In the 1970s, we witnessed the birth of high-fructose corn syrup. Over the ensuing 20 years, there was a 1000% increase in American’s consumption of this variation on sugar. By 2012, Americans were consuming, on average, over 25 pounds of HFCS a year, per person.
Today, the extreme prevalence of sugar and high fructose corn syrup added into the American diet can be directly linked to obesity and the increase of cases of diabetes.
Is Insulin Resistance Caused by From Sugar Overconsumption?
Insulin is a hormone. It guides the body on how and where to use fuel (from sugar). If we ingest too much sugar, our cells resist insulin. So what happens to all that sugar? It goes to fat stores and, then, basically, poisons the rest of our body.
Sugar is stored as glycogen in the liver, to be used as energy, for short term. When the liver decides it’s had enough, the leftover sugar goes to fat cells. That’s stored for the long haul. But what happens when your storage is full?
The sugar spills into your bloodstream.
Normally, you eat, your blood sugar rises and the hormone insulin is released. The insulin takes the sugar out of the blood and sends it to your tissues. In effect, the insulin eventually lowers your blood sugar (by dispersing it properly).
So then imagine, the more sugar you ingest, the more insulin your body releases. As your level of insulin increases, so does its resistance to insulin. As your resistance to insulin increases, so does your inability to naturally and healthily handle your food intake. This would be called the onset or progression of diabetes.
Nutritionists, doctors, naturopaths, and a deluge of other health experts can offer 100 reasons why adding sugar to any food (whole or processed) is not a beneficial option. In fact, it may turn out to be a dangerous one. Without getting too radical, simply consider the idea of decreasing your sugar and high fructose corn syrup consumption.
Check out food labels. Substitute applesauce and stevia as natural sweeteners when baking. Do not substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar as they are known to contribute to other health risks. Educate yourself and then choose your personal best practice. For more information on healthy choices for you and your family, see www.GetThrive.com