The Effects of Sugar on Your Health with J.J Virgin
Health and added sugar don’t mix well. We’ve all known this for a long time, but quitting has not been easy.
It is no coincidence.
Excessive consumption of sugar does lead to addiction in our brain, making our craving almost impossible to control.
Our world is filled with intensely pleasurable foods that make saying ‘no’ hard. Taking sugary foods have become a massive part of our routine and lifestyle. Your coffee would always taste better with that spoonful of sugar. Your dinner mood would get perkier when it is time for dessert.
It has gotten so bad that cutting down on sugar can be incredibly difficult for some and downright impossible for others.
In this article, we look at what is so bad about sugar with J.J Virgins, a world-renowned nutritionist, author, and fitness expert.
In this interview, J.J Virgins explores:
- The impacts of sugar on our health
- Sugar as a drug
- The symptoms of a high sugar diet
- How to know if you are sugar or a fat burner
- How to transition from a sugar burner to a fat burner
- Her view on the ‘5-6 small meals per day’ technique
- The high fructose corn syrup versus sugar controversy
- How to lose weight by identifying hidden sugars in your diet
- Her book ‘The Sugar Impact Diet’
- Practical tips on how to wean yourself from sugar.
Sugar As a Drug; A natural Reward with an Unnatural Fix
The hit, rush, and crash that comes with addictive drugs are similar to the physiological experience we get from consuming sugar. This is because intermittent access to sugar can be addictive and affect the brain similarly to the way certain drugs do.
Research carried out by the Queensland University of Technology revealed that when you take in too much sugar, a message is sent to the brain to trigger its reward system.
Pleasurable experiences like drugs, sex, and food are highly desirable because they activate the brain’s reward system. Every time a substance you are addicted to is consumed, dopamine, the primary neurotransmitter in your reward system is released. This release is in response to a rewarding event which makes you want more and more of the high feeling and carry out the behavior again because it feels good.
The study also reveals that over time as the consumption of sugar increases, there would be a reduction in the level of dopamine being released. To reach the same reward level you were on before, you would need to consume a higher level of sugar. This level will keep getting higher and higher with the depleting level of dopamine.
Sugar is a drug, and it is legal. You can even get a dealer in every corner. So, when you feel you need another fix of this white legal stuff, then you should know addiction is on.
The Impact of the ‘Sweet Poison’ on Your Health
Refined sugar does not have any nutritional value for you. And worse, it can wreak havoc on your body and health.
How is this possible?
Excessive sugar consumption can spike the blood sugar and insulin level in your body. A spike in your insulin level leads to the formation of fat and the release of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ which damages your immunity.
All these trigger the start of a cascade of harmful effects through the body that could lead to metabolic syndrome and even type 2 diabetes.
It goes far beyond this.
Excess sugar consumption also hurts our cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that people who consume a lot of sugar had a lower level of HDL good cholesterol. Furthermore, studies have revealed that sugar fuels chronic inflammation, and this inflammation has been linked to conditions like heart disease and cancer.
What is even worse is that, unlike alcohol and other drugs that have an almost immediate effect on you, the adverse effect of sugar takes a while to be noticed.
Sugar craving can strike you at any time, and a ‘Cold turkey’ approach might not work, check out J.J Virgins practical tips for weaning yourself from sugar in the video above.
- Richardson, E; Can Sugar Be More Addictive Than Drugs? ; Ocean Breeze Recovery; Jan 8, 2018.
- Richards, S; The Bitter Truth About Sugar and Its Effects on Our Health ; Daily Burn, July 22, 2014.
- Sanders, H; The Negative Effects of Sugar ; Health Ambition.