The Effects of Refined Sugar on the Body, Part 1

There are many different types of refined sugar (sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, etc.), which makes it hard to avoid. You’ll find refined sugar in obvious places like soda and sweets and in not-so-obvious ones such as bread and salad dressing. Regardless of the type of sugar you consume, the resulting effects on the body can be similarly unpleasant.

Sugar consumption kick-starts a chain reaction that impacts many different areas of health. Read on to discover the shocking effects that refined sugar can have on your body and your overall well-being.

Sugar

Immediate Effects

Because it is easily broken down by your saliva and stomach acids, refined sugar can have an immediate effect on the body. Within 20 minutes of consuming it, your body’s blood glucose level rises, triggering the release of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin is an important hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels by mopping up excess glucose, which can be extremely harmful to the body in large amounts. At this time, your brain releases feel-good chemicals called opioids, temporarily boosting your mood.

After 40-60 Minutes

As the insulin works to control your blood sugar, some of the excess glucose is sent to your muscles and liver (as glycogen) for future energy use. However, unless you’re engaging in serious exercise at that moment, chances are your muscles don’t need and won’t be able to handle all that extra glucose. So the rest of the excess glucose from the sugar you consumed is stored away ““ as fat! Meanwhile, in an attempt to balance out the rush of insulin, your body releases counteracting hormones, including cortisol.

 

In the next blog, we’ll continue to discuss the effects of sugar on the body after several hours ““ as well as the long-term consequences of excessive sugar consumption.

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