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Sugar Can Make You Fat
Different foods effect the body in different ways, you might of heard the term "you are what you eat". Eating nutritious and wholesome foods provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals and lead to a healthy body. However, foods that are high in artificial ingredients and sugar can have adverse effects on your body. Many processed foods contain two types of sugars: Sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup. These two sugars are made up of glucose and fructose.
Glucose is what our body uses to create energy. It's a vital part of life and essential to our metabolism. While glucose is a molecule that our body needs and uses, fructose is a whole other story. Fructose is not something our body needs and uses. When we consume excess amounts of sugar fructose gets metabolized by the liver. After this happens, it gets turned into fat and then is secreted into the blood.
Related: How to Start a Sugar Free Diet
Sugar Causes Leptin Resistance
Fructose also affects a natural hormone called Leptin, which is secreted by fat cells. The bigger fat cells get, the more of the hormone they release. In turn, you brain uses this signal to determine how much fat it needs to store away. As we eat more sugary foods, more of what we eat gets stored as fat cells. This is supposed to work as a natural way for our body to tell our brain that we have enough fat stored and don't need to feel hungry. Excess fructose causes this process to malfunction. Fructose can cause the brain to not be able to recognize Leptin levels and the brain in turn thinks it needs to store more fat and eat more food, making you more and more hungry.
More fructose = leptin resistance = brain think "need more energy stored" = Eat more and burn less fat
Having a resistance to leptin can make you store more fat and gain more weight. This is main way that sugar can cause the body to throw off it's fat regulation process and cause weight gain. Exerting willpower to not eat can be next to impossible, this is why so many people struggle to simply "eat less".
Summary: Fructose can cause Leptin resistance, meaning your brain does not recognize how much fat it has stored. This causes your brain to send out signals that you are hungry, need to eat more and your body needs to store more food as fat. This causes fat retention and weight gain.
Sugar is Addictive
The problem with sugar is that once you start, you can't stop. Eating sugar releasing a chemical in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine a natural occurring chemical in the brain that can lead to cravings. In fact, it the chemical that causes addicts to stay addicted to the substance they crave. It's incredibly powerful. In fact, one study discovered that participants who ate foods with fructose compared to glucose experienced increased hunger and cravings. Another study found strong evidence that examined all the addictive properties of sugar. When we eat sugar we feel "pleasure" by releasing opiates and dopamine in the reward system of the brain.
Getting rid of sugar from your diet is easier said than done and withdrawal is real. Withdrawal from sugar can cause some of the same effects as withdrawal from drugs. This symptoms can include: teeth chattering, anxiousness, tremors and head shakes. The good news is that you can break that chains of sugar addiction. If you want to stop those sugar and carb craving there is hope. If you are ready to explore healthier nutritional options and even lose some weight, you need to follow a plan. I personally recommend following the advice of Diane Sanfilippo, a Certified Nutrition Consultant and the New York Times bestselling author of The 21-Day Sugar Detox.