According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the maximum amount of sugar recommended per day is 6 teaspoons. Australians on average eat 27 teaspoons of total sugars per day.
Sugar amongst other foods causes inflammation in the body. Why is inflammation so bad? It causes tissue damage. This triggers your immune system to defend against it. Inflammation is like a fire in your body. The immune system (fire brigade) needs to come to the rescue to put out the fire.
Sugar overloads and damages your liver. The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be compared to drinking too much alcohol. We all know what alcohol does to our liver, but sugar is very similar. As Dr. Robert Lustig, an American endocrinologists and authority on sugar, puts it “Sugar is like alcohol but without the buzz”. Your liver plays a vital role in balancing your hormones. It acts as a hormone processor, manufacturer and regulator.
Sugar tricks your body into gaining weight. Fructose turns off your body’s appetite control system. Leptin is a hormone that helps you regulate your appetite. When your leptin levels rise, it signals your body that you are full. By eating too much sugar your body is unable to properly hear Leptin’s signals and you become Leptin resistant. Because you become increasingly resistant to the effects of leptin, you end up eating more.
Every time you eat sugar the pancreas releases insulin to carry the sugar to the cells for energy. Overconsumption of sugary foods requires your pancreas to release more and more insulin. Over time resistance to insulin builds up. It’s like being in a smelly room, after a while you don’t notice the smell anymore. Just like your body doesn’t react to insulin any more and your pancreas keeps pumping it out. Insulin is also known as the fat hormone. The more insulin is circulating around your body, the harder it is to lose weight.
It is also a known fact, that insulin interferes or stops ovulation. Insulin resistance is a key factor for most women with PCOS.
You may think that you are not really eating that much sugar, but as David Gillespie in his book ‘Sweet Poison’ puts it, “Eating a heart foundation approved cereal (like Kellogg’s Just Right) and a glass of apple juice for breakfast will add up to almost half a kilo of sugar by the end of the week.” Now that’s 125 teaspoons for the week, which is nearly 18 teaspoons a day. And that’s just breakfast AND it’s considered a healthy breakfast. How does your diet stack up?