In this article I’m going to share with you what the issue is with eating too much sugar. And why it is considered to be unhealthy.

I’m also going to clear some things up for you because a lot of people have the wrong idea of sugar, especially people who just get into health & fitness, or even people who have been misinformed from the start and still go by these theories after many years.

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First of all, people use the term ‘sugar’ too loosely, when people say sugar they just mean simple carbs.

Gaining Body Fat

Number one on the list, the biggest issue with sugar, is they’re easy to overeat. They have calories just like every other food. If you consume too many calories your body isn’t burning the dietary fat that you eat. If you’re not burning the dietary fat than you’re going store it as fat.

Gaining fat is unhealthy in general. We know that. The research is overwhelming that gaining body fat, even when you’re bulking and athletic, can negatively impact your blood markers. While losing fat will improve a lot of your blood markers until you get really really lean and then it will start getting worse again.

So gaining body fat in general is unhealthy, unless you’re really lean and you need to gain it for healthy purposes or you’re way too skinny, but other than that it just isn’t good for you in any way to be gaining body fat.

Fructose Spiking

The other issue is a bit more complex, it’s a little more misunderstood. That is not about all sugars but very specifically the substance fructose.

Now, when people say ‘sugar’ they’re often times talking about just table sugar but that gets confused with the nutritonal term ‘sugar’, which means all simple carbs and on your labels for nutrition all simple carbs are included when it says sugar.

When people mean specifically fructose, but generally they’re talking about table sugar which is 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

Glucose is fine, it doesn’t cause the issue that people are concerned about. It’s fructose that you are concerned about. The issue with fructose is that if you’re eating foods with large amounts of fructose your body absorbs too much fructose in too short of a period of time.

So the problem is if there’s not enough fiber in them to slow down digestion or they’re getting too much of their calories from fructose.

That can vary a lot from food to food. A lot of people bring up fruit as a source of fructose. Fruits are lower in fructose than you think they are and they have fiber so you absorb them relatively slow.

Strain On Your Liver

The problem with fructose isn’t an insulin issue which a lot of people seem to think. Fructose doesn’t really have much of an insulin response when compared to other carbohydrates. It has a little bit of one but it’s very minor.

The issue with fructose is that your liver has to metabolize it and just like with alcohol, it has to actually  do a process very similar to the way that your liver has to break down alcohol, it has to breakdown fructose. It can put strain on your liver and elevate liver enzymes. Too much fructose loaded to your liver just like too much alcohol loaded to your liver in too short of a period of time can over time put strain on the liver. It can cause triglyceride stores to build up in your liver, so a fatty liver.

It can also contribute to insulin resistance and fructose basically exacerbates all of the problems of being sedentary. So large amounts of fructose for someone who is sedentary will make the health problems worse for being sedentary.

Easy Solutions

You can offset a lot of that by just reducing your fructose intake, as your liver isn’t harmed by fructose in moderation. That is something people need to remember that when it comes to this stuff; it’s not that fructose is bad. It’s excessive fructose loaded into a too short of a period of time, done chronically, that’s bad.

If you eat a bunch fiber with your sugar it lessens the impact because you’re absorbing it slower. Your body has more time to process the fructose that’s already there, before it’s hit with another wave of it. It doesn’t put as much strain on it.

So fiber itself is beneficial there and sometimes just reducing fructose. Ofcourse training itself, being in good shape and exercising helps to offset a lot of these health factors also.

So that’s your real issue and it really becomes a problem when you’re consuming large amounts of refined sugars that are full of fructose wether it’s high fructose corn syrop or table sugar, there’s no real difference.

If you’re doing it on occasion, even that’s not going to be a problem. it’s the chronic spiking of it over and over again every single day for weeks or months at a time.

It hope this clarifies a lot of what the real issues are with sugar.

Take-Home Message:

  • They’re easy to overeat and ultimately end up gaining fat
  • Glucose is fine. It’s fructose that you are concerned about
  • Fructose can cause triglyceride stores to build up in your liver, so a fatty liver
  • Fructose can contribute to insulin resistance and fructose basically exacerbates all of the problems of being sedentary
  • Your liver isn’t harmed by fructose in moderation

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-Stefan