Looking at How Sugar Affects Your Health

What is inflammation in the body and what causes it? Naturally, inflammation is part of the body’s healing process. It occurs when one suffers from an injury, infection, or due to certain foods like sugar. All of this is normal. However, when a person eats too many inflammatory foods, they can develop chronic, low-grade inflammation, which can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, and allergies.

An article on Healthline addressed how sugar can affect a person’s inflammation levels, obesity levels, and other health issues. They summarized and presented their findings as well as noted how lifestyle changes can help to reduce previous damage to one’s health. To read the full article, click here.

*Image represents the anti-inflammation diet pyramid 

The article noted that several animal studies have shown that a diet high in added sugar leads to obesity, insulin resistance, increased gut permeability, and low-grade inflammation. Human studies confirmed this link between added sugar and higher inflammatory markers.

Other health studies in healthy, and overweight and obese people found that consuming only 40 grams of added sugar from just one 375-ml can of soda per day led to an increase in inflammatory markers, insulin resistance, LDL cholesterol, and even uric acid. Furthermore, the increase in these inflammatory markers can last for a considerable amount of time.

In addition to added sugar, eating too many refined carbohydrates has also been linked to increased inflammation in humans. With one study featuring individuals who ate just 50 grams of refined carbs in the form of white bread. This group had higher blood sugar levels and an increase in the inflammatory marker Nf-kB than the control group.

The increase in inflammation and other factors mentioned means several changes for the bodies of people who continue to have a diet high in added sugar and refined carbohydrates. This helps to explain why these people develop low-grade inflammation. The bodily changes include: the excess production of AGEs, or advanced glycation end products, which leads to oxidative stress and inflammation; increased gut permeability, where bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles can more easily move out of the gut and into the bloodstream; higher “bad” LDL cholesterol; and weight gain.

All of these harmful effects can have a lasting, long-term affect on your health. Low-grade inflammation can lead to issues, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. But, it is important to remember that inflammation is unlikely to be caused by sugar alone. Other factors like stress, medication, smoking, and excess fat intake can also lead to inflammation. Additionally, life-style changes such as eating more fruits and vegetables, being active, and reducing stress can help reduce inflammation and associated health risks.

Through examining this article and the health studies presented, Roper Physical Therapy wants to remind you to take care of your health this holiday season and throughout the year. Diet is a major factor in overall
wellness, and we want you to have a Healthy and Happy
Holiday Season!