How much sugar is on the label? The average American consumes 130 pounds of added sugars (according to Prevention Magazine) in a year. That’s about 22 teaspoons a day, way over the max set by the American Heart Association. New science shows that this overload of sugar—often stemming from hard-to-detect hidden added sugars—is affecting your body in all sorts of strange ways.
Sugar primes your body for diabetes. And the reality is that heart disease and diabetes are intricately related: Heart disease and stroke are the number one causes of death among people with type 2 diabetes, accounting for 65% of those deaths.
Added sugars cause excess insulin in the bloodstream, which takes its toll on your body’s circulatory highway system, your arteries.
Brown University neuropathologist Suzanne de la Monte, MD, coined the term “type 3 diabetes” after her team was the first to discover the links between insulin resistance, high-fat diets, and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, her work suggests Alzheimer’s is a metabolic disease, one in which the brain’s ability to use glucose and produce energy is damaged. To paraphrase, it’s like having diabetes in the brain.
Emerging research suggests regularly eating too much sugar scrambles your body’s ability to tell your brain you’re full. Carrying a few extra pounds and living with type 2 diabetes can throw off your body’s ability to properly put off leptin hormones; the hormones that let you know you are full.
Another result of too much sugar? Dry, brittle protein fibers that lead to wrinkles and saggy skin.
Science shows it takes just 30 minutes or less to go from a sugar rush to a full-on sugar crash. This sugar spike-and-crash sets you up to want more sugar—a vicious cycle. We might reach for sugar to feel better, but we’re getting the opposite effect in the end.