7 Diseases that Live and Thrive in People with High-Sugar Diets
Table sugar has finally made the list of things to cross off your grocery list, and for good reason. It is a contributor to several very serious diseases.
https://ketobowl.com/ketosis-and-the-keto-flu/Sugar has finally made it to our hit list. For years we bad-mouthed fat without really giving full credence to the fact that different types of fats affect us in different ways. Still, these days, we are relatively sure that sugar plays a huge role in the increased number of metabolic diseases in the US, and directly impacts the growing number of people who are tipping the scale toward being overweight or obese.
So, just how does a diet high in sugar lead to all these physical problems? That’s the focus of this post.
#1 Chronic Inflammation
Eating too much sugar promotes inflammation, according to a study published by the National Institute of Health. Inflammation is implicated in virtually every illness, and the evidence gets stronger with each new study that reveals it is a driving force in disease development.
The impact of sugar on the body isn’t always immediately apparent. Inflammation often takes time to show symptoms. Bu there’s how the process works:
Dietary sugar signals for the body to release inflammatory chemicals (why?), which manifests as heat, swelling, and pain. Inflammation in and of itself isn’t a problem. It’s the body’s natural response to injury or cellular damage. The problem is, a swollen ankle or achy needs doesn’t automatically make us think we need to cut our sugar intake. So, we continue to ingest sugar and the inflammation becomes chronic.
An inflamed body could be the result of months or years of sugar consumption. That means years of damage can take place before the pain becomes a serious enough problem to get your attention.
Chronic inflammation means the inflammation has become systemic, meaning it now affects the entire body. People have tendencies towards certain illnesses or weakness, and these are usually the areas where symptoms appear first. Muscles and joints are common places for inflammatory symptoms to occur, often showing up as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue.
FYI, a properly applied ketogenic nutrition plan has anti-inflammatory affects and will reverse this trend toward inflammation. A diet low in carbs and high in healthy fats will reduce associated pain, stiffness, and virtually eliminate your risk of developing a more serious disease.
Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It has been labelled an epidemic and experts predict almost half of Americans will be obese by 2030 if it continues we continue at our current trajectory.
For many years, it was commonly thought that obesity was caused by high-fat diets (remember Susan Powter’s “Fat makes you fat!” mantra?), but more recent studies show that a high-sugar diet is a much bigger causative factor. Sugar is readily converted to fat for storage. When it builds up around the vital organs as visceral fat, it promotes insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and high blood pressure. These are precursors to heart and artery disease.
Dangerous levels of abdominal fat can be easily recognized by the “apple body shape”, where the belly is large and round. The ketogenic diet targets belly fat by restricting the intake of carbs so your body has to burn your fat stores for energy instead of glucose from carbs.
#3 Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that are associated with obesity, often developing when obesity has reached a critical level. It is very commonly caused by a high-carb diet, and can significantly increase your chances of developing diabetes or heart disease in the future.
The presence of belly fat is probably the most obvious indicator of metabolic syndrome. The amount and type of fat in the blood is an important indicator of health and can be measured with a simple blood test.
It’s normal and healthy to have some fat in the blood. A healthy amount of fat will be less than 150 mg per deciliter (mg/dL). A ratio of low HDL (good cholesterol) to high LDL (bad cholesterol) in blood also points towards metabolic syndrome. High blood pressure and high fasting blood glucose are the final indicators that a high-sugar diet is leading to disease.
Diabetes is common in people who continuously eat a high-sugar diet over many years. This is not due directly to the high sugar intake but rather to the damaging effects that go along with a high-sugar diet, such as packing on pounds and silently enduring the metabolic changes we talked about in the first three diseases listed in this post.
A body affected by diabetes can’t regulate its blood sugar levels properly. The blood sugar spikes and crashes, giving diabetics energy highs and lows that facilitate a vicious cycle of overeating during the lows to get back to those temporary highs.
Diabetics are constantly having to monitor their sugar intake. Too much sugar and the liver has a hard time removing the excess sugar from your blood, which over a period of time can cause kidney damage.
Diabetes is one of those diseases that has an immediate negative impact on the quality of your life. For most people, they are never able to reverse diabetes.
#5 Heart Disease
A high-sugar diet can lead to heart disease as fat stores build up and blood vessels are put under strain. The body deposits plaque in the arteries to protect them from further damage. This causes thickening of artery walls which reduces the amount of space your blood has to go through your veins.
Eventually the arteries that supply blood to the heart become blocked and the heart no longer receives the oxygen and nutrients it needs. The end result here is a heart attack.
The ketogenic diet can reverse some of this damage, as plaque deposits thin over time and the arteries regain their function. Fat deposits gradually disappear, removing the strain on the blood vessels and restoring health.
Cancer is caused by cell mutations. Studies show cancer is much more likely to develop in someone with a high-sugar diet, especially if they are overweight and have other symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome.
#7 Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Alzheimer’s disease causes memory loss, confusion, and mental impairment. It has been referred to as type 3 diabetes because the brain becomes resistant to insulin in a similar way that the body does in type 2 diabetes. This leads to a brain that is starved of sugar and unable to function properly.
Alzheimer’s often progresses to dementia, getting gradually worse until it is so severe it affects daily activities. Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet reduces symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders. It does so by giving the brain healthy fats an alternative, anti-inflammatory energy source as fat.
Using the Ketogenic Diet for Disease Prevention and Treatment
The ketogenic diet has many proven benefits. It is most often used for weight loss, and is very effective for this purpose, but it also improves overall health and reduces the chance of getting sick with more serious illnesses.
Keto’s claim to fame is weight loss and curbing your appetite, but it is an effective way to balance blood sugar levels, minimize inflammation, and disease-proof your body, when implemented correctly.
The ketogenic diet improves the balance of good fats to bad fats in the blood, which reduces your chances of developing heart disease. Studies have also shown that ketones are effective for cancer prevention and treatment.
The low-carb ketogenic diet has many advantages for general health and longevity when compared to a high-sugar diet. High-sugar diets are damaging to many different body systems and the effects of eating this way long-term are potentially life-threatening.
Eating well is a vital part of maintaining a superb quality of life and getting optimal performance out of your body.
Keto is not a bacon and steak diet. But it is a way to move you from overdoing it with cmetarbs and sugar and supplementing your body and brain with healthy fats and proteins that most of us simply don’t get enough of.
If you’re ready to start a well-balanced keto diet, you can start the 30-Day Classic Keto Diet or the 30-Day Vegetarian Keto Diet launch programs on KetoBowl Kitchen.