Why Does Sugar Make Us Fat?
The sweet danger of sugar
Sugar makes us fat, but why? The answer has to do with the way our bodies use and store energy.
Fast blood sugar release
When sugar or carbohydrate is digested, it is released into our blood as energy in the form of glucose. As soon as glucose hits our bloodstream, our pancreas produces insulin which tells our cells to begin soaking up the sugar and use it or store it. Any excess glucose is initially stored in our liver and muscles. If there is too much glucose entering our blood for our cells to use, the liver and our muscles become saturated with excess glucose and can’t store any more. The liver then begins converting the glucose into fatty acids and sending it back into the blood where it's taken to other areas of the body and stored as body fat. Sugar, such as the kind used to sweeten snacks and treats, breaks down into glucose very quickly and is released into the blood stream all at once. Because it's released rapidly most of it isn't used immediately and is turned straight into body fat. Sugar in our food also almost always provides unnecessary excessenergy that we don't need. That's why it generally makes us gain unwanted weight.
Weight gain cycle
In a diabolical biological twist, due to the way insulin works the weight gaining process caused by sugar is self-reinforcing. The glucose spikes caused by sugar create corresponding insulin spikes. Over time, the high levels of insulin fatigue the cells in our body and they stop responding to its message to absorb glucose from the blood. This is called insulin resistance, and leads to our pancreas having to produce even more insulin to get the same result. As we gain weight, the effect is increased until the insulin producing cells wear themselves out, at which point we can no longer produce enough insulin. This results in type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrates cause the same problem as sugar because they are basically just chains of sugar molecules linked together. In contrast, protein and fat provide a more even, slower release of glucose into our blood stream. This slower release makes it easier for our bodies to use the energy instead of having to store it as fat. It also means less insulin is needed to deal with the lower level of blood of sugar.
Eat less sugar
For this reason, and especially for weight loss, it is advisable to eat as little sugar as possible. Xndo recommends a food pyramid that avoids sugar as much as possible, emphasizes protein and fiber, and limits carbohydrate. Xndo's range of ready-to-eat meals and functional beverages can help you achieve that.