Why Limiting Sugar is Key for Longevity
A high sugar diet can facilitate the development of chronic degenerative diseases associated with aging.
If you’re like the typical American, you’re consuming a whopping 2.5 pounds of sugar every week. Add this to the sugars produced when you digest carbs like rice, pasta, and white bread, and you can end up with very high levels of fructose and glucose in your system. This can have serious repercussions for your health and longevity.
Fructose vs. Glucose
Glucose is a beneficial form of sugar that provides the primary fuel for cellular processes. However, too much glucose can cause high blood sugar, and eventually diabetes.
Fructose, on the other hand, is a form of sugar with virtually no redeeming qualities for the human body:
- Fructose places a higher burden on your liver than glucose and creates waste products and toxins when it is metabolized.
- Fructose converts to fat much more readily than glucose. For every 120 calories of glucose consumed, you store 1 calorie of fat. With fructose you will store 40 calories of fat.
- Fat from fructose tends to be stored around your vital organs, which is associated with a high risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Fructose will also be stored as free fatty acids, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides, which affect heart health.
- The free fatty acids produced during fructose metabolism accumulate as fatty droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues.
- Because fructose destroys insulin sensitivity and sensitivity to the fullness hormone leptin, you’ll gain more weight and have more difficulty losing this weight.
But Worst of All…
Fructose Causes Glycation
In the process of glycation, fructose reacts with amino acids in your body and causes the formation of advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. Glycation is an inflammatory process that triggers immune response as the body tries to dispose of AGEs. The good news is that there are actually special immune defense cells called macrophages that are designed to capture and eliminate AGEs. The bad news is that as they do their work, macrophages can cause damage to other cells. For example, they can create scar tissue or plaque inside your arteries as they hunt down AGEs. If you routinely consume a lot of fructose, your immune system will be on high alert all the time, to the point where you may have chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can cause the immune system to attack itself, contributing to many chronic health issues associated with aging, like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.
So How Much Sugar is Too Much Sugar?
When adopting a low sugar diet, it is important to consider both fructose and glucose. For fructose, many experts suggest limiting your daily intake to 25 grams per day. However, given the abundance of added fructose in processed foods, you may want to use 15 grams as your goal, assuming that you’ll get the extra 10 grams without even realizing it. To control your glucose levels, focus on eating a healthy diet that is low in refined carbs and processed foods.
Of course, cutting sugar from your diet is not the only step you can take to promote a longer, healthier life. At Renew Youth™, we have a variety of products and services designed to support healthy aging, so you can look and feel younger. Contact us today for a personalized consultation.