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Christine Jeffries

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Healthy Resolution Ideas: Cut Down on Sugar

By Joanna Karpasea-Jones
 
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A healthy resolution idea would be to cut down on sugar this New Year. Sugar can cause many health problems, particularly when taken in excess. Some of the problems sugar can cause are:

• Tooth decay
Sugar reacts with the bacteria in your mouth. This forms an acid that attacks your teeth and gums and can cause loss of enamel and tooth decay. After only one sugary snack or drink, your teeth can be under attack for up to one hour. (1)

• Immune System Depression

Sugar decreases the normal function of your immune system, which may make you more susceptible to colds, viruses and other infections. In scientific tests, sugar decreased the ability of neutrophils (special bacteria killing blood cells) to kill Staphylococcus epidermidis and this effect lasted at least five hours. (2)

• Insulin Resistance
The body’s ability to respond appropriately to insulin is reduced after consumption of sugary drinks and fruit juices. People who have insulin resistance are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and heart disease, when compared with healthy people. (3, 4 and 5)

• Too much fructose (fruit sugar)
When combined with not enough magnesium it may cause inflammation. This combination results in increased markers for inflammation and oxidative stress. The researchers also said that fructose and low magnesium can also cause insulin resistance, high blood pressure and high "bad" cholesterol levels.

Too much sugar and deficiencies in other nutrients may be the real reason why first world societies have epidemic levels of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Inflammation can also trigger cancer. Although inflammation is usually a positive response of the immune system, chronic long-term inflammation can be damaging and has been associated with the development of cancer. (6 and 7)

• Obesity
High fat isn’t the problem, it's high sugar. When scientists fed rats high fructose corn syrup it made them all overweight, even at levels much lower than in soda. Rats given a high fat diet without the sugar didn’t gain extra weight.

Professor Bart Hoebel, an expert in weight and sugar addiction said,

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