Suppose you take a bottle of soft drink. The soft drink contains a concentrated solution of sugar that actually causes the lining of the stomach to hurt. The nerves in the stomach lining send a message to the brain, “Hey, I have been flooded with a supersaturated solution of sugar, and it’s painful. Do me a favour; make this person thirsty. Tell him to take a drink of water so the sugar will be diluted. That will help a little bit. Then send a message to the pancreas, and tell it to speed up the production of insulin to handle all the sugar.”
Friends, have you noticed that each time you take a drink or eat some foods that contains sugar, you feel like taking water immediately? This is what happens.
The brain does exactly what the messages coming into it say should be done. It tells you to get a drink and it sends clear signals to the pancreas, which responds immediately. More insulin comes quickly flowing in.
The pancreas speed up, working faster and faster as it works harder and harder. Before long it has enabled the body to handle the flood of sugar. Some has been stored in the liver, some in the muscles, some converted to fat and some used for energy .
When the supply of sugar is accommodated, the pancreas sends out an SOS to the brain it says, ” Hey! Go tell my boss to go and eat more food. I’m ready for work, and it takes me a while to slow down. If I send more insulin into his stomach, he will black out in an insulin shock.” This condition scares everybody. The victim looks and acts as if he’s going to die, and some do.
If you eat sweets right before you go to bed, you may awaken in the middle of the night with a strong urge to get something more to eat. Promise yourself that you will learn not to flood your body with concentrated sweets, especially on an empty stomach or before going to bed at night.
How Bad Can Sugar Be?
Sugar and sweet foods are such a part of our lives that it’s hard to believe they could be all that bad for us. Nigerians have made sugar a part of our diet. We take our garri,pap, tea, with sugar.
Let’s look at some of the health problems created by this innocent-looking substance.
1. Sugar adds only calories and weights to our bodies. It contains absolutely no vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or other nutrients.
2. Excess sugar causes a rise in blood fat. This condition contributes to high blood pressure and heart attacks.
3. Cavities in our teeth are primarily caused by eating too much sugar. Chewing gum and sweets that remain in the mouth for long periods bathe the teeth with sugar and create tooth decay.
4. Sugar causes rapid rise in blood sugar levels, sometimes causing a person to swim from hypoglycaemia(abnormal low blood sugar due to excess insulin or a poor diet) to diabetes within a one-hour period, or even less. Headaches, fatigue, forgetfulness, irritability and blurred vision can result.
5. Too much sugar in the diet can trigger the onset of diabetes in individuals with an inherited weakness towards this disease. It causes the arteries to narrow so that the blood flow is hindered. This brings on premature ageing and affects the eyes and kidneys. People with diabetes often suffer disabling complications and have a shortened life span.
6. Sugar reduces the body’s ability to destroy bacteria and fight infection. When we eat as much as 24 teaspoons of sugar in a short time, the ability of the white blood cells to destroy bacteria is reduced by 92%. Our immune system is impaired and we become easy prey to all kinds infections.
Do we need any sugar in our diets? No! We do not need any simple sugars like cane sugar and white sugar. If we eat fruits and complex carbohydrates foods like beans, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, we can get more than enough sugar in our diets. Also fibre in plants has an incredible balancing effect on blood sugar and the entire digestive system.
In places where 80% of the total diet is in the form of complex carbohydrates, people have virtually no tooth decay, no heart attacks, no cancer, no obesity, and no arthritis. It’s worth giving up sugar and sweets to have the benefit of good health and a productive life.
For a healthier you, exercise must be part of your daily routine. Exercise awakens your metabolism to burn more calories even when you are resting. Find some time to move your body. Thirty minutes brisk walk five times a week will do a lot of good to your heart and weight.