How Can Sugar Lead to Obesity?
Approximately two billion people in the world are obese or overweight—that’s about 30 percent of the world’s population. In the country of Nauru, more than 94 percent of its inhabitants are obese. Why? Many experts believe it is due to their reliance on imported processed foods (due to poor soil quality), which are notoriously high in sugar.
Unfortunately the rates of obesity are rising worldwide and added sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, is thought to be one of the main culprits.
Why does sugar lead to obesity?
Different foods affect the body in different ways and sugar is uniquely fattening. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup contain two molecules:
Our bodies naturally produce glucose. It is an important energy source for every cell and organ in the body. During a meal, glucose is processed and stored in the liver as glycogen until your body needs it.
Fructose, on the other hand, is absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the small intestine. It can lead to insulin resistance when consumed in excess. Insulin resistance disturbs body fat regulation and contributes to not only diabetes, but also obesity.
When too much fructose enters your bloodstream, your pancreas secretes insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels. But, the excess sugar has to go somewhere, so it gets redirected and stored in the liver cells, muscle cells and other cells to be used as energy later. And, when stored energy isn’t used, it gets stored as fat and causes weight gain.
Popular foods containing high fructose corn syrup
Here are 10 popular foods that often contain high fructose corn syrup and should only be enjoyed in limited quantities:
- Juice and soda
- Sweetened yogurt
- Salad dressing
- Frozen convenience foods
- Canned fruit
- Granola bars and cereal
- Jam and jelly
- Coffee creamer
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