El azúcar que se esconde tras tu dieta diaria

The sugar that hides behind your daily diet

By Andrea Juan, Nutritionist

SUGAR AND AGING

Sugar is one of the most addictive edible substances that exists.

And when we talk about sugar, we don't just mean the table sugar that we add to coffee. What is dangerous is precisely the sugar that is hidden in the multitude of products in the supermarket: juices, breakfast cereals, bread, yoghurts, sausages, sauces, cookies, pastries, chocolates, sugary drinks, sweet desserts, ice cream... That if we take them in an isolated and punctual way, we should not worry, but if we take them daily and add all the sugar we take, consumption becomes very high.

Sugar addiction. Because?

Sugar is capable of generating a rush of dopamine (a neurotransmitter related to reward and pleasure centers) and tryptophan (an amino acid necessary for the manufacture of serotonin, known as the "happiness hormone").

This causes that, after consuming a food rich in sugars, we feel a sensation of pleasure, euphoria and happiness. However, after a few minutes, the body self-regulates naturally, the levels of these hormones drop, this feeling of well-being is reduced (possibly we even feel down and tired) and suddenly we feel the need to take sugar again to recover the sensation that it generates in us.

And the problem appears when the consumption of sugar is habitual, since the body ends up getting used to this sensation of well-being and, on the one hand, it generates tolerance to sugar (we will need more and more sugar to have a sensation of well-being ) and, on the other hand, , as long as we are tense, nervous or sad, we will have the "need" to take sugar to receive the reward of pleasure and that feeling of well-being that we like so much. Because that is what we have taught our body. And here begins the dependence on sugar.

But it does not only generate these effects. An excess consumption of sugar maintained over time causes:

  1. mineral loss

To metabolize it needs minerals and can create deficiencies that affect the density of our bones and also favor psychological problems, depression or lack of concentration, among others.

  1. Inflammation

A high consumption of sugar on a daily basis generates alterations at the metabolic level, causing insulin resistance and fat accumulation in areas that should not be. And this generates systemic inflammation or also known as low grade inflammation, which is the beginning of many current pathologies.

  1. Other problems
When we consume a lot of sugar on a daily basis, problems such as: anxiety, nervousness, tiredness, fatigue, lack of concentration, headaches, depression, premenstrual syndrome, gastrointestinal problems, increased estrogen...

And all this makes our body age in one way or another at a great speed : the skin loses elasticity, the cells cannot repair themselves properly and the organs do not work as they should.

And if we add the little daily movement, the hours we spend sitting in front of the computer or watching television, the stress we live with, exposure to toxins (pollution, tobacco, alcohol) and sleep problems... the combo is powerful.

And hence the importance of healthy habits. It's not about dieting, it's not about banning sugar. Our goal should be to learn good habits that make us feel good, full of energy and health. And above all: for many more years.

Remember: the best time to start taking care of yourself is always TODAY.

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