Can Consuming Too Much Sugar Cause Obesity?

467456393 sugarThe rising consumption of sugar, specifically in the form of fructose is believed to be a contributor to obesity.  Fructose unlike Glucose is not produced by the body. This molecule is not a natural part of human metabolism and very few cells utilize fructose.   One of the few cells to metabolize fructose is in the liver, which turns it into fat.

A diet high in fructose can cause leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain how much fat your body should store. When we consume food, some of this food gets stored in the fat cells.  If there is a resistance of leptin; your body will not get the signal that your fat cells are full, causing you to eat more.  Excess fructose can also cause insulin resistance. The higher the insulin levels in the body, is the higher the increase of deposition of fat into the fat cells.

160294562 sugarSugar can be addictive to some individuals, especially those who are predisposed to addiction. Studies show that sugar can amplify reward-seeking behavior. When we consume a lot of sugar a large amount of dopamine is released to the brain. Dopamine plays a major role in addictive behavior and encourages the individual to eat more.

Simply consuming less sugar is one of the best approaches to improving your health and regulating weight gain. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day for men is 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons and for women is 25 grams or 6 teaspoons. You can take steps in reducing your intake by cutting down on processed foods, eating  less sweets,  drinking  less sugary beverages such as soda and supplementing refined sugar with honey, molasses or other natural sweeteners.

Consult a physician to assess your diet and to create a plan to help you regulate your weight. To schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine physician at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718 206 6942.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.