Sugar and Aging
A poor, non-nutritional diet, particularly one high in sugar can have disastrous consequences for overall health particularly in our more senior years. The sugar effect is cumulative and some of the bodily harm sugar causes can take months or years to undo, if it can be undone at all. The more diet disciplined you are at a younger age the greater your chance of enjoying a healthy, successful retirement and senior living years. What if you didn’t do that? What if you eat too much sugar? Do not give up on the task at hand. It is never too late to implement change to your diet. Sugar presents a myriad of problems for the human body though the worst offender to the body has long been purported to be salt. Newer studies are proving to contradict earlier evidence that excessive salt is the exclusive enemy.
Role of Salt
A person weighing about 110 pounds has about forty teaspoons of naturally occurring salt in the body. True salts such as sea salt that provide needed trace minerals that are not found in overly processed table salt are the types that you need in your diet. These trace minerals found in high quality salts actually aid blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity. The same person weighing 110 pounds has less than ONE teaspoon of naturally occurring sugar in the body yet the modern processed food diet is as riddled with sugars as it is with low quality salt. Not only do you need a minimal amount of sugar in the body but both forms of sugar, glucose and fructose can deplete our bodies of essential nutrients. Nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, chromium, and vitamin C.
While there are many detailed articles and studies about disease and problems associated with too much sugar there is an over arching explanation as to why it seems to wreak such havoc known as cross-linking. (www.verywell.com/how-sugar-makes-us-age-2224230)
The theory is that over time through a process known as glycation more and more proteins, DNA and other bodily structural molecules develop inappropriate attachments called cross-links. The molecules that become cross-linked no longer function as they are intended and when enough of them accumulate in specific tissues it can cause problems: tissues that include tendons, arteries, lungs and cartilage. Within the affected tissues stiffening occurs and there is a loss of efficient functioning. Many problems associated to aging occur because of this stiffening of tissue. Examples include but are not limited to atherosclerosis, skin changes (skin being the largest organ of your body), cataracts, and pulmonary fibrosis.
In order to stop the onset of or continued degradation that cross-linking causes it is imperative to reduce your sugar intake. Even if your sweet tooth is hard to curb at first there are artificial sweeteners, raw honey, stevia, agave nectar, maple syrup and molasses to replace using refined sugar which is primarily made up of genetically modified beets and/or GMO corn, (think high fructose corn syrup).
The important message beyond the education of the overall dangers of excessive sugar is take a good look at your diet and assess the amount of sugar you are ingesting. Reducing the amount is a simple and easy way to restore some balance to your body’s natural functioning over time. It is even possible that you may ward off some future diseases and keep your senior years a happier and healthier experience. Aging can be a difficult road so why not put some controls on that which you can. Reduce your sugar intake starting today and see how far you can go.
Contact our office today and schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you with your planning.