The Harvard Medical School warns that eating too much sugar can be bad for your liver and heart. You may have already heard that too much sugar is bad for your heart. Eat too much sugar, and you can become overweight and obese. Those conditions make your heart work much harder than normal and lead to heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. But did you know consuming a lot of sugar can seriously damage your liver? Consider this.
The San Francisco University of California says, “… one of the most common types of sugar, fructose, can be toxic to the liver, just like alcohol.”
Maybe you assume your liver is in great shape. Statistics tell us otherwise.
According to multiple health experts and medical professionals, 17% of children and at least 30% of adults living in the United States are currently suffering from fatty liver disease. One of the premier causes of a fatty liver is too much sugar. This includes high fructose corn syrup, which more and more people recognize as highly unhealthy, and ordinary table sugar.
If you use granulated, white, processed sugar in an attempt to avoid dangerous high fructose corn syrup, you should understand that the sugar in your cupboard or on your table right now is made up of roughly 50% fructose. Aside from contributing to neurological problems like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, obesity and diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, eating too much sugar is bad for your liver.
One of the reasons why too much sugar leads to so many serious health problems is how much of an influence your liver has on your health.
Your liver supports as many as 400 different bodily processes. That means it’s always working, and it needs to be super healthy to support those bodily processes properly. Consume too much sugar regularly, and you aren’t doing your liver any favors. This can lead to a dizzying number of mental and physical health problems that you might not immediately connect to liver health.
Health professionals will tell you that sugar is the hands-down candidate if you could only remove one food from your diet to prevent or reverse fatty liver disease. Since the liver plays a role in so many different health factors, limiting your sugar intake delivers numerous health rewards.
Your overall health and wellness get a tremendous boost when you take care of your liver. Since sugar is a major cause of liver damage, it just makes sense to monitor how much you’re eating. Let’s look at how sugar contributes to liver damage.
How Sugar Damages Your Liver
Sugar is an example of a simple carbohydrate. Simple carbs are broken down quickly by your body. Proteins take a long time to digest, and fats are the second slowest type of food to process. Complex carbohydrates do not cause as many digestive issues as simple carbohydrates. Because of this, they don’t lead to the accumulation of fat in your cells as much as a diet rich in simple carbohydrates does.
Sugar is broken down rapidly, and it delivers almost no nutrition your body needs, so after it is processed, it gets stored as fat. This process goes back to your earliest ancestors. When food was scarce, the rock-throwing, cave-dwelling members of your family tree would pig out whenever they were fortunate enough to find food.
Their body learned to store excess calories and carbohydrates as fat, to be used as an energy source later when food was scarce. Unfortunately, your body still works the same way.
Simple carbohydrates are broken down, and any not used as energy gets stored as fat. This can lead to an over-accumulation of fat in your liver. When more than 5% of the cells in your liver are fat, the damage to your liver causes it to work improperly, and you have developed a condition known as fatty liver disease.
That’s pretty scary. Only 6% of the cells in your liver have to be fat cells for health problems to start popping up everywhere. In other words, your liver could be 94% healthy and still be sick enough to cause you serious problems.
Fructose and other forms of sugar are in many processed foods. It is believed that some type of sugar can be found in as much as 65% to 75% of all the processed foods in your grocery store. This means without reaching for that table sugar and adding it to your foods and beverages, you are already damaging your liver simply by eating highly processed foods.
One Simple Way to Eat Less Sugar
A fatty liver can lead to heart disease, brain-based health problems, obesity, and many other health problems. Sugar contributes to a fatty liver, so you need to restrict your intake.
One easy way to do this is to avoid any food which has an ingredient that ends in the suffix -ose. That is an indicator of sugar. Actually, all simple carbs are nothing more than 6 simple sugars. The simple sugars to avoid are:
Begin eliminating foods from your diet that have these 6 sugars. Stop adding extra sugar to your meals, and your liver will repay you by improving your overall health and well-being.
If skin problems have plagued you, repairing your liver can deliver noticeable results in a very short period of time. The same is true if you have hair problems or you have diabetes. A messed up liver has been linked to obesity and high blood pressure, and even high cholesterol.
Since the liver has so many jobs to do and is the largest organ in your body, it makes sense to keep it healthy. The simplest way is to reduce your sugar consumption. You already know that sugar leads to a number of health problems when taken in excess, and now you know why. In some parts, it’s because it can quickly damage your liver, an organ that is vital for keeping you healthy.