A landmark study from Loma Linda University years ago showed that ingesting processed or refined sugar as opposed to a more natural form of sugar found in fruits and vegetables makes the white blood cells—the cells we rely on to fight infections—less responsive.
One thing that ingesting sugar is known to do is to provoke an inflammatory response. The body’s reaction to that is to send the protective white blood cells to limit the damage that inflammation can do. If white blood cells are made less responsive by the sugar that is present, they’re less able to protect the body from inflammation.
Here are 5 additional reasons to limit the amount of refined sugar in your diet:
- A steady diet of refined sugar can lead to insulin resistance which means your body is less able to make good use of the sugar through a simple release of insulin. Over time your body may need far more insulin to make use of the sugar you are consuming to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
- Sugar promotes inflammation. Inflammation is a known risk factor in heart attacks and strokes.
- It can lead to weight gain. This one’s a no brainer. Empty calories are empty …
- Sugar contributes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Our livers process refined sugars the same way they process ethanol (alcohol). Eating too much sugar is like alcohol without the buzz.
- Sugar acts like fertilizer for cancer cells. Cancer cells without fuel grow slowly making them far less dangerous than cancer cells that grow and spread quickly.
Refined sugars—syrups, honey, table sugar, soda, baked goods, etc.—when consumed in quantity, or even in small quantities but consumed regularly can lead to disease and can hamper your ability to fight off infection.