Sugar’s Effects on Digestion

It’s obvious how I feel about sugar consumption in the U.S.

Simply put, we’re eating too much of it.

In fact, Americans eat at least twice – if not 3x – the amount of sugar they should.

Some of us a lot more than that.

And the harm all this excess sugar consumption has on our health?

Well, you already know too much sugar can lead to an expanding waistline.

But it’s so much greater than that.

Too much added sugar can harm your blood pressure, impair your memory, and even alter the structure of your brain.

It can also wreak havoc on your digestion.

You see, your digestive system uses enzymes to break down the sugar you eat.

And there are specific enzymes for each type of sugar consumed.

For example, the enzyme lactase digests lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy, while maltase digests maltose, the sugar found in malt and grain foods.

When you eat a high sugar meal, your body sometimes doesn’t have enough of the right enzymes on hand to properly breakdown that food.

This is particularly true for older folks, as our digestive enzyme production declines with age.

The outcome?

For one, the excess sugar is left to sit in the bowels, where it begins to ferment, and starts feeding bad bacteria and yeast, which can lead to a build-up of painful gas and diarrhea.

Sugar left in the gut can also pull water into the large intestine, resulting in bloating and abdominal discomfort.

Proper sugar digestion is just one of the reasons I regularly eat foods rich in digestive enzymes, like pineapple, kiwi, and papaya… and supplement with a full spectrum of enzymes to make sure I’m covered.

Before you say it, natural fructose in actual fruit is not the same as refined sugar. So go ahead and eat fruit, because it is truly healthy. Confusing an apple with a can of soda is something the large drink corps would love for you to be unsure about.

And also, I want to make something very clear.

I’m not one of those no sugar zealots.

I would never suggest you completely eliminate sugar from your diet.

The occasional dessert after dinner, or cake on your birthday, is just fine.

And the holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without pie.

It’s all about moderation.

Focus on limiting sugar when you can.

Like taking one scoop of sugar with your coffee instead of two, or even better, drinking it black, or with cinnamon (it’s really quite good).

And, making your own sugar-free ketchup and salad dressing at home instead of buying the sugar-laden options at the grocery store.

The thing about sugar is, once you cut back, your taste for it changes.

You don’t crave it as much.

And that can profoundly aid your health for years to come. If you’re looking for something that can help those cravings, you may want to take a look at this.

About Jeff Reagan, Editor, Jeff Reagan's Daily Health Newsletter for Conservatives

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