September 22, 2021

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Excessive intake of sugar can cause inflammation, which increases the risk of disease - 28/08/2021

Excessive intake of sugar can cause inflammation, which increases the risk of disease – 28/08/2021

Physical well-being is largely related to what we consume as food. The human body needs a lot of energy, which can be found mainly in carbohydrates, including sugarsFoods that bring great pleasure and get rid of the body. However, if consumed in excessive quantities, it eventually causes the opposite effect, leaves the body heavier and more tired, and leads to harmful inflammatory processes.

One study Do not post regularly Nutrients In 2018, it was investigated whether consumption of sugars contributes to increased inflammatory processes and levels of biomarkers of inflammation. “Although it has not been possible to determine whether fructose/sucrose does more harm than dietary glucose to promote inflammation in human studies, the authors discuss, from the published literature, some potential mechanisms related to the consumption of these components with inflammation,” says the dietitian. Clarissa hiwatachi Fujiwara.

Inflammation occurs in response to aggressive stimuli caused by foods that alter metabolism and increase the release of inflammatory substances. These are several biochemical mechanisms, with changes in the gut microbiota and wall, leading to increased secretion of inflammatory cytokines (proteins that regulate the immune response). There is also a low sensitivity to InsulinThis leads to increased serum levels, as well as increased iron reserve levels and changes in coagulation functions. “We call this condition subclinical or low-grade inflammation, which increases the risk of metabolic, cardiovascular, degenerative and oncological diseases,” says nutritionist Marcela Garces. “Chronic, asymptomatic inflammation is usually able to produce substances responsible for the deterioration of various tissues in the body,” he says.

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In fact, chronic low-grade/subclinical inflammation (as opposed to acute inflammation) is a major factor in the study of cardiovascular disease and is associated with an increased risk of death. “Therefore, identifying modifiable risk factors – such as diet – can contribute to a reduced risk of these diseases,” he says. Fujiwara.

Among the main foods that contribute to the development and maintenance of the inflammatory condition are sugars, excessive consumption of meat, especially processed meat, and ultra-processed industrial foods—which bring in large amounts of sugar—salt, modified fats, chemicals, and fried foods. foods, in addition to soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

It’s important to be careful with “hidden” sugars in processed foods

Photo: iStock

Are all types of sugar harmful in excess?

There is no denying that refined sugar is one of the main evils of health. It is high in calories, it leads to weight gain and a predisposition to cardiovascular events. “This happens for two reasons: first, because of the increase in obesityIt is, in and of itself, an inflammatory process. Moreover, sugar increases the production of fatty acids in the liver. The metabolism of these substances leads to the formation of chemical compounds that stimulate the inflammatory process throughout the body,” confirms Arton Gulbert, Professor of Endocrinology at the Federal University of Health Sciences in Porto Alegre.

The most harmful sugars to reduce or avoid are those in sweets and treats, but also those found in many processed and overly processed foods. They appear under various names, such as corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, maltose, galactose, maltodextrin, sucrose, glucose, evaporated cane juice, caramel, carob syrup, rice syrup, molasses, nectar, agave syrup, and sugar extract. Malt, mannitol, starch, corn glucose, invert sugar, lactose, glucose syrup, malt syrup, among others. So watch the label.

According to Fujiwara, table sugar (sucrose) is made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose (this includes not only refined sugar but less processed sugars like brown and demerara). The high fructose corn syrup used by the food industry generally contains about 42 to 55% fructose and the rest is glucose.

Sucrose and high fructose corn syrup are the two main types of sugars used in cooking and in candy making, and they are distributed in a wide range of industrial products, such as sugary drinks such as soda, soda, fruit nectars, and energy drinks. They are also found in foods, such as biscuits. pasta, sweetened cereals, candy, ice cream, and ready-made sauces like ketchup,” notes the nutritionist.

If artificial sugar is the biggest villain, natural sugars are also not far behind. Garcez points out that brown, demerara, aloe vera, carob, coconut, and honey are also sugars, and if consumed in large quantities, they cause an increase in inflammation in the body.

What is the consumption limit?

For a rich and healthy diet, it is not necessary to cut out sugar completely, and although there are no strict limits, you can eat about 55-60% of carbohydrates in the diet’s caloric value, most of which should be complex calories. Carbohydrates such as starch and others found in cereals and flour.

The current recommendation is that the consumption of sugars added to foods and beverages should not exceed 10% of the total calories ingested per day. Moreover, greater health benefits can be obtained if the consumption limit is reduced to up to 5% of calories ingested. Fujiwara notes that, “In a daily 2,000-calorie diet, for example, the sugar limit of 10% and 5% of intake, respectively, is 50 and 25 grams, or 10 and 5 teaspoons of sugar.”

that research From the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), from 2008-2009, it is estimated that excessive consumption of sugar in Brazil is served by about 61.3% of the population. In other words, according to the maximum consumption of sugar set by the World Health Organization (WHO), especially from sugar-sweetened beverages.

However, Gulbert points out that refined sugar and sweets made with it are not essential foods for humans. “We can live without sugar. This means that when we cut out this food, we will have a significant improvement in health, with weight loss, improved metabolic rates, and lower inflammatory substances circulating throughout the body. Besides sugar, the processed meat in sausage, as noted He points out that hot dogs, sausages and salami are foods that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and therefore should be eaten in moderation.”

Ice Cream Cone - LauriPatterson / iStock - LauriPatterson / iStock

Recommending that the consumption of added sugars in foods and beverages does not exceed 10% of the total calories ingested daily.

Photo: LauriPatterson/iStock

How to reduce or prevent inflammation

Low-grade inflammatory condition usually goes unnoticed, but can be diagnosed through clinical and laboratory examination. “If subclinical inflammation is diagnosed (or prevented), the best practice is to avoid consuming sugars, modified fats, processed meats, fried foods, highly processed foods, sodas and excess alcoholic beverages,” Garces advises.

A balanced, varied, and as natural a diet as possible helps reduce signs of inflammation. However, there are many foods and nutritional ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties among their properties and can be included in everyone’s eating habits, among which Garces highlights:

  • Cold water fish is rich Omega 3such as tuna, sardines, mackerel and salmon;
  • Linum seedAnd swears, Seeds Pumpkin or sesame
  • Walnuts, almonds and chestnuts.
  • fresh fruits such as citrus fruits, avocadored fruits grapesAnd tomatoes;
  • foods containing probiotics, such as fortified yogurt, kombucha, and kefir;
  • Vegetables and vegetables BroccoliCauliflower and cabbage spinachAnd lettuceAnd carrot, Onion;
  • olive oil Made with olives
  • Aromatic herbs such as thyme, thyme, coriander, parsley, mint and rosemary.
  • Spices like saffron and cinnamon garliccarnation, gingerSweet pepper and pepper.

So far, science has shown that foods rich in polyphenols (olive oil, for example) have anti-inflammatory properties. “It is a fact that there are a number of foods that are suggested to play this role as well, but it is important that research be done to demonstrate the efficacy of the beneficial effect of these foods,” Gulbert warns.

It is important to note that chronic subclinical inflammation is the result of many everyday causes that the body is exposed to. Undoubtedly, bad eating habits are the main reason, but StressPollutants and toxins are important factors.

Sources: Arton Gilbert, Professor of Endocrinology at the Federal University of Health Sciences in Porto Alegre and past president of SBEM (Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism); Clarissa Hiwatachi Fujiwara, a Dietitian and Master of Science from the University of São Paulo (University of São Paulo) and Nutrition Coordinator of the Pediatric Obesity Association of HC-FMUSP (Hospital das Clinicas, University of São Paulo School of Medicine); Marcela Garces, a registered dietitian, professor and director of the Brazilian Society of Dietetics.