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Article: Sugary Drinks, Sweets And All That ‘Good Stuff’ In Between Impact On Our Immune Systems

Sugary Drinks, Sweets And All That ‘Good Stuff’ In Between Impact On Our Immune Systems

Sugary Drinks, Sweets And All That ‘Good Stuff’ In Between Impact On Our Immune Systems

A new study that was led by Swansea University Medical School scientists (where I did some of my clinical studies!) shows that all those sugars foods and drinks (with high fructose) might prevent the proper functioning of peoples’ immune system in ways that have largely been unknown until now.



Fructose is found in processed foods, sugars drinks, sweets and widely used in a whole range of food we eat. It is associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In recent years it’s intake has dramatically increased in the developed world.

The new study demonstrated that fructose leads to the immune system becoming inflamed and that process produces more reactive molecules which are associated with inflammation. Inflammation of this kind can go on to damage cells and tissues and contribute to organs and body systems not working as they should and could lead to disease.

Don’t get confused though as fructose is a natural sugar. It is found in honey, fruits and certain vegetables, such as tomatoes and red peppers. These are not bad, are naturally made, and contain less sugar - contributing to a healthy diet.

There is a greater understanding of how fructose could be linked to obesity and diabetes - as low-level inflammation is often associated with obesity. Furthermore, it is providing evidence to public health about the damaging effects of consuming high levels of fructose.

Dr Nick Jones, of Swansea University's Medical School, said, "Research into different components of our diet can help us understand what might contribute to inflammation and disease and what could be best harnessed to improve health and wellbeing."

“Our study is exciting because it takes us a step further toward understanding why some diets can lead to ill health,” says Dr. Emma Vincent, a co-author of the study published in the journal ‘Nature Communications' at Bristol Medical School.

So what can we do to help ourselves? Isn’t life boring without sugar?

A medical term called hyperpalatable is essentially retraining your taste buds. Naturally sugary, processed foods and drinks that can become addictive. Manufacturers engineer these foods and drinks to mess with your taste buds, leaving you wanting more. Getting off sugar can be a challenge. But you’ll feel better, look better, and not have those miserable energy crashes. You learn to appreciate the natural sweetness of, say, almonds or even vegetables.
Look at the label! Processed foods like tomato sauce often contain added sugar even if they don’t taste sweet. Food labels include both total and added sugars. While both numbers are important, added sugars are more damaging and can add up quickly.
Hidden sugars. But did you know that a tiny cup of so-called healthy yogurt contains a whopping seven teaspoons of added sugar? Stick to whole, unprocessed foods. You know that an apple or broccoli doesn’t contain any added sugar.
Sugary drinks include so-called healthy beverages. Fruit juices, vitamin-enhanced waters, sports drinks, ice teas all contain a large amount of sugars. Clean, filtered water will always be best.
Try our healthy desserts. We do want to satisfy our sweet tooth so consider baking or creating your own decadent, guilt-free recipes.


How much of your diet is fructose containing? For more information about optimising your health, book an appointment with Dr Shonpal today!

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