With all the hype about sugar, the effects of sugar on men gets little attention.
Two things stand out:
- Sugar can contribute to low testosterone
- It can also be a factor in prostate cancer
Your body quickly breaks down the sugar from sweets and drinks containing alcohol and high-fructose corn syrup, which spikes your insulin levels. After a fifteen- or thirty-minute sugar high, your blood sugar levels plummet, and you feel drained.
The adrenal glands try to replenish your sugar levels by releasing the hormone cortisol and adrenalin. Over time, the up and down sugar cycle weakens your adrenals, making them sluggish.
The weakened endocrine system affects production of testosterone and other hormones.
As for prostate cancer, a report by the University of California San Francisco Medical Center noted that men in one study who consumed the most calories were four times more likely to get prostate cancer than men who consumed the fewest calories.
By contributing to weight gain, sugar also increases your risk of heart disease. A study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine found that participants who got 17-21% of calories from added sugar were 38% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who consumed 8% of their calories from added sugar.
Of course, sugar is also a major source of calories. And it comes not just in sweets and sugary drinks; pasta and rice dishes can have lots of sugar, too.
Excess sugar also contributes to Type 2 diabetes, particularly by contributing to weight gain. By losing 5 to 7 percent of your weight, you may be able to prevent or delay diabetes, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reported. If you’re at 200 lbs., that would be 10 to 14 pounds.
- Reduce your craving for sugar by eating meals and snacks high in protein—which is a slower-digesting fuel source. If you eat something like a bagel with peanut butter on it, you’ll feel more satisfied.
- Exercise more. It burns sugar, and it increases insulin sensitivity, which helps your cells use sugar in your bloodstream better.
- Eat plenty of fiber. Fiber slows sugar absorption. High-fiber foods include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
- Drink water. Water helps your kidneys flush out excess blood sugar.
- Cut back on sugary drinks. A large Coke contains as much sugar as four apples.
- Control your portions. Eating less can help you lose weight, which promotes healthy blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
You can learn more about sugar and men’s health at these links.
Is Sugar Actually Bad For You?
4 Smart Ways to Kill Sugar Cravings
What are the Effects of Sugar on Male Fertility?
Sugar May Contribute to Infertility
Want to talk with a doctor who specializes in men’s health? Give our office a call. We’d be happy to help you make a plan for your wellness.