Are your favorite drinks and foods to blame for hair loss? It isn’t uncommon to eat something sweet for breakfast or pair a bubbly soda with your dinner. Sugar is added to almost all foods and is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Our bodies need sugar, but large quantities are destructive to anyone who consumes it. Being physically fit or thin will not protect you from the harm of sugar overconsumption.
What Does Too Much Sugar Do?
New research confirms a correlation between sugar and hair loss, but this shouldn’t surprise us. Any medical professional will tell you that diet plays a role in hair growth. The diet we consume creates a chain reaction of chemical modifications. Chemically breaking down food and beverages to produce energy is called metabolism. Throughout this breakdown, the body fights for chemical balance. Consuming large amounts of sugar creates imbalances among nearly all organs within the body. High sugar intake is linked to inflammation, hormone fluctuations, heart disease, and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
How we think of sugar must change if we hope to regain health and beauty. Sugar consumption is as serious as alcohol consumption. The liver metabolizes sugar and alcohol in the same way. Large amounts of sugar can cause a similar buildup of fats in the liver, disrupting its operation. Regardless of body weight, too much sugar is harmful to organ function. If the repercussions of high sugar intake weren’t bad enough, the body’s largest organ is also affected during the metabolic cycle. The skin is the largest living organ of the human body. Hair follicles live among skin cells, and any changes from under the skin’s surface will appear in the health of your hair. So not only will too much sugar affect your longevity, but it will immediately affect the appearance of your hair and skin.
High Sugar Intake & Hair
The blood content that travels under the skin and throughout the body is impacting. High blood sugar can damage follicles through inadequate circulation. Proper blood flow exchanges oxygen and nutrients to the hair strands keeping follicles alive and well. High sugar levels in the blood are believed to harden arteries and decrease their function. Sugar can increase inflammation, which is known to cause follicle damage over extended periods. More research is needed to narrow down the variables so causation of baldness isn’t proven. Evaluating current research on sugar and hair loss leads us to conclude a correlation between high sugar intake and hair thinning.
What can you do to help prevent damage from sugar? You can lower sugar intake by reading through the ingredient lists and regulating daily consumption. You can identify added sugar by the terms: glucose, fructose, dextrose, and sucrose. The American Heart Association recommends 6-9 teaspoons of sugar in one’s daily consumption, as noted in the graphic above.
To make this step more manageable, you can simply cut out sugary beverages or other known sugar-filled snacks. In the western world, it is easy to overindulge in sugar through soft drinks and processed foods. Your favorite medium beverages, like a McDonald’s fountain Coke or Chik-Fil-A lemonade, contain 55-56 grams of sugar which is double the daily amount of added sugar recommended to consume. Yet, how often does a drink satisfy a craving or make you feel full? The meal you pair a sugary drink with must now have zero added sugar, and that is a request nearly impossible to fulfill.
Every day there are choices to reach for a larger drink or a sweet treat. Be aware of your habitual consumption and start taking action if the sugar tips the scales. If you can reduce the consumption of sugary foods, beverages, and desserts, you’re on the right track to better health and healthy hair. Not only will you retain a healthy head of hair, but you’ll improve your overall quality of life.
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