What is Glucose? Is Glucose Healthy or Dangerous?
Glucose, the basic building block of carbohydrates, has a very important role in our body: We owe all our energy to this substance. Glucose occurs naturally in many carbohydrate-containing foods. When we consume these foods, we naturally get the glucose our body needs. Glucose is one of the basic needs of our body in terms of its properties and function.
In this article, we have focused on glucose, one of the popular topics of the last period, for you. Does glucose have any harm, what are the foods containing glucose? The answers to all these questions are waiting for you in the details of our article.
What is Glucose?
- Glucose, meaning “sweet” in Greek, is the basic building block of carbohydrates.
- It has a very important task in our body; It is our main energy source.
- It is also known as grape sugar among the people.
- It is found naturally in fruits and foods containing carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrate sources are very important for our body to perform its functions.
- We need to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats in our diet.
- All bakery products, especially bread, nuts, fruits, starchy foods such as rice and potatoes are foods rich in carbohydrates. These nutrients are broken down into glucose during digestion.
- Glucose absorbed in the intestines mixes with the blood. For this reason, it is also known as blood sugar.
- Glucose mixed with the blood is now the main energy source of our body.
- If there is too much glucose in the body; In case of need, it is converted into complex carbohydrates for later use and stored in the liver and muscles.
- It is very important that the amount of glucose is within certain limits. In healthy individuals, this function is controlled by the hormones insulin and glucagon secreted by the pancreas. These two hormones regulate the level of glucose in the blood, preventing it from falling and rising excessively.
- Glucose taken through food mixes with the blood and causes blood sugar to rise. Insulin hormone carries out the process of transferring glucose from the blood to the cells to be used. In this way, excessive accumulation of glucose in the blood is prevented.
- In the case of hunger, blood sugar drops. In this case, the hormone glucagon comes into play to regulate the blood sugar level. Thereupon, carbohydrates are released from where they are stored and mixed with the blood to meet the body’s energy needs.
- A condition in which blood glucose is within normal limits is called normoglycemia. If it is lower than normal, it is called hypoglycemia, and if it is higher than normal, it is called hyperglycemia.
- In healthy individuals, fasting blood sugar should be in the range of 70-100 mg / dl, and postprandial blood sugar should be below 140 mg / dl.
- Long-term high blood sugar, in other words, excessive storage of glucose in the body can damage various organs, especially the kidneys and eyes. This may even lead to diabetes, kidney failure, chronic and serious diseases.
8 Harmful Effects of Glucose
Glucose syrup, which is obtained from grains such as wheat and corn, is frequently preferred by companies because it extends the shelf life of the product and is cheap. Glucose taken from foods is generally not stored in excessive amounts, while glucose syrup (glucose sugar, corn syrup) in ready-made packaged foods affects human health negatively. Here are the negative effects of glucose on health…
1) Disrupts Blood Sugar Balance
- From the moment glucose enters the body, it disrupts the blood sugar balance. In the long run, it causes the blood sugar balance to be turned upside down.
- Having a balanced blood sugar is very important for a healthy life. However, glucose disrupts the blood sugar balance and invites diabetes.
- Diabetics should consume foods containing glucose in a controlled manner, in consultation with their doctor, and stay away from foods containing glucose syrup.
2) Disrupts the Hormonal Balance of the Body
- One of the most important known harms of glucose is that it disrupts the body’s hormone balance.
- In particular, it causes the level of the hormone estrogen to rise.
- An uncontrolled rise in estrogen levels increases the risk of developing cancer. It can open the door to different diseases such as heart, diabetes and obesity.
- May cause hair growth or early puberty in young children.
3) Increases the Risk of Getting Cancer
- Studies have shown that glucose feeds cancer cells and thus increases the risk of developing cancer.
- Although glucose is not directly, it indirectly increases the factors that predispose to cancer.
- Disruption of hormonal balance and increase in estrogen hormone are factors that increase the risk of developing cancer.
4) Makes You Gain Weight
- Its ingredients cause fat storage in the body.
- Fat stored in the body gains weight over time.
- In addition, the increase in the hormone estrogen is one of the factors that cause weight gain.
- Glucose syrup prevents the release of the hormone leptin, which takes on the task of burning fat. This makes the hormones insensitive in the long run.
- The body constantly secretes insulin, and the body feels hungry all the time.
- Food taken with insulin is constantly stored in the body. As blood sugar drops, the body feels hungry again. This situation turns into a vicious circle. While this cycle disrupts the hormonal balance on the one hand, it also causes weight gain.
- In addition, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases increases due to weight gain and hormonal imbalance.
5) May Cause Colitis
- The way glucose syrup travels through the body is different from regular sugars.
- According to a study by the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute; More energy is needed as glucose syrup is absorbed in the intestines. Unfortunately, this need is met from the energy required to ensure intestinal integrity.
- This causes various intestinal diseases, especially colitis.
6) Causes Stone Formation in Kidney
- Glucose syrup causes an increase in kidney stones in the long term.
7) May Trigger Alzheimer’s Disease
- Studies have shown that glucose syrup triggers Alzheimer’s disease.
- Glucose is the energy fuel for the mind and body. However, glucose syrup negatively affects mental activities.
- It causes mental confusion and forgetfulness.
8) Causes Liver to Enlarge
- Glucose syrup is the enemy of the liver, so to speak.
- It causes the liver to become fatty and enlarged.
- In the long term, it can pave the way for serious liver diseases.
Food Groups Containing High Glucose
The source of glucose is carbohydrates. But not all carbohydrates affect blood sugar at the same rate. Foods known as simple carbohydrates raise blood sugar quickly, while complex carbohydrates raise it more slowly. Foods containing table sugar and white flour are in the class of simple carbohydrates. Foods such as rice, vegetables, bulgur and legumes are complex carbohydrates.
Foods containing glucose can be summarized as follows:
- table sugar
- Grape molasses
- Sugary juices
- Soft drinks
- Ice cream varieties
- Phyllo dough
- Bulgur wheat
- Dry beans