When we eat, the juices in our digestive tracts break down the food into simple sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body. But in order for the fuel to find its way to cells for use, the pancreas must produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps collect excess glucose from the bloodstream and distribute to the cells where it is needed for energy.
Problems occur when the pancreas produces too much, or too little, insulin. This can result from eating too many simple sugars: white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, syrups, and concentrated sweeteners frequently added to processes foods: fructose, dextrose, maltose, lactose, even honey. The body can digest and absorb these highly concentrated sugar sources much more rapidly. They turn into saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, which will accumulate under the skin and in the liver if not burned off through exercise.
Simple sugars are absorbed so quickly that they trigger a rise in blood sugar levels: this is called hyperglycemia. The pancreas produces a surge of insulin in response to remove the excess glucose from the bloodstream, but this sudden influx can't be turned on and off like faucet. Soon there is too much insulin, causing a low blood sugar level. This is called hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar levels cause the body's adrenal glands to produce extra glucose from proteins, starches and other fuel sources in the body to bring blood sugar levels back to normal.
So a diet that includes a lot of sugars traps the body in a biochemical see-saw, overworking the pancreas and adrenal glands. This can be a health hazard. For instance, sugars increase the body's production of adrenaline. The body responds by producing more cholesterol and cortisone, and cortisone inhibits the immune system. Sugars also leach vital vitamins and minerals from the body's store of nutrients, since they lack the vitamins and minerals required for their own metabolism.