Eating cakes, pies, and any food with excessive sugar is one of the sweetest things in the world. Some people can barely get through the day without the mentioned treats. Whether you start the day with coffee, cereal, or a biscuit, chances are sugar is highly present in the drinks and food you consume. After all, it is added everywhere: sodas, fruit juices, candies, processed food, and dressings.
Since sugar makes the food taste good and sometimes irresistible, most people become addicted to sweet treats. However, there’s a dark secret that should be heeded when taking in sweet sugary stuff.
Sugar Can Be Damaging
Yes, you read that right! Sugar can be a damaging substance. Sugar addiction has become so rampant not only to adults, but prevalently to children. The scariest thing about it is we take it every day with pleasure usually in the form of fructose or refined sugar.
Many people consume immoderate amounts of sugar in the form of fructose mostly because it is cheaper and sweeter than regular table sugar. Food and beverage manufacturers use fructose for their products as it would save them manufacturing costs in the long run, too.
What does excessive sugar do to the body?
- Sagging and Aging Skin
The sugar we take in can end up getting attached to the proteins, which is the process called glycation. When this happens, the skin begins to age, wrinkle, and sag. Glycation contributes to the loss of elasticity of tissues and muscles, damaging the skin and other organs.
- Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
One of the basic damages that sugar does is tooth decay and gum disease. When sugar stays in your mouth or teeth, it accelerates the decay faster than any other food substance. Brushing your teeth often and avoiding sugar are ways to avoid tooth decay.
- Liver Damage
Too much fructose can harm the body. Like alcohol, sugar can build up in the liver, an important organ that transport nutrients and filter the blood. This sugar addiction or consumption can potentially cause liver damages in the long run.
- Increased Risk of Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease
Studies have shown that the more fructose a person consumes, the higher his risk of being obese. Sugar tricks the body to gain weight. Fructose confuses the body’s metabolism by messing up the appetite control. It fails to stimulate hormones that induce hunger and satiety. This messed up the appetite-control system, causing you to overindulge, hence, gain weight. The person can develop diabetes and heart complications as sugar can affect insulin and leptin signaling.
- Metabolic Dysfunction
Too much sugar consumption can cause several symptoms of metabolic dysfunction, such as abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
- Increased Uric Acid
Uric acid has recently been used as a marker for fructose toxicity. High uric acid levels can be associated with a high risk of kidney and heart diseases.
- Unstable Mood
High levels of blood sugar in the body often lead to headaches, fatigue, mood swings, and unstable mood. Sugar cravings arise from too much sugar. It may let you feel good momentarily but also causes you to crave more sugar later on. People who avoid sugar report having less inclination to sweet treats and feel emotionally balanced without mood swings.
- Negatively Affects Immune Function
Animal studies have shown results that sugar suppresses the immune response. This is attributed to the fact that yeast and bacteria feed on sugar. It is most likely that in humans, sugar also feeds the bacteria that cause diseases and negatively affect the immune function.
- Depleted Essential Nutrients
According to USDA, people who consume more sugar have lower intakes of essential nutrients. Data shows that those who consume sugar more are depleted of Vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, iron, calcium, phosphorous, which are all necessary for bodily functions. These essential nutrients support overall health and well-being.
Sugar tastes good. It can be the easiest and most handy food to take in because it is basically available in fast food and processed food, which you can store and bring anywhere. But just because it tastes good doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Sugar has way more negative effects on the body than mentioned. Theories even mention that it can be a cause and nurture cancer cells. Being well-informed about the negative impact of sugar in your mind and body can help you make an informed decision on your diet. It is important to make sure you choose the food you take carefully. After all, sweet treats won't always be there. You won't run out of them. Take these kinds of food one thing at a time to prevent getting sick. Too much sugar consumption isn’t going to give you a sweet story.∎
Atkins. (2016). 10 Ways Sugar Harms Your Health | Atkins. [online] Available at: https://www.atkins.com/how-it-works/library/articles/10-ways-sugar-harms-your-health [Accessed 26 May 2016].
Mercola.com. (2016). What Happens in Your Body When You Eat Too Much Sugar?. [online] Available at: http://articles.mercola.com/sugar-side-effects.aspx [Accessed 26 May 2016].