Perhaps sugar is the sweetest thing in the world. Some people can barely do without it when they wake up. Whether you start the day with coffee, cereal, or a biscuit, chances are sugar is highly present in these drinks and food. It is also found in sodas, fruit juices, candies, processed food, and sauces.
It makes the food taste good and irresistible. People can sometimes be addicted to sugar and 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 one of the most damaging substances you can take in. Usually in the form of fructose of refined sugar, the scariest thing about it is the fact that we take it in every day with pleasure! This sugar addiction has become so rampant not just to adults but prevalently to children!
People are consuming excessive amounts of sugar in the form of fructose mostly because it is way cheaper and sweeter than regular table sugar. Food and beverage manufacturers use fructose for their products as it would save them manufacturing cost in the long run.
What does excessive sugar to do to the body?
1. Sagging Skin and Aging
Some of the sugar we take in end up getting attached to the proteins in a process called glycation. This contributes to the loss of elasticity of the tissues of the organs, arteries, and skin. When this happens, skin begins to age, wrinkles appear, and the skin starts to sag.
2. 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 decay faster than any other food substance. Brushing your teeth often and avoiding sugar altogether are ways to avoid tooth decay usually caused by sugar.
3. Liver Damage
Too much fructose can have almost the same effects as alcohol in the body. Sugar gets shuttled to the transporter of nutrients and filter of the body – the liver. This potentially causes liver damage in the long run.
4. Increases Risk of Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease
Studies have shown that the more fructose a person consumes, the higher his risk for becoming obese and for developing diabetes and heart. Sugar tricks the body into gaining weight. It also affects insulin and leptin signaling. Fructose confuses the body’s metabolism by messing up the body’s appetite control. It fails to stimulate hormones that induce hunger and satiety. This messed up appetite-control system causes you to overindulge and gain weight.
5. Metabolic Dysfunction
Too much sugar can cause several symptoms of metabolic dysfunction such as abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
6. Increases Uric Acid
Uric acid has recently been used as a marker for fructose toxicity. High uric acid levels can be associated with high risk of kidney and heart diseases.
7. Unstable Mood
High levels of blood sugar 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 it 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.
8. Negatively Affects Immune Function
Animal studies have shown results that sugar suppresses immune response. This is attributed to the fact that yeast and bacteria feed on sugar. It is highly likely that in humans, sugar also feeds the bacteria that causes diseases and negatively affects immune function.
9. Depletes us of Essential Nutrients
According to USDA, people who consume more sugar have lower intakes of essential nutrients. Essential nutrients are necessary for overall health and well-being. Vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, iron, calcium, phosphorous, are all necessary for bodily functions. Data shows that those who consume sugar more are depleted of these essential nutrients.
Sugar can really taste good. It can be the easiest and most handy food source to take in because it is basically available in fast foods and processed food that 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 to 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 educated decisions on your diet and what food you need to avoid. It is important to make sure you choose the food you take in carefully. After all, sweet treats can be sweet. But getting sick because of sugar isn’t going to give you a sweet treat at the end of the day.∎
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].