Can we live without sugar? Of course, we can once we learn about its sweet perils. But do you know what added sugars do to your body?
It is no doubt that life is dull without flavors and especially for food-lovers but it is worst to live with debility and failing health as caused by bulk of sugar consumption on regular basis.
Good sugar and bad sugar
Sugar happens to be a natural ingredient in foods that contain carbohydrates, for instance fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy. And in this way, consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is no big deal since human body is capable to digest these natural foods easily.
Plant foods contain rich amount of nutrients including fiber, essential minerals, and antioxidants; whereas dairy foods contain protein and calcium. The intake of these natural foods balances energy level in human bodies and reduces the risk of chronic health disorders.
However, problems come about when your sugar intake goes high and consistent— we are talking about sugar that food companies and manufacturers add to products for making artificial flavors.
Yes, we all love those sugary pastries, desserts, sodas, energy drinks, flavored yogurts, soft drinks, fruit drinks, butter cookies, colorful cakes, candies, and the processed foods. But if only we apprehend the fact that how detrimental are these added sugars in the long run.
The drastic consequences
Sugar is a sweet poison! Consuming way too much added sugar on regular basis causes deteriorating health issues eventually. Researches show that chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, liver diseases and major heart problems including heart attack and stroke, are all linked to sugar consumption habits.
Why are sugars added to food?
It is obvious that sweetness has an ultimate appetizing appeal. Therefore, adding sugar into the processed foods makes them more flavorsome. Also, sugar is added to foods because of the reasons as mentioned below:
- One of the main ingredients for baked goods and ice cream
- Renders good flavor, texture and color to food for baking purpose
- Preserves foods such as jams, ketchups, and jellies
- Causes dough to rise for bread fermentation
- Balances food acidity
Why are added sugars a problem?
A considerable amount of added sugars in the foods increases calories but adds less or no nutritional value at all. It gives momentarily joy by enhancing the taste or flavor of food but in the long run, it badly affects the health.
Moreover, added sugars are usually found in foods that also preserve unhealthy fats for instance oil, butter and margarine. Hence, excessive amount of sugar intake, particularly in sugary juices, contributes immensely in weight gain by tricking human body into losing control over appetite as liquid calories do not suffice for satisfying hunger cravings as the solid food does.
Therefore, it seems apparently easier to count on calories in regular diet while consuming sugary beverages. It is clear that consistent and high intake of added sugar on regular basis gradually leads the person towards terrible diseases. Below mentioned are a few potential health problems that are caused by consistent intake of added sugar:
When we prioritize an excessive amount of sugar-laden foods over healthy or nutritious foods, then it is obvious that we are only consuming junk food and missing out on vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming soda, baked food, ice cream, and sweetened soft drinks add lots of extra sugar and calories but zero nutritional value.
Bulimia and weight- gain
Added sugars play crucial role in causing obesity and distorting body shape. Also, the sugar- addiction habits give rise to Bulimia which is a serious and life-threatening eating disorder.
It is easy to consume extra calories while eating the sugar- sweetened foods but its adversities are inevitable. Your body needs some sugar for energy and that is reasonable but a considerable amount of that sugar is stored as fat.
Unsurprisingly, sugar’s relationship with weight gain affects mental and physical health both. Why this happens is a complicated issue, but it is obvious that low-level inflammation is caused by excessive fat accumulation.
Moreover, consuming loads of added sugar is also linked with increased waist or belly fat. Eventually, all these factors lead to extremely unhealthy lifestyle, fatigue and stress.
Risk of diabetes
In case you have high blood sugar, you may be on the path towards type 2 diabetes. To elaborate the link between sugar intake and diabetes, let’s discuss it with reference to Ed Saltzman who is a scientist in the Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University.
Based on his research, type 2 diabetes may result in due to the enervated pancreas which is not being able to produce or secrete sufficient insulin as needed. Consuming way too much sugar causes the body to stop responding to insulin and pancreas starts producing more insulin.
But eventually, the fatigued pancreas stops working and blood sugar level increases hence ultimately paving way for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
We have always been told that sugar is bad for teeth. The link of sugar and tooth decay might have been discovered by some ancient scholars. However over the course of time, Science has confirmed this notion that sugar causes tooth decay.
Many complain about damaged teeth as caused by excessive intake of sweetened foods such as candies and sugary drinks. All forms of sugar highly promote in tooth decaying process as the bacteria grows. The more you consume and chew natural sugar-made food, the more you have to face dental cavities and poor oral hygiene.
Increase in risk of blood pressure and heart disease
Excessive amount of sugar intake is a pathological pathway to acute heart diseases. As explained by Dr. Saltzman, the high consumption of sugar on regular basis is the major cause of low- density lipoprotein which is a sort of blood lipid.
It causes the risk of other complications such as cardiovascular disease as the Insulin resistance causes high blood pressure to leave damaging effects on kidneys, arteries and potentially on the brain hence contributing in adverse blood pressure control.
A research-based study published in “Nutrients” narrated that high intake of added sugar diet is an utmost reason of impaired memory and even the short-term memory.
Increase in risk of depression
Consuming too much sugar can cause you to face fatigue and stress all the time and even worsen your mental condition by giving rise to depression and other chronic mental illnesses.
Mark Hyman, a renowned American physician, talks about link of sugar with depression in his book “The Ultramind Solution”. He explained that how sugars cause depression through inflammation as when we consume a considerable amount of sugar on daily basis, it starts producing repulsive inflammatory messages as known as “cytokines” that damage the brain.
As a matter of fact, researchers have directly linked depression with Type 2 metabolic syndrome. Sugar does not simply contribute in the making of swollen belly but also swollen depressed brain.
The final analysis
Hence the idea of balanced diet, including sugary foods, can be an ultimate source of healthy lifestyle instead of fulfilling sugar craving all the time or counting calories.
In either case, above- mentioned facts about deteriorating health due to high intake of sugary foods can make us reach to the point where there is no going back if we continue to grow our addiction for sweet poison as known as sugar. Read our seven amazing tips to reduce added sugar in your diet.