Health A-Z

Why Too Much Sugar is Bad


(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-sugar-cubes-in-glass-jar-2523650/)

You might already know that too much sugar is unhealthy and you might be consuming a lot of sugar unknowingly. Fast foods like fizzy drinks, baked goods, candy, tomato sauce, bread, etc., enjoyed by most people in the UAE contain sugar. Added sugar can be hard to spot because manufacturers can list it under various names like agave nectar, corn syrup, palm sugar, or sucrose. World Health Organization urges children and adults to reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake.

What is Sugar?

In its simplest form, sugar is found as a carbohydrate. High fructose corn syrup and maple syrup are some examples of sugar. Your body breaks these sugars regardless of their types into glucose to be used as energy. The two main sources of sugar include;

·       Natural sugar - Found in whole natural foods, found in fruits and vegetables like beetroots, carrots, onions, zucchini, squash, etc.

·       Processed sugar - This is sugar extracted from its natural source, for instance, white cane sugar, agave, and high fructose corn syrup.

How Too Much Sugar Affects Your Body


(Sugar: https://www.pexels.com/photo/stacked-three-macaroons-2014693/)

Excess sugar can affect your body in many negative ways, for instance;

Teeth

Almost everybody knows that sugar is harmful to the teeth. However, sugar alone does not harm your teeth. Various bacteria live in your mouth, some are harmful while others are beneficial. Some types of bacteria produce acid whenever you eat sugar.

These acids corrode the tooth enamel and when this continues a cavity occurs. If left untreated, it can spread deeply into the layers of your teeth causing pain and possible tooth loss. It’s always important to consult a specialist like the best dentists Dubai office if you have a problem with your teeth or gums.

Sugar lowers your mouth’s pH and attracts harmful bacteria. These bacteria feed on sugar and cause dental plaque. If this plaque stays in your mouth, cavities start to form. Sugar is found in high-sugar snacks, acidic and sugary drinks, sugary sticky foods, etc.

Brain

Did you know that your brain uses more energy than any other organ in the body? Sugar in the form of glucose is the main source of energy for all the cells in your body. Your brain has various functions like learning, memory, and thinking which are closely associated with glucose levels and how effectively your brain uses it.

Although some glucose is healthy, too much sugar can lead to sugar addiction. Drinking and eating sugary foods can have a drug-like effect on your brain which can lead to addiction. These addiction-like effects can include loss of self-control and cravings.

A high sugar diet can also lead to decreased cognition. It can compromise normal brain function. Although sugary treats can increase energy, they can also cause tension. Eating too much sugar can also cause depression and negatively affect your memory.

Skin

Sometimes, especially during the holidays, you might indulge in sweet treats that might be unhealthy. Sugar can cause inflammatory skin conditions that occur in different forms like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and dermatitis. When you eat sugar, your pancreas produces insulin to absorb the sugar and store it in the liver.

Your pancreas can get overwhelmed when you consume too much sugar; this is what causes inflammation. Sugar can also accelerate aging. Some people look older while others look younger than their age and this has to do with genetics. What you consume can also have long-term effects on the way you look.

Glycation is the process that causes skin aging. Eating foods with a high glycemic index increases your blood sugar and triggers the production of hormones that cause oil production in the skin. Although your skin naturally produces sebum, the excess can cause skin clogging that leads to breakouts.

Joints

Inflammation occurs when your body gets internal or external injuries. Inflammation is a symptom of many diseases including arthritis which causes one or more joints to get inflamed. Although medication is important, it is also crucial to watch your diet. Some food can increase pain while others reduce it.

Sugar is the most popular ingredient in many foods and it can wreak havoc on your joints. Sugar worsens arthritis symptoms like increasing pain because sugar increases inflammation. Sugar also increases weight which is why it is not recommended for people with arthritis.

It also increases cholesterol levels which increases pain and inflammation. Added sugar accelerates the production of C-reactive protein and cytokines in your body which causes inflammation. Increased sugar levels are linked to joint pain in arthritis patients.

Liver

Added sugar contains high fructose corn syrup or fructose. Your liver can get damaged when it processes high amounts of fructose. Your liver breaks down fructose into fat. This causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is excess fat build-up in your liver. It also causes non-alcoholic steatohepatitis also known as the scarring of the liver which cuts off blood supply to the liver.

Body Weight

Excess sugar consumption leads to weight gain. People who drink sweetened drinks gain weight and are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sugar disrupts your body’s “fullness” hormone. Leptin is one of the most significant hormones when it comes to hunger and fullness signals. Consuming sugar makes you hungrier even if you consume many calories.

Heart

Consumption of excess sugar can impact your heart directly and indirectly. Sugar affects your arteries directly, for instance, your body stores extra calories as triglycerides. Sugary foods increase triglycerides in the body and this can increase the risk of heart disease.

Weight gain connected to a high-sugar diet can lead to increased levels of “bad cholesterol” that causes blockage in the arteries that can destroy your blood vessels and damage your heart. Obesity linked to high-sugar diets can cause high blood pressure. Sugar causes inflammation throughout the body and this can stress your heart and increase your risk of heart disease.

 

Sugar tastes delicious but you need to consume it in moderation. Excess sugar has many negative effects on your body from cavities to heart disease. It is important to watch your diet to boost your health and wellbeing

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