Posted on May 29, 2020, 4 p.m.
It is almost impossible to avoid sugar, it is everywhere whether it be naturally occurring or in processed foods and drinks. Nutritional guidelines change as new findings are discovered which lead to new theories, but decades of scientific research prove that eating too much of this simple carbohydrate is indeed bad for your health and general well being.
According to Dr. Murali Doraiswamay of Duke University School of Medicine sugar alone is not really a bad guy, as it is vital to the human body being important to functions such as being a source of energy for the brains and a backbone for DNA, the problems arise when one consumes more sugar than the body requires.
Too much sugar makes weight management difficult, and excess sugar intake is linked to weight gain and obesity. Studies show that certain types of sugars, particularly fructose that is found in most processed foods and sugary drinks, can increase hunger and influence cravings. Consuming too much sugar has been shown to interfere with hunger and appetite signaling hormones while increasing harmful visceral fat.
Recent research is showing a decline in sugar consumption yet obesity rates are still increasing, which suggests that obesity is not linked to sugar intake alone.
Maintaining a diet that is full of processed foods with added sugars may make it hard to consume nutrient rich foods. Eating a lot of candy bars on a daily basis leads to becoming full of sugar loaded calories leaving little room for more nutritious foods which will be depriving yourself of a balanced diet and the benefits of it.
Dietary guidelines for Americans recommends that not more than 10% of the daily calorie intake should be from added sugars, meaning that a 2,000 calorie diet should have no more that 200 sugar based calories which is about 50 grams of sugar since one gram contains 4 calories.
Sugar is linked to diabetes just as clearly as it is linked to obesity. This condition develops when the body does not respond to insulin, which removes blood sugar and transfers it to body cells, but it can also happen when the pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone. When left untreated this can result in chronically high blood sugar levels, leading to complications such as nerve damage and cardiovascular diseases.
Drinking sugary beverages has been shown to increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, additional risk factors for diabetes include physical inactivity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Sugar is believed to influence type 2 diabetes risk both directly by affecting the body’s processing of sugar, and indirectly by causing weight gain.
Sugar can also cause cavities which occur when bacteria on plaque feeds on the sugars that remain on your teeth. The sugar fermentation releases acids that eat into your tooth enamel; excessive sugar intake if combined with poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay and the need for dental procedures.
Certain foods provide energy and they can also make you feel good while others make you feel bad and some others cause highs that crash to lows. Progressively higher added sugar consumption is associated with increasing odds of incident depression, while a diet rich in whole nutritious foods can help to protect against depression.
Heart disease and stroke are two of the more serious complications that are linked to too much sugar. Diets high in sugar content are linked to cardiovascular disease risk factors which can include obesity, inflammation and high blood pressure. Some research indicates that sugar consumption is significantly linked to increased risk for cardiovascular mortality, and that excess sugar consumption is more closely related to heart disease than saturated fats.
Those with high blood sugar levels tend to have faster rates for cognitive decline which is referred to as diabetes of the brain. Excessive sugar consumption especially those through sugar sweetened drinks has been found to increase the risk of dementia.
Consuming too much sugar from any food source can increase the risk of acne and other skin issues, and a high glycemic diet has been shown to be a factor in acne development. While more research is needed to confirm the relationship with sugar, diet and acne, scientists suggest that the connection between diet, sugar and acne can no longer be overlooked.
The above are just some of the top reasons why consuming too much sugar is bad for you, but please keep in mind that natural sugars alone are not the bad guy, the problems arise when one eats more sugar than the body needs. Making simple dietary changes can help to avoid many of the complications to help protect your health and well being.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.