When it comes to health, sugar has a bittersweet reputation. It naturally occurs in all the food products that contain carbohydrates. Eating whole foods that contain natural sugar is not extremely harmful. However, the problem occurs when someone consumes too much-added sugar. Added sugar is the sugar that food manufacturers add to the food to increase the flavour and shelf life. Sugar is all around us – cereals, bread, fruits, desserts, and even things that don’t actually taste sweet. Excess sugar is bad for your health. It has a negative impact on many body parts and increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), and other chronic illnesses.
Here are some harmful effects of sugar that everybody should know:
1. Weight Gain
Sugar consumption leads the way to increased weight. Research has repeatedly specified the harmful effects of sugar through the consumption of too many colas, sodas, juices, and other sweetened beverages. Those who eat too much junk or processed food to curb their hunger weigh more than those who rely on a healthy diet. Obesity is the chief cause of heart disease globally.
2. Heart Disease
High sugar consumption has been related to increased inflammation, elevated levels of triglycerides, and raised blood pressure levels. All these conditions lead to increased vulnerability to heart disease. Also, increased sugar intake can result in the deposition of fat on arteries which may lead to atherosclerosis.
3. Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Though there are many reasons for diabetes, there is a clear relation between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes. Having high sugar in the blood leads to insulin resistance which leads to diabetes. Obesity, another cause of diabetes, is also associated with excessive sugar intake.
While a healthy diet helps improve mood, a diet high in added sugar increases the risk of developing depression. Eating sugary snacks stimulates the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the body. As this surge reduces, the brain starts to crave again for the same high.
5. Bad Skin
Sugar increases acne production. The spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels enhance oil production, androgen secretion, and inflammation, all of which play a crucial role in acne formation.
6. Causes Skin Sagging and Wrinkles
A diet high in sugar content leads to accelerated skin aging. Those who eat lots of sugar have more wrinkles and sagging skin than their counterparts who don’t. Consumption of sugar leads to the formation of AGEs (Advanced Glycation Endproducts). AGEs are the compounds that result from a reaction between sugar and protein molecules in the body. These AGEs harm the skin’s collagen and elastin, which cause the skin to age prematurely.
7. Cavities Formation
Dentists claim that sugar is the prime cause of cavities formation in the teeth. Even if people brush their teeth every time they eat something sweet, still there is a risk of spoiling the teeth.
8. Pain in Joint
Those individuals who suffer from joint pain and reduce their sugar intake may observe a considerable decrease in their pain levels. Sugar is one of the risk factors linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
9. Fatty Liver
High consumption of sugar has continuously been linked to increased risks of developing fatty liver. The liver is responsible for breaking down sugar into glycogen and storing the excess amounts as fat. A large amount of sugar leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterized by excessive fat build-up in the liver.
Although consuming small amounts is not very harmful, people should try to cut back on sugar whenever possible. Follow some tips to reduce sugar to live a healthy life.
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