A Closer Look at the Negative Effects of Sugar on the Body
Sugar is one of the leading causes of obesity and various chronic diseases. And you’ve probably heard that sugar isn’t good for you, but do you know why?
Added sugars, which are found in sweetened drinks, candy, baked goods, and other processed foods, can hurt your health. And no matter what it’s called – sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose – all types of sugar are bad for your health.
This blog post will discuss how too much sugar can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems. So, cutting back on sugar is an excellent place to start if you want to improve your health!
Impact of Sugar on the Body
When you eat or drink something sweet, your taste buds signal to your brain that this is a delicious and enjoyable experience. In response, your brain releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. This reward system is one of the reasons why sugar can be addictive – it makes you feel good!
Also, your body metabolizes sugar differently than other nutrients. It is broken down into glucose and fructose, and these simple sugars are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. As a result, blood sugar levels rise rapidly after eating or drinking sugary foods.
In short-term studies, high blood sugar levels have been linked to impaired memory and decreased ability to focus. In addition, spikes in blood sugar can lead to feelings of anxiety and irritability.
Accordingly, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and type II diabetes. Sugar can also contribute to heart disease by increasing harmful cholesterol levels and inflammation. And lastly, sugar can worsen oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Kinds and Sources of Sugar
Although sugar is sugar, it is essential to be aware of the different types of sugar and where they come from.
- Sucrose: This is the most common type of sugar, and it’s found in table sugar, honey, molasses, and some fruits.
- Fructose: This type of sugar is found in fruits, vegetables, agave syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup.
- Glucose: Glucose is found in foods like carbohydrates and starches.
- Maltose: Maltose is found in malted barley and beer.
How Much Sugar is Too Much?
It is recommended that men consume no more than 36 grams, or 150 calories, of sugar per day. For women, the recommendation is 25 grams, or 100 calories, per day.
These recommendations are based on a 2000-calorie diet. So, if you consume more or fewer calories than this, your recommended sugar intake will be different.
Effects of Sugar on the Body
When you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. And since sugar is high in calories but low in nutrients, it can contribute to weight gain.
A study of over 66,000 women found that those who consumed the most sugar were more likely to be overweight or obese. Moreover, they also had a higher risk of developing type II diabetes.
Another study examined the diets of over 24,000 adults and found that those who drank one or two sugary drinks per day had an increased risk of becoming obese. So, if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain, cutting back on sugar is an excellent place to start!
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder that can cause problems with focus, concentration, and self-control.
There is some evidence to suggest that sugar can worsen ADHD symptoms. For instance, one study found that children with ADHD who consumed a sugary drink had more trouble focusing than those who didn’t.
Another study looked at the diets of over 500 children and found that those who ate the most sugary foods were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that sugar causes ADHD.
Sugar can also cause mood problems. Accordingly, women who consumed more sugar had a greater risk of depression.
Another study looked at the diets of over 12,000 adults and found that those who ate the most sugary foods were more likely to report feeling tired, anxious, and angry. So, if you’re struggling with mood problems, reducing your sugar intake may help!
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. And although many factors contribute to heart disease, sugar is one of them.
Consuming too much sugar can increase harmful cholesterol levels and inflammation, risk factors for heart disease. A review of over 30 studies found that people who consume more sugary drinks have an increased risk of heart disease.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar levels are too high. There are two main types of diabetes: type I and type II.
Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body can’t produce insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Type II diabetes, on the other hand, is a lifestyle disease that develops when you consume too much sugar, and your body becomes insulin resistant.
And as mentioned, consuming sugary drinks can increase your risk of developing type II diabetes. So, if you’re trying to prevent this condition, limiting your sugar intake is essential!
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a condition in which the force of your blood against your artery walls is too high. Hypertension can lead to serious health problems like heart disease and stroke.
Studies have shown that consuming too much sugar can increase blood pressure. One study found that people who drank one or two daily sugary drinks had an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.
Lastly, too many sugars can cause dental cavities. Dental cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide.
And although many factors contribute to cavities, sugar is one of the main ones. This is because sugar fuels the growth of bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
A review of over 100 studies found that consuming sugary drinks increases the risk of developing cavities.
Q: How much sugar should I consume per day?
A: It is recommended by professionals that men consume no more than 36 grams of sugar per day and women consume no more than 25 grams. However, these recommendations are for added sugars, not natural sugars.
Q: What foods contain natural sugars?
A: Natural sugars are found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. However, these foods also contain fiber, which can help offset the effects of sugar.
Q: What are some alternative sweeteners?
A: Some alternative sweeteners include stevia, honey, and agave nectar. These sweeteners are generally healthier than sugar because they don’t cause the same spike in blood sugar levels.
Q: What are some adverse effects of sugar?
A: Besides the effects mentioned above, sugar can lead to weight gain, wrinkles, and premature aging. So, it’s essential to consume sugar in moderation!
In conclusion, sugar has many adverse effects on the body. These effects include mood problems, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cavities. So. if you’re trying to improve your health, reducing sugar intake is essential!