Too much sugar is bad for your health. It is an essential part of processed foods and is listed under many labels like agave nectar, corn syrup, etc. It is not only candies and baked goods that are high in sugar, but many savoury snacks like bread and tomato ketchup are also laden with sugar. It harms the body in many ways.
Here Are The Harmful Effects of Sugar That You Should Know:
1. Weight Gain
Sugar consumption leads to increased weight. Research has repeatedly pointed out the harmful effects of sugar through consuming too many colas, juices, and other sweetened beverages. Those who rely too much on junk and processed food to curb their hunger, weigh more than those who eat healthily. Obesity is the leading cause of heart diseases in the world.
Eating sugary snacks leads to a release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the body. As this surge reduces, the brain begins to crave again for the same high. High sugar intake has been connected to depression in adults.
Read about which foods to avoid in anxiety and depression.
3. Heart Disease
High sugar consumption has been linked to increased inflammation, high levels of triglycerides and elevated blood pressure levels. All these lead to increased vulnerability to heart disease. Also, increased sugar intake can lead to the deposition of fat on arteries leading to atherosclerosis.
4. Bad Skin
Sugar increases acne. The spike in blood sugar and insulin levels increase oil production and androgen secretion that lead to breaking out of the skin.
5. Risk of Diabetes
Having too much sugar in the blood leads to insulin resistance which leads to diabetes. Obesity, another cause of diabetes is also because of excessive sugar intake.
Studies have shown that a high sugar environment is conducive to the proliferation of cell multiplication. Sugar increases inflammation in the body and is responsible for the increased incidence of cancer in the world.
7. Causes Skin Sagging and Wrinkles
A high sugar diet leads to accelerated skin ageing. Those who eat sugar have more wrinkles and sagging skin than their counterparts who don’t. Sugar consumption leads to the formation of AGEs (Advanced Glycation Endproducts), compounds that are the result of a reaction between sugar and protein molecules in the body. These AGEs damage the skin’s collagen and elastin which are responsible for the elasticity of the skin.
8. Formation of Cavities
Dentists claim that sugar is the primary cause of cavities formed in the teeth. Even if you brush your teeth every time you eat something sweet, you are still at risk of spoiling your teeth.
9. Joint Pain
Those who suffer from joint pain and reduce their sugar intake, notice a considerable decrease in their pain levels. Sugar has even linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
10. Fatty Liver
High sugar consumption is related to increased risks of developing fatty liver as it is responsible for breaking down sugar into glycogen and the excess amounts are stored as fat.
Tips to reduce sugar intake:
Excessive added sugar has several negative health effects. Although consuming small amounts of sugar is fine, you should try to cut back on sugar as much as possible. Here are some tips:
- Say no to sodas, energy drinks or juices and have unsweetened seltzer.
- Drink black coffee black or use natural sweetener.
- Sweeten plain yogurt with fresh or frozen berries instead of buying flavoured yogurt with added sugar.
- Look for cereals and granola bars with under 4 grams of sugar per serving.
- Use natural nut butter in place of readymade sweet spreads.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with sugar or agave.
- Focusing on getting more fresh, whole ingredients.
The best way to limit your added sugar intake is to prepare your own healthy meals at home and avoid buying packaged foods and drinks that are high in added sugar.