Healthy eating is hammered into our minds at a young age, although most people forget about those lessons as soon as they start making their own food choices. Sugar is one of the substances that people are advised to take in low quantities or entirely avoid them. Individuals consume sugar in different forms from refined to corn syrup, and each one has its effects in the body.
The majority of foods that people include in their daily diets contains some form of sugar, and that has increased the consumption to alarming levels. Some people find it hard to do away with sugar completely, which is why sweeteners are an excellent alternative.
Understanding the harmful reactions that sugars trigger in the human body is necessary so that you can grasp the need to avoid them. One misconception that people have is that sugar is a food group and that removing it from the diet will have negative consequences.
1. No Nutritional Value
The reason sugar doesn’t qualify as a food group is that it serves no purpose in terms of nutrition because it doesn’t contain proteins, healthy fats, or enzymes of any kind. Bundling sugars in your meals means you are consuming copious amounts of calories that are just full of energy. This energy is easily digestible, which provides ready food for the bacteria in your mouth.
2. Compromised Oral Health
Because of the aforementioned sugar property, eating too much deteriorates oral health. Besides the bacterial breeding and consequent infection, overuse of sugar will damage the teeth structure and cause cavities. Saliva acidity is another outcome of consuming too much sugar. Poor dental health can lead to periodontal disease and other conditions.
For this reason, you could easily replace sugar with stevia, which will not only help sweeten your food, but it will also have a positive impact on your overall health. Aside from improving the oral health, some of the health benefits of stevia include lowering the blood pressure, building strong bones, and lowering blood sugar.
3. Liver Overload
Table sugar contains half glucose and half fructose. The role of glucose is well-known and it is produced by the body when it is not present in the diet. Fructose, on the other hand, serves no physiological need in the body so when taken in significant amounts, it converts into glycogen and stored in the liver. It means that when a person consumes too much fructose, it packs the liver full of glycogen, leading to an overload that the organ solves by turning the sugars into fats.
4. Fatty-Liver Disease
The fat that is converted from fructose is processed out of the liver as cholesterol particles. Some of the fats can, however, remain in the liver, resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Essentially, the liver looks like that of an individual who consumes too much alcohol, except that alcohol intake is not the cause. About 30% of the American adult population suffers from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The condition is reversible in its early stages, but with time, the liver can get inflamed and subsequently degenerate.
5. Destabilizing the Insulin Levels
The pancreas produces insulin whenever the blood sugar levels go up to help bring them down. It means that high consumption of sugar will demand the release of insulin and the more this happens, the more insulin it takes. After a while, the pancreas may fail to release insulin because of the constant demand, effectively causing diabetes.
6. Suppressing the Immune System
Consumption of sugary foods in bulk interferes with the body’s ability to handle attacks. When you keep feeding the system with sugars, your immune takes a punch every time, and that leaves you susceptible to many other health conditions.
The brain can develop an addictive response to sugar, especially in someone with an addiction problem already. Sugar releases dopamine in the brain, just like recreational drugs; therefore, a large intake can lead to dependence. Junk food addiction is a real thing, hence the cautionary messages.
8. Suppressing the Humana Growth Hormone
HGM helps slow the aging process, so any hindrance to its production has adverse effects. Even though other practices such as exercising and avoiding stress contributes a lot, keeping your sugar levels down go a long way. Premature aging comes with a host of other health problems.
To conclude, sugary foods may be tempting, but the harm they do to the body is not worth the risk. Even when you work out right and eat your veggies, if your sugar consumption exceeds recommended levels, then all these efforts are a waste. Learn to include natural sweeteners when you need to satisfy your cravings and your health will surely improve.
A passionate vegan and a Content Editor for Health Globe , Betsy Potter loves to share her knowledge with as much people as possible. As a health consultant and nutritionist, she considers that eating right is not easy and it can be done only knowing all the facts.