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Sugar is a kind of simple carbohydrate that is naturally present in certain foods and beverages. They are also an additive in certain foods and drinks. Too much sugar can cause health problems, such as the increased risk of weight gain, diabetes, tooth decay, etc.
Sugar drinks, sweets, baked goods, and sweet dairy products are the primary sources of added sugar. But even salty foods such as bread, tomato sauce, and protein bars may contain sugar, which makes it too easy to achieve a sugar surplus. Added sugar can be difficult to detect on nutrition facts because they can be listed under a range of names, such as corn syrup, agave syrup, palm sugar, sugarcane juice, or sucrose.
Also, note that there is no safe amount of processed or refined sugar. The sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables is counterbalanced by the fiber, vitamins, enzymes, and other properties of the fruit. Fruits and vegetables slow down the digestion of sugar and help the body to manage it more easily. However, processed varieties do not provide any of these benefits and instead cause these harmful effects of sugar in the body.
What’s in Sugar?
Sugar is a mixture of glucose and fructose, two simple sugars that are contained in different amounts in different foods. Listed below are what sugar is made up of:
- Monosaccharides such as fructose, dextrose, and glucose are called simple sugars. The only difference between these simple sugars is the way the body absorbs them.
- Simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, such as disaccharide sucrose (table sugar), half glucose, and half fructose.
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
- Ethanol (Alcohol) is not a sugar, although beer and wine contain residual sugar and starchy foods in addition to alcohol.
- Sugar alcohols such as xylitol, glycerin are not sugars or alcohols but are commonly known as sweeteners. The small intestine partially absorbs most of them. They, therefore, provide fewer calories than sugar.
- Sucralose is known as an artificial chlorinated sweetener with aspartame and saccharin, which is detrimental to health.
- Agave syrup, which is falsely described as “natural,” is usually processed HIGH and usually contains 80% fructose. The end product does not even look remotely like the original agave.
- Honey contains about 53% of fructose2, but it is entirely natural in its raw form and has many health benefits when used in moderation, including many antioxidants such as spinach.
- Stevia is a delightful herb that is extracted from the South American stevia leaf and is safe (in its natural form). Lo Han is another natural sweetener that is derived from a fruit. Note that fructose is harmful to the liver.
Related Post – 7 Handy Tips To Stop Your Sugar Cravings
The Harmful Effect of Sugar on the Body
Sugar causes weight gain
When you consume sugary drinks like sodas, note that these sweetened sugary substances are loaded with fructose. Fructose is known to increase the desire to consume more than glucose, the most important type of sugar found in starchy foods.
Also, excessive consumption of fructose can lead to leptin resistance, an important hormone that regulates food hunger and stops your body from stopping.
In other words, sugary drinks do not reduce your hunger, so you can quickly consume a large number of liquid calories, which can cause weight gain. Research has consistently shown that people who drink sugary drinks, such as soda and juice, outweigh others.
Increase your risk of heart disease
The high-sugar diets are associated with an increased risk of many diseases, such as heart disease. Evidence that diets high in sugar can cause obesity, inflammation, and elevated levels of triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure, all risk factors for heart disease.
In addition, excessive consumption of sugar, especially sweetened drinks, are associated with atherosclerosis, a disease caused by fatty deposits that clog arteries.
May increase cancer risk
Eating too much sugar can increase the risk of certain cancers. A diet rich in drinks and sugary foods can lead to obesity, which significantly increases the risk of cancer.
In addition, high-sugar diets can increase inflammation in your body and lead to insulin resistance, both of which increase the risk of cancer.
Can increase the risk of depression
A healthy diet can improve your mood, but a diet high in added sugars and processed foods can increase the risk of developing depression. Researchers believe that fluctuations in blood sugar deregulation of neurotransmitters and inflammation can explain the harmful effects of sugar on mental health.
Affects sexual health
Sugar can have an impact on the chain of events necessary for the erection. “One of the side effects of having a chronically high blood sugar level is that men can become helpless.” In fact, your circulatory system, which controls blood flow throughout the body and has to work properly to get an erection and work.
Sugar increases the risk of diabetes and other health risk diseases
Large-scale studies have shown that the more a person consumes foods high in glucose (those that rapidly affect blood sugar), the higher the risk of being obese and developing diabetes.
Sugar causes tooth decay
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth form a thin plaque layer on the teeth after intake of sugar. These bacteria react with sugar in food and drinks. This reaction triggers the release of an acid that damages the teeth.
The body itself may repair some of this damage. However, a high-sugar diet will eventually lead to permanent damage that can lead to tooth decay.
Sugar is not unhealthy in itself. However, eating a natural sugar source is better for you than consuming added sugars. Too much sugar in your diet can cause a variety of illnesses, including heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes. To know the added sugars in food, it is essential to read the labels carefully.
If you have decided to kick sugar altogether, The 21-Day Sugar Detox is a clear-cut, effective, whole-foods-based nutrition action plan that will reset your body and your habits. The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook, a companion to The 21-Day Sugar Detox program guidebook, will help keep you inspired as you blow your cravings for sugar and carbs to smithereens.
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for general purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Her Own Health does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Her Own Health are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.