We all know sugar is ‘white poison’, right? But how can you avoid it when it’s in everything. From peanut butter, breakfast cereals to pizza sauces and energy drinks, it seems impossible to avoid.
There is sugar hiding in healthy snack bars, and, surprise, diet cokes aren’t really sugar free. As ubiquitous sugar is, it is equally as dangerous for our health and causes many diseases.
There are many reasons why high-sugar intake is dangerous. If you struggle with keeping your hands away from sugary treats and delights, then you should keep on reading the following because we are going to be discussing how sugar affects your health:
It can cause weight gain
One of the leading causes of obesity among the young is the high consumption of sugary drinks. Sodas and artificial fruit juices are high in fructose, which is a type of sugar that can also make you crave more food.
Consuming sugary drinks doesn’t satisfy the appetite, and, consequently, you end up consuming more calories than you normally would, leading to weight gain. People who consume sugary drinks have a lot more stubborn belly fat in their bodies than people who stay away from these drinks.
It increases the risk for Type 2 diabetes
As the people consuming sugary drinks gain more weight, the risk of developing diabetes increases. Over time, the high-sugar intake can cause the body to become insulin resistant—insulin is a hormone that regulates our blood sugar levels—leading to diabetes. A population study spread over 175 countries discovered that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150-calories consumed in sugar.
It is very addictive
Consumption of sugar leads to the release of dopamine in the brain, which is a feel-good hormone. The spike in dopamine makes us happy. Over time, the sugar-induced high comes down, and we end up craving another sugar hit, which leads to a sugar addiction. Some studies have claimed that ‘sugar is as addictive as cocaine.’ Addiction alters the brain’s chemistry, and you can only rid yourself of an addiction by checking into an expert facility, like The Palm Beach Institute, where, in the supervision of professional care, you can finally break that vicious cycle of addiction, once and for all.
It increases the risk of heart disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide, and a high-sugar intake is usually behind most cardiovascular problems. High-sugar intake can spike your insulin levels causing your blood pressure to rise, which puts jeopardizes the health of your heart. A spike in insulin also stimulates the nervous system, increasing heart rate and constricting blood vessels.
It is associated with acne
Having too much of processed sugars and carbs in your diet is also linked to developing acne. When sweets and desserts spike your blood sugar levels, they cause oil secretion and inflammation on the skin, which results in acne. According to research, the younger generation, with their diets high in sugar and processed foods, are more prone to developing acne than people who consume more organic foods.
It accelerates aging
Sugar harms the integrity of your skin in a lot more ways than you would believe. The regular consumption of sugary sweets and treats, as desserts or in the form snacks, can make your skin age faster.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are compounds formed as a result of sugar reactions on the proteins present in your body. AGEs damage the proteins that keep your skin looking young and beautiful. This reaction can speed up the process of wrinkles and fine lines appearing on your face. The more sugar you have in your diet, the higher the risk of premature aging.
It increases the risk of cancer
Consumption of processed sugar is normally associated with obesity and diabetes—diseases that increase your risk of developing cancer. Insulin resistance produces inflammations in the body, which are considered leading causes of cancer. More sugar in your diet can put you at risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer, and cancer of the small intestine. Cancer cells feed on fructose, and the sugary drinks in your diet create an enabling environment in your body where the cancer cells can grow.
It can cause fatty liver disease
A high fructose diet can cause the fatty liver disease. Fructose is exclusively broken down in the liver, and is converted into energy or stored as glycogen. The liver can only store what is needed, and the excess amount is turned into fat causing the fatty liver disease.
It may cause mental health issues
A healthy diet is associated with a healthy body and mind, while a diet with a high sugar intake can lead to mental health problems, like depression. High blood sugar can throw neurotransmitters in our brain off balance, which can impact your mental health. Fructose-containing drinks and desserts can spike your blood sugar levels, leading to momentary instant highs and boosts in energy, that often come crashing down, causing mood disorders and depression.
Sugar drains your energy
A diet with high amount of sugar can provide you with momentary bursts of energy, but the aftermath of the high can be crippling on your general mood. Sweets and desserts lack protein and fiber, which are longer-lasting sources of energy. Therefore, if you are on a high-sugar diet, you’ll have to keep on feeding yourself more and more sweets in order to keep yourself from crashing.
Although ubiquitously found in almost every snack and processed food item, sugar is one of the most harmful things you can get addicted to. Having a sugary treat now and then won’t be as harmful, but binging on your favorite chocolates is certainly not advisable. To keep energy levels stable, try adding all major dietary groups in your diet. Also add a variety of organic foods to your diet.