Sugar products are enjoyed by almost every individual, but intake of added sugar in such large quantities is a serious threat to health.
Excess sugar intake is highly unhealthy for our bodies and may lead to various health problems.
We may be consuming added sugar in a large quantity through shakes, sodas, desserts, and various other dishes.
The American Heart Association (AHA) states that added sugar is not needed by our body and is unnecessary in our diet.
It does not have any minerals, vitamins, or other nutrients.
Sugar is a food item that has been in our diet for hundreds of years. We eat sugar almost every day from various sources. Broadly we could say that we consume two types of sugar –
- Natural sugar that is present in food items naturally.
- Added sugar that is added in beverages and various other dishes.
It is said that the maximum everyday consumption of added sugar might not be more than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams for men and 6 teaspoons or 25 grams for women.
Children under 18 are advised to consume less than 25 grams of sugar per day.
Reasons To Quit Sugar
Sugar Leads To Obesity
Sugar is full of empty calories that don’t have any vitamins or minerals. These empty calories of sugar promote weight gain leading to obesity.
When sugar enters our body, a hormone known as insulin is produced. Insulin helps to convert the sugar that has entered the body to fat.
This fat is stored in our body as body fat, for later use as an energy resource.
But as you consume more and more sugar it leads to more and more production of insulin hormone. Diets high in sugar content could cause obesity in humans.
The rapid production of insulin in the body may cause the body to store more and more body fat at a rapid speed. This may lead to the condition of obesity and weight gain all over the body.
Excess Sugar Causes Diabetes
Eating sugar in excess regularly leads to a serious health threat known as diabetes.
As sugar enters the body, our body produces insulin hormone to convert it into energy-giving fat.
But as someone consumes more and more sugar the level of insulin production also increases.
Such high production of insulin makes your body immune to small amounts of insulin.
As a result, your body will develop insulin resistance. Furthermore, your body will always have to produce insulin in large amounts to be effective.
This insulin resistance that your body has grown due to excessive sugar intake may lead to type 2 diabetes in some cases.
It is a health-threatening disease that may stay with you throughout your life.
Sugar Affects The Immune System
When sugar enters our body, insulin is produced. This insulin stops the production of human growth hormones in the body.
Stoppage of human growth hormone in the body may negatively affect the immune system. This may reduce the immune system’s ability to fight infectious pathogens and bacteria.
If insulin production doesn’t stop, it might weaken our immune system so much that we may become prone to several diseases like cold, flu, etc.
Excess sugar intake might also affect the transportation of vitamin C within the body. Therefore, consuming too much sugar may cause someone to experience a severe nutritional deficiency.
Sugar also decreases white blood cells’ ability to fight against health-threatening germs. Fatty acids get neutralized due to excessive sugar intake making cells more permeable than before and prone to germs.
Sugar Causes Tooth Decay
It is common knowledge that if sugar is consumed in large quantities regularly it starts causing tooth decay.
The sugar that you eat gets mixed with the saliva and bacteria inside your mouth and creates a substance that causes tooth decay.
The sugar that you chew causes slow damage to your tooth.
You might not be aware but the sugar may have already started to damage your tooth. It makes your tooth decay very slowly every day you eat sugar.
Sugar Causes Mental Illness
It has recently come to light that having excessive sugar in our diet may cause negative effects on our brain.
The brain is highly sensitive to sugar intake. A study found that excessive sugar intake by adults above 60 caused them increased feelings of anxiety.
These qualities of sugar may cause some serious damage to the brain. Besides anxiety, another study discovered that increased sugar intake diets may cause depression.
Altogether, excessive sugar intake has a negative connection with mental health. The bigger the sugar intake the more mental health suffers.
So if you are experiencing any of these, it would be beneficial for you to control your sugar intake.
Sugar Harms The Gut
Sugar hurts almost every organ of our body, but it is likely to cause a much more negative impact on the gut area.
The gut contains various nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and various bacteria.
The gut system regulates various nutrients and water inside the body while protecting it from various toxins and pathogens.
This gut area contains various types of bacteria which work to keep the body fit and healthy.
The excessive amount of sugar that we consume regularly disturbs the bacteria present in the gut and disturbs their balance of work.
This may cause several severe health hazards like impaired digestion, IBS, gas, bloating, etc.
The gut is connected to many other parts of the body and any imbalance in it could cause detrimental effects on metabolic functioning and metabolic dysregulation.
Thus, the disturbance in the gut area not only causes health issues in the gut but may also lead to various other problems like hormonal imbalance, skin issues, behavioral issues, allergies, etc.
Sugar is not only unhealthy but also a very addictive food. Once you start eating it you may soon find yourself asking for more and more sugar.
The more sugar you’ll intake, the more you’ll crave it. This cycle of sugar intake and craving may never stop.
It is a very harmful cycle as it not only increases insulin levels in your body but also triggers dopamine levels.
While eating sugar you may feel good because of the neurotransmitter reaction.
Sugar also triggers the part of the brain that makes it feel like a reward.
Thus you may soon find yourself asking for more and more sugar, creating a never-ending cycle as sugar could have some effects that could make us addicted to it.
These dopamine and reward feelings are good in a small quantity but too much of them may cause negative effects on your health and body.
Sugar Reduces The Energy Level Of The Body
Consuming sugar affects the blood sugar level of our body which further affects the energy levels.
When sugar is consumed, the body produces insulin hormone to convert sugar into energy.
This change in sugar gives our body energy for a short period and fluctuations in energy levels might be experienced.
But soon after this boost, a sudden drop in energy level might be seen, when sugar is expelled from the bloodstream.
This change in blood sugar level may make you feel tired throughout the day, leaving you without energy most of the time.
It will not only make you tired but also causes sugar cravings. Thus, a better solution could be eating a high fiber low-sugar meal that doesn’t contain empty calories.
Sugar Impacts Hormones
High consumption of sugar could disturb your blood sugar level.
The regulation of blood sugar is directly related to the hormonal balance of your body.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS, a metabolic disorder, states the connection between sugar and carbohydrate intake and hormone function.
Insulin resistance that a body develops after high sugar intake might be one of the major factors of hormonal imbalances in the body.
Hormones like progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen get negatively affected by insulin resistance. Thus, it becomes another reason to quit sugar from the diet for good health.
Sugar causes increased heart problems and are considered one of the major cause of death throughout the world. High sugar intake causes weight gain and increased bad cholesterol levels which are causes of coronary heart disease.
Heart diseases may be caused by cholesterol and fats but the main cause of coronary heart disease could be any food item that can cause increased inflammation in the body.
When inflammation is present in the body, cholesterol is produced to deal with it, which may cause trouble for the heart.
Other than this method sugar may also cause damage to the heart through an increase in blood pressure.
High blood pressure and inflammation are major factors of heart diseases. They cause damage to your heart, especially the blood vessels.
Thus, sugar is a mineral-sucking nutrient that has many disadvantages and almost no advantages.
The added sugar is especially extremely harmful to your body and health.
It may lead to various health and hormonal diseases.
You can always fill your sugar intake quota with natural sugar present in fruits, yogurt, vegetables, etc.
Taking all these serious health threats caused by sugar into consideration, quitting sugar may prove extremely healthy for your lifestyle and diet.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.