How excessive sugar consumption affects our health. Sugar has a controversial reputation for health. Sugar is found in all carbohydrate-containing foods, such as fruits and vegetables, cereals and dairy products. Eating unprocessed foods that contain natural sugars is not a problem. Vegetable foods contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, while dairy products have a high protein and calcium content.
Your body slowly absorbs these foods and by extension, the sugar contained in them gradually energizes your cells. After all, eating whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
However, the problem arises when you consume a high amount of added sugars, the sugar added by food manufacturers for extra flavor. Even if you drink your coffee plain or avoid chocolates, some of the processed foods in your kitchen hide large amounts of sugar, even if they are suspicious, such as cereal bars and fruit yogurts.
How much sugar can I eat?
According to the World Health Organization, daily intake of simple sugars (those added to foods, but also those found in honey, sugar, sweets, sugary drinks and syrups) should not exceed 10% of the total of daily calories. In practice, this equates to 200 calories on a 2,000 calorie diet, which corresponds to about 50 g. or 12 teaspoons of sugar and can be filled with about 2 tablespoons of jam and a yogurt dessert or with 330 ml of sugary soft drink, a cup of processed cereal and small chocolate (50 g).
However, the American Heart Association (AHA) has emphasized that the daily calorie limit of added sugars should not exceed 100 calories for a woman (5 teaspoons) and 150 calories for a man (9 teaspoons).
How excessive sugar consumption affects your health
– It hurts the heart
The diet that contains a lot of sugar has been linked to a multitude of diseases, including heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide. Too much sugar can lead to obesity, raise blood triglyceride levels, heart rate and blood pressure, factors associated with heart disease, especially if predisposed.
-Increases the risk of diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that is caused by many factors, such as heredity, sedentary life, and obesity. While increased consumption of sugar alone does not cause diabetes in a healthy adult, it may increase the risk of developing the disease in those who already have risk factors (eg family history, increased body weight).
– It aggravates the skin
Wrinkles are an integral and inevitable part of aging, however poor dietary choices can accelerate skin aging. Excessive consumption of simple sugars, such as sugar, damages skin proteins, collagen, and elastin, leading to the appearance of premature wrinkles. At the same time, it can disrupt the levels of female hormones, favoring the appearance of acne, especially in the area of the chin.
– It destroys the teeth
Do you remember when you were little and you were told not to eat candies because your teeth would break? Indeed, this classic advice is true, since sugar increases the risk of caries by boosting the production of the bacteria that cause it.
– Lowers energy levels
Foods that are high in added sugars raise your blood sugar and insulin levels, giving you energy. However, this action is temporary. Foods that are high in added sugar but do not contain proteins, fats or fiber, first raise blood sugar and then shed it, crushing your energy.
– It speeds up dementia
High levels of glucose lead to shrinkage of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with long-term memory, according to scientific research.
-It leads to weight gain
Simple sugars are metabolized in the liver. When the liver is forced to process larger amounts of sugars than it can handle, it converts them into fat, which tends to accumulate around the belly and thighs. In addition, processed foods that are high in sugar cannot keep you full for long, leading to overeating and eating unnecessary calories.
– It degrades the quality of sleep
If you find it difficult to sleep or wake up regularly in the night, try to limit your sugar intake. Sugar blocks the action of neurotransmitters, which contribute to the secretion of serotonin and melatonin, two hormones that play a key role in sleep.
Simple tips to reduce sugar consumption
* Read the food labels. Sugar often appears on packaged food labels as:
- Malt extract
- Powdered sugar
- Invert sugar
- Brown sugar
- Nectar agave
- Glucose syrup
- Sugar-cane syrup or juice
- Brown sugar syrup
- Rice syrup
- Corn fructose syrup
- Modified starch
* Drink your coffee without sugar. A small change in your daily diet can make a difference over time, especially if you drink a lot of sugar or drink a lot of coffee. At first, it will look bitter to you, but then you will get used to it.
* Find smart alternatives. If you have a craving for something sweet, prefer to eat a fruit or a yogurt with a little honey and nuts.