11 main harms of sugar for health!

The top health hazards of sugar that everyone needs to know right away as many people rely on fast processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of your daily calorie intake.

In the US, added sugars account for up to 17% of total caloric intake for adults and up to 14% for children. Dietary guidelines suggest limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% a day. Furthermore, experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases such as diabetes .

Main health hazards of sugar:

1. It can cause fatty liver:

One of the main health hazards of sugar has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver. In fact, unlike glucose and other types of sugar, which are absorbed by many cells in the body, fructose is almost exclusively destroyed by the liver.

In the liver, fructose is converted to energy or stored as glycogen. therefore, the liver can only store so much glycogen before excess amounts are turned into fat.

Large amounts of added sugar in the form of fructose overload the liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterized by excessive accumulation of fat in the liver.

2. Increases the risk of depression:

While a healthy diet can help improve your mood, the  harmful effects of sugar  increase your chances of developing depression . Consuming lots of processed foods, including high-sugar products like cakes and sugary drinks, has been linked to a higher risk of depression .

3. Accelerates the aging process:

Certainly  wrinkles are a natural sign of aging. They appear eventually, regardless of your health. However, poor food choices can make wrinkles worse  and accelerate the skin aging process.

Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging.

Consuming a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which can cause your skin to age prematurely. AGEs damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin to stretch and maintain its youthful appearance.

So when collagen and elastin are damaged, the skin loses its firmness and starts to sag. In one study, women who consumed more carbohydrates, including added sugars, had a more wrinkled appearance than women on a high-protein, low-carb diet.

4. It harms health in general:

In addition to those listed above, the main health hazards of sugar are many. Research also shows are:

  • Accelerate cognitive decline: Diets high in sugar can lead to memory problems and have been linked to an increased risk of dementia . Anyway, research on the health impact of added sugar is ongoing and new discoveries are constantly being made.
  • Increase your risk of developing gout: Gout is an inflammatory condition characterized by joint pain. Added sugars increase uric acid levels in the blood, increasing the risk of developing or worsening gout.
  • Increase Kidney Disease Disk: Having consistently high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the delicate blood vessels of the kidneys. Thus, this can lead to an increased risk of kidney disease.
  • Negative impact on oral health: Eating too much sugar can cause cavities. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and release acidic byproducts, which cause the tooth to demineralize.

5. Increases the risk of developing acne:

A diet high in refined carbohydrates, including sugary foods and drinks, has been linked to a higher risk of developing acne . Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed candy, raise blood sugar faster than foods with a lower glycemic index.

Sugary foods surprisingly increase blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production, and inflammation, all of which play a role in the development of acne .

6. Accelerates cellular aging:

Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, molecules that contain part or all of your genetic information. Telomeres act as protective caps, preventing chromosomes from deteriorating or fusing.

As you age, telomeres naturally shorten, which causes cells to age and malfunction. While telomere shortening is a part of aging, lifestyle choices can speed up the process.

However, consumption of large amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, which increases cellular aging. A study conducted showed that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with shorter telomere length and premature cellular aging.

7. Provides a transient “Energy”:

Foods high in added sugar quickly raise blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to increased energy. However, this increase in energy levels is fleeting.

Sugar-packed products, which do not contain protein, fiber or fat, lead to a brief energy boost that is quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash.

The constant fluctuation in blood sugar level can lead to large fluctuations in energy levels. So choose low-sugar, high-fiber carbohydrate sources.

Combining carbs with protein or fat is another great way to keep blood sugar and energy levels steady. For example, eating an apple along with a handful of almonds is an excellent snack for sustained and consistent energy levels.

8. Increases the Risk of Heart Disease:

Diets high in sugar have been linked to an increased risk of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one cause of death in the world. Among the main health hazards of sugar  are obesity , inflammation and high levels of triglycerides, blood sugar and blood pressure – all risk factors for heart disease.

Furthermore, consuming too much sugar, especially from sweetened beverages, has been linked to atherosclerosis , a disease characterized by fatty deposits that clog arteries.

9.  Increases the risk of diabetes:

The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has  more than doubled in the last 30 years. While there are many reasons for this, diabetes risk is linked to harm.

Additionally, obesity , which is often caused by excessive consumption of sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes . In addition, prolonged consumption of high sugar drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.

Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and greatly increases the risk of diabetes . A population study involving more than 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes  increased by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about a can of soda, consumed per day.

In addition, other studies have also shown that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, are more likely to develop diabetes .

10. Can stimulate weight gain:

Obesity is on the rise all over the world and sugar is considered one of the main culprits. Sugary drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar.

Fructose consumption increases your hunger and cravings for food more than glucose. In addition, excessive consumption of fructose can cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger.

Incidentally, sugary drinks don’t limit your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume a high number of liquid calories. This can lead to weight gain. Research has shown that people who drink sugary drinks weigh more than those who don’t.

Plus, drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to an increased amount of visceral fat, a type of deep belly fat associated with conditions like diabetes  and heart disease.

11. Increases the risk of cancer:

Eating excessive amounts of sugar can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer . First, a diet rich in sugary foods and drinks can lead to obesity, which significantly increases the risk of cancer.

Useful links: 

In addition, excess sugar increases inflammation and can cause insulin resistance, increasing the risk of cancer. A study in over 430,000 people found that additional sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer, and small bowel cancer.

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