12 Ways Too Much Sugar Harms the Body

How Too Much Sugar Harms the Body?

12 Ways Too Much Sugar Harms the Body
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This article will discuss the ways eatting too much sugar harms the human body.

THE BITTER SIDE OF SUGAR

While sugar is sweet, if you get too much of it, it can harm your body. Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains have natural sugars which the body is able to digest easily and slowly so your body’s cells can use it as a steady supply of energy. Added sugars that come from packaged foods and drinks are what your body doesn’t need.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men—despite the average American getting way more:  22 teaspoons (88 grams) per day. And it’s easy to do because just one 12-ounce of regular soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar with no nutritional benefit.

HARM:  WEIGHT GAIN

Sugar-sweetened drinks are a major source of added sugar for most Americans. For example, if you drink one can of soda every day and don’t find ways to burn calories, you run the risk of being 15 pounds heavier in just 3 years. This added weight gain can lead to health problems like diabetes and some forms of cancer.

HARM:  HEART DISEASE

One in 10 Americans gets ¼ or more of their daily calories from added sugar, which can lead to heart disease.  If you’re one of these Americans, you can be twice as likely to die from heart disease than someone who gets half as much added sugar.  Though it’s not clear, but added sugar may cause an elevation blood pressure or release more fats into the bloodstream which leads to heart attack, stroke and other heart diseases.

HARM:  DIABETES

Sugary drinks may also raise your risk for type 2 diabetes because the sugar can remain in the blood making your body make less of the hormone, insulin, that converts the food we eat into energy. The insulin may not even work as well either.  Just losing 10-15 pounds can help manage your blood sugar.

HARM:  HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

While salt gets most of the blame for hypertension, researchers say sugar can also be a factor. It is believed that sugar raises blood sugar by making insulin levels spike. This can lead to the blood vessels becoming less flexible and can cause the kidneys to retain more water and sodium.

HARM:  HIGH CHOLESTEROL

No matter if you’re overweight or underweight, sugary drinks and diets are bad for your heart because they can:

  • Raise the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lower the “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Raise blood fats—triglycerides—which slow down the enzymes work to break them down.

HARM:  LIVER DISEASE

Packaged foods, snacks, and drinks sweetened with the simple simple sugar, fructose, which comes from fruits and vegetables like corn, is processed by the liver turning it into fat. Taking in daily amounts of fructose allows this to build up in your liver, leading to a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. But diet changes can reverse the disease if caught early.  If not, swelling and scarring can cause damage to the liver over time.

HARM:  CAVITIES

We all know that sugar decays the teeth by feeding on bacteria in the mouth as it leaves behind acid that erodes the tooth enamel. Common offenders are sugary drinks, dried fruits, candy and chocolate, with sour candies being the worst offenders—nearly as acidic as battery acid! If you like these sweets, rinse your mouth with water after eating or drink milk to minimize and neutralize the acid.

HARM:  POOR SLEEP

Getting too much sugar during the day messes with your blood glucose levels leading to energy spikes and crashes, making you you struggle to stay awake or find yourself dozing off at work or school. Even eating a bowl of ice cream or cookies during the evening can wake you up at night and lessen you time for a deep sleep, and not allow you to feel refreshed upon waking in the morning.

POSSIBLE HARM:  ADHD

Common theories have come about that sugar makes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms worse, but studies are unproven. There are more studies disproving the theory sugar causes or makes ADHD worse.  No one knows what leads to ADHD other than the possibility of genes.

HARM:  MOOD PROBLEMS

If you feel depressed, a sweet tooth can be the cause. Studies have shown links to sugar and mental health problems.  For example, men who eat more than 66 grams f sugar daily, double the recommended amount, are 23% likely to be diagnosed with depression than men eating 40 grams or less. Getting too much sugar may fuel depression leading to swelling, or inflammation in the brain—more common in people with depression.

HARM:  GOUT

While it is known the painful arthritis, known as gout, can be gotten from such foods as red meat, organ meats, and lobster, but it can also arise from fructose. When fructose is broken down in your body, it releases a chemical called purines, that make uric acid build up in your blood that forms hard crystals on your big toe, knees, and other joints.

HARM:  KIDNEY STONES

Kidney stones are chemicals that turn your urine into solid crystals. Your body usually flushes out many kidney stones without pain, but some can get stuck in the kidney or other parts of your plumbing and block the flow of urine.  Eating too much table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or processed foods raises your risk  for kidney stones.

HARM:  AGING

Sugary drinks can add years to your actual or biological age. Such DNA, called telomeres help cap the end of your chromosomes by protecting them from damage. While longer is better, shorter telomeres may come with age-related diseases like diabetes.  For example, a study found that drinking 20 ounces of soda daily can give a person shorter telomeres—adding more than 4 years to the age of your cells.

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