Sugars are a form of simple carbohydrate that can be found in different foods. They’re also used as a flavoring in several meals and beverages. Too much sugar consumption can lead to a variety of health issues, including weight gain, diabetes, tooth decay, and more.
Sugars are naturally found in many healthy foods, such as dairy products, vegetables, and fruit. The sugar in these foods gives them a sweeter taste. People should include these foods in their diets since they contain a variety of other nutrients that are beneficial to their health.
Manufacturers, on the other hand, frequently add sugar to foods like cereal and cake, as well as some beverages. These added sugars are the source of many health issues.
This article discusses reasons why added sugars are bad for health.
1. Weight gain
Weight gain is a big risk of consuming too much sugar in your diet. Sugary foods and drinks are typically high in calories. Even with regular activity, consuming too many of these products will increase the risk of obesity. Excess dietary sugar is linked to weight gain.
Because added sugars are digested more quickly by the body, they do not offset hunger for very long. This can lead to more frequent eating throughout the day and a higher overall calorie intake. Sugar may also impact the biochemical mechanisms that control appetite, according to some studies. Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite by calculating how much energy the body requires. Weight gain and obesity can occur when leptin function is disrupted.
2. Lack of nutritional value
Sugar is an empty calorie. It increases the calorie content of foods and beverages without providing any nutritional value. These foods and liquids are normally quickly digested by the body. This means they are a poor energy source.
Sugar-containing products aren’t the same. Natural sugars can be found in foods like fruits and dairy products. Because these nutrients are digested more slowly by the body, they provide energy for a longer period of time.
In the United States, the average adult consumes around 308 calories per day from added sugars. This is significantly higher than the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendations of 100 calories for women and 150 calories for men from added sugars. Consumption of empty calories undermines the health benefits of other foods and beverages with nutritional value. It can also cause imbalances, with vitamin deficiencies leading to other health issues.
Consumption of sugar drinks has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Sugar does not cause diabetes, contrary to popular belief. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by any high-calorie diet. However, in most cases, diets high in sugar are high in calories. This can put you at risk for diabetes.
Sugary drinks are particularly harmful. According to a meta-analysis of data from 310,819 persons, those who consumed more sugary drinks had a 26% higher risk of type 2 diabetes than those who consumed less. “High intake” was classified as one to two sugary drinks per day in the study.
4. Tooth cavities
Tooth decay, which can lead to cavities, can be caused by sugar consumption. Bacteria in the mouth build a thin layer of plaque over the teeth after eating sugar. These bacteria react to sugars found in foods and drinks. This interaction causes acid to be released, which damages teeth.
The body may be able to repair some of the damage on its own. A high-sugar diet, on the other hand, will create long-term harm. Cavities can result as a result of this. One of the most effective ways to avoid tooth decay is to limit your intake of high-sugar foods.
5. Heart disease
High-sugar diets have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. According to the findings of a 15-year study, persons who consume a lot of added sugar in their diet are substantially more likely to die from heart disease than people who consume very little added sugar.
Sugary drinks, according to a study, are particularly dangerous for raising the risk of heart disease. This link could be due to the fact that sugary drinks are rich in calories, have little effect on appetite, and supply insufficient energy.
Added sugars that should be avoided
Added sugars can be found in a variety of unexpected products. One technique to prevent added sugar is to inspect the ingredients of food before buying it. However, because there are so many various names for added sugar, it can be difficult to tell whether a product contains it.
Some examples of other names for added sugar include:
- agave nectar
- high-fructose corn syrup
- corn sweetener
- crystalline fructose
- evaporated cane juice
Males should consume no more than 36 grams (g) of added sugar per day, and females should consume no more than 25 g per day to maintain a healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends this.