According to a report from the University of North Carolina, the average person consumes around 300 calories from added sugar every day. In the USA, around 20% of Americans exceed 700 calories of sugar daily. Realistically, that is a huge amount of sugar no matter where you are in the world – one whole cup of sugar to be precise! The American Heart Association suggests that women usually consume around 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. That is around 25 grams; which is almost 100 calories.
Sugar does not have to be that white looking substance you add to your tea or coffee. Sugar can be hidden in a number of foods which are not good for the body.
While it is true that everyone should have a bit of sweetness once in a while, over-doing your sugar intake is unhealthy and catastrophic if you don’t control those sugar cravings.
Everyone knows that too much sugar will rot your teeth; that is probably the most obvious reason as to why sugar is not good for you.
So before you OD on your lunch break, here are some bottom-line top reasons why you should cut down your sugar servings, and fast.
- Sugar Makes You Gain Weight
Consuming too much sugar can add unwanted weight, especially around the belly. A diet that contains sugar, especially high levels of fructose makes a person more likely to overeat without realising. As sugar stresses the pancreas by forcing it to produce elevated levels of insulin, other hormones are neglected. These hormones may be those that regulate weight. When the body is stressed it produces cortisol, which signals the metabolism to go into a conservation mode, thus decreasing the body’s energy, metabolism and the ability to burn fat, which is the reason that sugar causes weight gain. If you want to be fat free, then try cutting down on your sugar intake. Just by cutting down on any foods that contain sugar may help you maintain weight and not put anymore unwanted pounds on.
- Sugar Destroys The Liver
When you overdose your mitochondria in the liver with extensive amounts of sugar, the organ has no other choice but to take the excess and store it as fat in your liver. Some of this unwanted fat hardly makes it out of the liver, leading to liver disease. The fat build up isn’t visible on the outside of your body, but there is always a way to stop it from occurring. Damaging your organs is just decreasing your life expectancy and realistically nobody wants to die young. A study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2012 found that those that ate 1,000 extra calories of sugary foods saw just 2 per cent in body weight, but a 27 percent increase in liver fat. To stay away from such a catastrophe, always check the content of food you buy, such as yogurt. Anything over 10 grams of sugar content in the food is harmful for the body. Be sure to check ingredients all the time for a healthy and fat free liver!
- Sugar Can Lead To Heart Disease
Sugar doesn’t just increase fat around the waist; it can also unbalance the metabolism and hormones in the body. It also ramps up lipid levels in the blood stream. Over eating sugar has been known to cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can often lead to a heart attack if you are not careful. You never know when or where a heart attack may occur; so one way of protecting yourself from a heart attack is by limiting your sugar intake and staying on the path of consuming healthy foods instead.
- Sugar Is A Primary Cause Of Diabetes
Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes is a common problem today. Who has not heard of the fact that when you eat too much sugar, you put yourself at risk of becoming a diabetic? Diabetes can lead to other unwanted diseases, such as heart disease and the loss of eye sight if your glucose levels are out of control. Eating too much sugar can lead to hypoglycaemia and insulin resistance. Not a single person wants to prick their finger with a needle several times a day or self-administer syringes of insulin in themselves do they? If you want to stay away from diabetes, then it is high time you decrease the amount of sugar you are eating daily.
- Sugar Can Cause Artery Trouble
You will not realise this at first, but over time eating too much sugar will begin to irritate your endothelium; which is the sheath of special cells coating the inside of your blood vessels. Glucose sticks to these cells, making them less sensitive; thus having an impact on the oxygen sent to the organs. One way to stay away from artery trouble is by trying not to eat processed foods. Even meat in frozen foods contains high amounts of hidden sugar which damage your arteries. Don’t always rely on those TV dinners every night. Instead, buy some meat from the local butchers and make your own sugar free dinners that are healthier and appetizing. .
- Sugar Can Deactivate Your Immune System
Eating or drinking too many foods that contain sugar may deactivate T-cells. T-cells are the components in the blood that fight away bacterial infections. The effect of deactivated T-cells may last for a couple of hours or an entire day, depending on how much sugar has been consumed. If you are prone to getting the cold or flu a lot then it is best to look at the amount of sugar you are eating. It might seem unrealistic, but it is true; even a can of a fizzy drink can deactivate your immune system for a day. This deactivation can lead to you feeling more ill and allowing the bacteria to worm its way into your body, leaving you restless due to an infection, or worse.
- Sugar Makes You Sleepy
Ever felt tired after that can of Coca Cola? Ever wanted to take a nap after eating that delicious and sickly bar of Galaxy? The reason behind sluggishness all lies in the ingredients of those sweet foods you are consuming. Having too much sugar can make you feel sleepy straight after swallowing a mouthful. Added sugar in foods triggers the release of hormone cortisol, which interferes with slumber. Giving up added sugar or eating less of it will to make you feel more alert and awake during the day and also allow you to sleep on time at night, rather than going through those phases of restlessness during the night.
- Sugar Is Addictive
Sometimes just one tea spoon of sugar in your coffee or one slice of that delicious chocolate cake just isn’t enough. Another spoon of sugar in your hot drink or another slice of cake makes you feel guilty pleasure. By now, everyone would have realised that sugar is very addictive. Dopamine is one of the human body’s feel-good neurotransmitters. However, eating too much fructose shuts down the healthy signalling in the body, thus letting your body trick you into over eating and firing off signals to let your body know that enough is enough. This is why it is hard to stop eating sugar once you have started. Sugar addiction is very difficult to let go of or even cut down on. It is not easy to say that: “I’ll give up sugar totally”, but if you truly care for your body then you will make that life changing decision for the better. Of course you can still consume sugar, but instead of six tea spoons a day, you can limit yourself to one which will be better. That way the addiction of constantly craving for sugary foods will slowly fade away.
Say no to sugar and say yes to a healthier you!