Why Sugar is so bad for you?
The White Death !
According to the latest Statista statistics, the world’s sugar consumption stands at 170.8 million metric tonnes with a projected increase to 173.4 million metric tonnes by the end of 2016. When you consider this statistic, sugar is the most highly consumed food additive in the world.
A lot of sugar is consumed every year, not only in the form of candy, but also as an additive in beverages and many foods. Its however important to note that sugar can do more harm than good to our bodies when taken excessively. There are plenty of studies attesting to this fact. Sugar consumption has in fact been linked to common health problems like obesity in many studies.
One such study was conducted by Jim Mann, a professor of medicine and nutrition at the Otago University of New Zealand. Professor Jim Mann and his team discovered that a reduction in daily sugar intake results in an increase in the rhythm of weight loss. This was after they carried out thirty eight studies and thirty clinical trials.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also raised concerns on sugar consumption. Back in 2003, the WHO gave strict guidelines on sugar consumption stating that a person’s daily sugar intake shouldn’t exceed 10% of their total calorie intake/requirement per day. This translates to approximately 200 calories of sugar when a person is on a 2,000 calories-a-day diet.
Furthermore, sugar doesn’t affect adults only. Even children who are perceived to be more energetic than adults suffer equally when they consume excess sugar especially in carbonated drinks and juices among other sweetened beverages. It’s however worth noting that beverages aren’t the only consumables to blame. Most fast food products today contain large amounts of artificial sweeteners that have also been linked to increased child obesity risks not to mention other serious health problems.
The above information highlights just some of the many negative effects of excessive consumption of sugar. Below is a brief discussion of the most serious health effects of excessive consumption of sugar in an effort to help you understand why sugar is so bad for you.
1. Sugar toxicity
According to Harvard Health Publications, excess sugar (especially fructose) is not good for the liver. This is given the fact that fructose can only be broken down effectively by liver cells unlike glucose which can be broken down by all body cells. When we consume excess fructose, the liver begins converting the excess fructose into tiny fat droplets which accumulate causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a disease which causes the same kind of liver damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
2. Leptin resistance
Excessive sugar consumption has also been linked to leptin resistance according to many studies and publications including those provided by PubMed, the United States National Center for Biotechnology Information among many other reputable centers for biomedical and genomic information. Leptin is a hormone that the human body utilises to inform us when we have eaten enough i.e. when it’s time to stop eating. Excessive sugar consumption has been proven to disrupt this important function leading to weight problems such as obesity.
3. Increased heart disease risks
Excessive consumption of sugar has also been linked to increased heart disease risks. According to a study published by the American Heart Association, sugar alters the pumping ability of the heart which in turn causes abnormalities known to cause heart disease.
4. Cancer formation
Studies have also linked excessive sugar consumption to cancer formation. One such study was done at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid. The study uncovered a link between cancer, obesity and diabetes i.e. high sugar levels increase production of GIP (Growth Inhibitory Peptide) hormone which is known to increase cancer cell formation risks.
Obesity is caused by eating more calories than you body requires. When you consume excess sugars, most of these sugars are stored in the body as fat resulting in obesity. This is precisely why it’s highly recommendable to exercise. When you exercise regularly, you burn excess calories in the body.
The above information highlights why consuming excess sugar is so bad for you and its not just about weight loss. The health problems linked to excess sugar consumption are detrimental which is why everyone should strive to stick to the recommended daily calorie intake. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet is also highly recommendable.