Sweet Poison: Why Sugar is Ruining Your Weight Loss Journey

by Marixie Ann Obsioma
Published on January 5, 2022 and last updated for accuracy on January 10, 2022

What if I told you that You are being poisoned by sugar.

A not-so-fun fact: A single 473-ml can of soda has 52 grams of sugar, which accounts for more than 10% of your daily calorie intake on a 2,000-calorie diet. This means that only one sugary drink per day can put you over the recommended daily sugar limit.

Okay, I apologize for starting this essay on such a grim note, but I figured I’m not here to deceive you; rather, I’m here to inform you. Sugar is one of the most commonly used elements in our cuisine, and it is, unfortunately, highly addictive and delicious.

Even those few saints who don’t add extra sugar to their teas and coffees are likely ingesting more sugar than they should in their diets despite being tired. Why? Sugar is included in the great majority of the meals we consume, particularly processed foods (which are generally quick, cheap and convenient to attain). So, the fact is that people are ingesting far too much sugar (sometimes unintentionally), which can lead to major health problems.

Here are 9 Sugar’s Not-So-Sweet Consequences

1. Did you know that sugar can make your immune system weak? Flu, anyone?

This is due to the fact that certain bacteria thrive on glucose (such as bacteria and yeast). As a result, if you have too much sugar in your system, you’re basically creating the perfect breeding ground for disease.

2. Sugar hastens the aging process. Horror!

Sugar is a primary cause of facial wrinkles and fine lines, as well as sagging. Sugar binds to proteins as it enters your bloodstream. When these proteins are combined with sugar, the skin loses suppleness and ages prematurely.

3. Sugar can promote gum disease, which can lead to heart disease and possibly death!

Too much sugar can harm your gum health (particularly if you don’t brush often enough, hello gingivitis!). Chronic infections linked to poor dental health have been linked to heart disease, according to extensive studies. According to a research of almost 30,000 participants, those who consumed 17–21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher chance of dying from heart disease than those who consumed only 8% of their calories from added sugar. Isn’t it terrifying?

4. Did you know that sugar can promote dental decay. Gross, right?

I’m sure most rational individuals don’t want their priceless white pearls (their teeth) to decay or, even worse, fall out. So, if you can’t avoid sweets, at the very least, make sure you floss and wash your teeth every day so it doesn’t stick to your teeth.

5. Sugar is a stress-inducing substance.

Yes, you read that right. Sugar can cause dangerous highs and lows in your blood sugar levels, wreaking havoc on your body. Your body releases insulin to help absorb the excess glucose in the bloodstream and normalize blood sugar levels after eating a lot of sweets (which happens to the best of us). This is essentially a positive thing, but not precisely. Allow me to explain: When you’re on a sugar high, your body has to work extra hard to go back to normal. Dizziness, nausea, and sluggishness are all possible adverse effects. If you have anxiety, it will almost probably make things worse. Increased sugar intake has been related to higher anxiety in rats and mice in studies, although scientists would like to undertake further research on this.

6. Consuming too much sugar leads to weight gain and even obesity.

This one shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but it’s still worth mentioning. Obesity is on the rise in South Africa, especially among children, who are even more vulnerable. In fact, if the current incidence of obesity in South African youngsters continues, 3.91 million schoolchildren will be overweight or obese by 2025. I mean, chubby kids are adorable, but this is excessive. Obesity is not a joking problem, and it has serious consequences for their mental and physical health.

7. Hypoglycemia is a condition caused by eating too much sugar.

Simply explained, this is a condition in which the bloodstream does not have enough glucose. Diabetes is one of the main causes Hypoglycemia rears its ugly head. Ironically, it is sugar consumption that causes this illness in the first place.

8. Chromium deficiency can be caused by a high-sugar diet.

In case you didn’t know, chromium insufficiency occurs when your body lacks a metallic mineral that aids in weight loss and glucose regulation (two very important factors). If you are deficient in this mineral, you may notice that the unwanted pounds begin to accumulate. But don’t worry; there are natural supplements available that contain some of these critical vitamins and minerals and are designed to help people lose weight if they are deficient in one or more of them.

9. Sugar has an effect on children’s cognition.

Yes, you read that correctly! Children who consume too much sugar may become mentally retarded. A troubling link between memory and sugary drinks was discovered in a study conducted at the University of Southern California. When sugar is ingested before adulthood, it interferes with the brain’s ability to function effectively or even retain the tiniest information about one’s environment, according to the study. Increased sugar intake resulted in altered synaptic activity in rats, suggesting communication between brain cells was hindered, according to a UCLA study published in 2012. In other words, higher sugar levels tend to induce insulin resistance, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and is crucial for brain function.

The main truth is that eating too much of anything can be detrimental to your health. You can even overdo it with water! (I’m not joking.) But, on a more serious note, sugar is one of those things to which you should pay special attention. Fortunately (thank God for technology), there are a plethora of sugar-free products and substitutes on the market, so if you’re still addicted to sugar, there’s still hope. If you’re not a fan of sweeteners like Xylitol (which can be pricey), you can also use honey instead of sugar in your tea and coffee; not only does it taste great, but it’s also far healthier for you. If you’re still having trouble kicking sugar to the curb and your cravings are out of control, you might want to consider taking a natural appetite suppressant to help you along the way!

What Happens If You Eat Too Much Sugar?

You probably already know that eating too much sugar is bad for your health. Even so, you’re probably still doing too much. Sugar consumption in the United States is around 270 calories per day, or about 17 teaspoons, compared to the recommended daily maximum of 12 teaspoons or 200 calories.

The main sources of added sugar are sugary drinks, candy, baked products, and sweetened dairy. However, even savory items like breads, tomato sauce, and protein bars can include sugar, making it all too simple to consume too much of it. Adding to the confusion, added sugars might be described under a variety of names on nutrition labels, including corn syrup, agave nectar, palm sugar, cane juice, or sucrose.

Sugar is sugar, no matter what it’s called, and too much of it can harm your body in a variety of ways. Here’s a closer look at how sugar can wreak havoc on your body, from head to toe.

Your Mind

Sugar causes your brain to release a large amount of dopamine, a feel-good hormone, which explains why you’re more likely to seek a candy bar at 3 p.m. than an apple or a carrot. Because nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables don’t trigger the brain to release as much dopamine, your brain begins to crave sweets in order to feel the same pleasure. This gives you those hard-to-control “gotta-have-it” feelings for your after-dinner ice cream.

Your Emotional State

By quickly boosting your blood sugar levels, a candy or cookie might offer you a brief rush of energy (or “sugar high”). You may feel nervous and anxious as your blood sugar levels drop as your cells digest the sugar (a.k.a. the dreaded “sugar crash”). However, if you go for the candy jar too frequently, sugar begins to affect your mood beyond the 3 p.m. slump: Adults with a high sugar diet have been related to a higher incidence of depression in studies.

Your Teeth

At the age of 12, you probably rolled your eyes, but your mother was correct: sugar can ruin your teeth. Cavity-causing bacteria adore sugar that remains in your mouth after you’ve eaten something sweet.

The Joints in Your Body

This is one another reason to avoid candy if you suffer from joint pain. Because of the inflammation they generate in the body, eating a lot of sweets has been shown to aggravate joint discomfort. Sugar consumption has also been linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, according to research.

Your Skin

Another harmful effect of inflammation is that it may hasten the aging of your skin.

Excess sugar binds to proteins in your bloodstream, forming dangerous compounds known as “AGEs” (advanced glycation end products). These chemicals do precisely what their name suggests: they age your skin. Collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that make your skin firm and youthful, have been found to be damaged by them. What’s the end result? Skin that is wrinkled and sagging.

Your Liver

Fructose or high fructose corn syrup are likely to be found in a lot of added sugar. Fructose is processed in the liver and can cause liver damage if consumed in big amounts. Fructose is converted to fat in the liver when it is broken down. As a result of this,

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): This is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver.
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterized by a fatty liver, inflammation, and “steatosis,” or liver scarring. Scarring eventually shuts off the liver’s blood supply. Many of them progress to cirrhosis, necessitating a liver transplant.

Your Heart

When you consume too much sugar, the increased insulin in your system might cause problems with your arteries throughout your body. It causes their walls to become inflamed, thicker than normal, and stiffer, which stresses and destroys your heart over time. Heart illness, such as heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes, can result as a result of this. Sugar consumption may also help lower blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease, according to research. Furthermore, persons who consume a lot of added sugar (at least 25% of their total calories) are twice as likely to die of heart disease as those whose diets contain less than 10% of total calories from added sugar.

Your Pancreas

Your pancreas produces insulin when you eat. If you eat too much sugar and your body doesn’t respond to insulin effectively, your pancreas responds by pumping out even more insulin. Your overworked pancreas will eventually fail, causing blood sugar levels to rise, putting you at risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Your Kidneys

If you have diabetes, consuming too much sugar might harm your kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for purifying your blood. The kidneys begin to release excess sugar into your urine once blood sugar levels reach a particular level. Diabetes, if left uncontrolled, can harm the kidneys, preventing them from fulfilling their role of filtering waste from the bloodstream. Kidney failure may result as a result of this.

Your Body Mass Index

You probably already know this, but the more sugar you consume, the more weight you gain. People who consume sugar-sweetened beverages are shown to weigh more and have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes than those who do not. People who increased their sugar intake gained roughly 1.7 pounds in less than two months, according to one study. Excess sugar can cause fat cells to become inflamed, prompting them to release substances that cause weight gain.

Your Sexual Well-being

On date night, you might want to avoid the dessert. Sugar may have an effect on the chain of events that lead to an erection.

Brunilda Nazario, MD, WebMD’s Lead Medical Director, adds that “one typical adverse effect of chronically high sugar levels in the bloodstream is that it might leave men impotent.” This is because it has an effect on your circulatory system, which regulates blood flow throughout your body and must be functioning properly in order to get and maintain an erection.

Sugar Poison: Why Is It Harming Your Health?

It’s hard to come across someone who can ignore the delicious treats. The bulk of people’s favorite foods range from sweet beverages to cakes and candy. In fact, eating sweet food or drinking sweet beverages before or after a meal has become a habit that has steadily turned into an addiction for every other Indian. The availability of sweet foods around is one of the primary reasons for this habit to be developed.

Sweets can be found in practically any other meal, such as jam, peanut butter, or even bread. If we do not regulate our sugar intake, we consume a large amount of sugar goods every day. Foods high in sugar or sweetness, on the other hand, are unhealthy due to their numerous adverse effects. Sugar consumption can be lethal, which is why it is referred to as a sweet poison and it is frequently stated that sugar is bad for your health.

The following is a selected list of various variables and consequences of sugar consumption that everyone should be aware of.

1. Increased weight

The majority of sugary beverages and foods are made up of fructose, a simple sugar. Fructose stimulates your hunger every time you eat it, leading to overeating and, eventually, obesity. Furthermore, consuming a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages raises visceral fat, which is connected to diabetes and heart disease.

2. Eczema

Yes, a smidgeon of pleasure can spell tragedy in the future. Regularly consuming sweets can lead to acne on the body, particularly the face. Acne is a nightmare for everyone, so it’s best to avoid eating too much sugar.

3. Cardiovascular disease

Sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, inflammation, and elevated triglyceride, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels, all of which are major risk factors for heart disease. Excess sugar consumption might potentially induce artery blockage.

4. Diabetic complications

Diabetes is a chronic condition that can never be cured, but can only be managed and controlled. There have been numerous studies linking sugar consumption to diabetes. Insulin resistance is aggravated by high sugar levels, which increases the risk of diabetes.

5. Depressed mood

It has been discovered that a high-sugar, high-processed-food diet can raise the risk of depression in both men and women. A person who consumes too much sugar may experience mood changes and exhaustion.

Takeaway

After a thorough examination of the harmful effects of sugar consumption, it has been established that sugar is detrimental to one’s health, so it is preferable to refrain from excessive consumption by exercising self-control.

References:

  1. https://cheetathin.co.za/blogs/news/such-sweet-poison-why-sugar-is-ruining-your-health
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sweet-poison-why-sugar-ruining-your-health-shantanu-chaudhary
  3. https://alignthoughts.com/sweet-poison-why-sugar-is-ruining-your-health/
  4. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/healthyeating/9987825/Sweet-poison-why-sugar-is-ruining-our-health.html
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