While the sodium present in the salt has been blamed as a culprit in high blood pressure/hypertension, the real culprit is this innocent-looking white sweet crystal- sugar. Why is sugar harmful to the body?
Do you know that many of our treats such as pastries, cookies, cakes have sugar larks? It is also hidden as fructose in processed food, packaged food, bread, juice, candy, even sauces and everyone’s favourite – ketchup.
Many people rely on quick, processed foods for food and breakfast. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large part of their daily calorie intake.
There is no doubt that many of us are eating unhealthy amounts of sugar. Experts say reducing sugar alone is not the answer. Just keep yourself away from processed foods and move towards whole foods such as vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and skinless poultry and fish.
When we eat it, they adjusted in the small intestine and enzyme called sucrase comes in and put bond between glucose and fructose molecules. These molecules then go to the liver, and then fructose is again transformed in three different ways – Glucose, Glycogen and Fat.
They can be converted into glucose, which can be used for energy for cells. They can be converted into glycogen and stored in the liver for energy, Or it can be converted eventually stored as fat. We consume a ton of added sweets but not the natural form, which is found in fruits. It can be found in many food items we consume, from slices of bread, cereals, and all of the desserts we eat.
Why is sugar harmful to the body?
Too much intake of sugar is responsible for various health problems and diseases –
Sugar can cause the occurrence of high blood pressure and heart disease
Sugar, especially in sweetened beverages, can increase blood pressure. It is also associated with an increased chance of hypertension and heart disease.
Therefore, if a person’s daily sugar intake is 25% or higher, studies have shown that a person may die of heart disease, more than a person who consumes 10% of sweeteners. According to various observations, excess sugar can cause fluid retention, leading to further health problems.
Sugar is not good for the liver
Too much consumption of sugar or fructose is a dietary villain because it reaches the liver directly. This impact can be compared to the effects of excessive alcohol on the liver. It can overload the liver and cause it to fail.
Excess sugar can also increase uric acid levels, multiply cancer cells rapidly, cause cognitive diseases, Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders and more.
It can cause weight gain and high blood sugar
Consuming too much sugar increases the risk of obesity and can cause fat accumulation in the intestine.
Fructose shuts down the appetite control system, which can cause you to overeat and develop insulin resistance. Also, sugar contains calories, and the more calories you consume, the more likely you are to gain weight!
Weight gain has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.
How do we stop the desire to eat white sugar or cut down on it?
- Avoid Processed food
Consuming sugar in its natural form is not necessarily bad. Therefore, we should avoid it in processed foods, sugary drinks, refined carbs like bagels, bread and even grains. Consumption of fructose from natural fruits should be less than 25%.
- Include healthy fats in your diet
Include foods rich in both saturated and monosaturated fats as well as omega-3 to your diet. These include nuts, avocados, nut butter, organic milk.
- Eat fermented foods
Kombucha, yoghurt, (best is homemade yoghurt from organic milk), kefir etc. are examples of fermented foods and probiotics one can have to reduce the load on the liver.
- Manage your stress
If you are feeling upset and the first thing your reach out for is sweets or cupcakes then it’s a sign that you’re stressed. Therefore, managing stress is one of the important factors to control your sugar cravings. Try meditation to overcome anxiety.
Consuming a natural source of sugar is good for health than the intake of added sugar. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to many conditions including heart disease, weight gain and diabetes. That’s why sugar is harmful to the body. To be aware of added sugars in food products, it is essential to read labels carefully.
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