When we think of addiction, we tend to focus on drugs and alcohol. However, there is a far more sinister edible in our life to which almost everyone is addicted without realising it.
It is, indeed, sugar.
But what exactly is sugar? What harm does it cause? Let’s learn together!! In this article, I am mainly going to concentrate on the negative consequences of sugar overconsumption!
What is sugar?
Table sugar, also known as sucrose, is composed of one molecule of glucose linked to one molecule of fructose. It is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. It is derived from sugar cane or sugar beets.
Glucose is a 6-sided carbon ring that is used by nearly every cell in the body, including the brain, muscles, liver, and so on. Fructose, on the other hand, is a 5-sided sugar ring that is solely processed in the liver. It cannot be used for energy by the brain, muscles, or other tissues.
ALMOST UBIQUITOUS IN refined and processed foods, sugar is not always labeled as such. Other names include sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, molasses, hydrolyzed starch, honey, invert sugar, cane sugar, glucose-fructose, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, and agave nectar. These aliases are used to hide the fact that there are a lot of added sugars in the product.
How is sugar harmful??
- Composition-: Glucose can be dispersed throughout the body for use as energy, whereas fructose is targeted like a guided missile to the liver. Excessive fructose puts a lot of strain on the liver since other organs cannot help. It is the difference between pressing down with a hammer and pressing down with a needlepoint. The bottom line is that excess fructose is changed into fat in the liver, High levels of fructose will cause insulin resistance and henceforth fatty liver.
- Nutritional deficiency-: Sugar is highly processed. It is empty calories unaccompanied by fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. We can’t eat more than a certain amount of vegetables in one sitting since they are high in nutrients and can quickly fill us up. On the other hand, sugar, being empty calories, will not satiate our bodies. Due to this, we have a proclivity to consume excessive amounts of processed meals rich in sugar.
- Lead to Chronic Disorders-: Several pieces of research indicate that sugar may contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease, gut-related autoimmune disorders, and food allergies or sensitivities, all of which are on the rise. It is also speculated that sugar feeds Cancer and Alzheimer’s. Then there’s sugar’s link to Diabetes and Heart attacks-and the list goes on.
- Damage to the teeth-: Sugar molecules combine with saliva and bacteria present in the mouth, producing acid and bacteria that attack the enamel causing plaque, cavities, and gingivitis to the teeth.
- Accelerated aging-: Recent studies have confirmed that refined sugar accelerates the aging process by adding inches to our waistline and wrinkles, and acne to our face. Sugar overconsumption also lowers the Growth hormone, which is responsible for a variety of key tasks such as fat burning, slowing the aging process, and so on.
- And a lot more I’m sure
How can we control our sugar intake?
- Sugar craving is a sign of nutritional deficiency. Your diet should be rich in protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. Avoid refined carbs and processed foods.
- Practice Intermittent fasting. This is not applicable to diabetics as it can lead to hypoglycemia(low blood sugar).
- Carefully scan the nutritional labels for sugars. Added sugars hide behind different names on nutritional labels. Keep an eye for them as well.
- Eat whole foods instead of processed foods. That means whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, meats, dairy, and anything else that has not been broken down and packaged. Basically, think about what people ate 100 years ago, and try to eat that. Keep a cap on fruits as they also contain natural sugars.
- Drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
That wraps up my guide. I hope this helps you in the right direction!
I’m a passionate health coach and member of a community known as Biomarked. We aim to educate and empower people about lifestyle issues like Diabetes Type 2, PCOS, Thyroid, Fatty Liver, etc. If you are on Instagram, I have been sharing regular health nuggets and several success stories of my friends and families I have been able to help.
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