Sugar is often called as the sweet killer, and it cannot be truer. We all love sweets and sweetened foods. We use the word “Sweet” to represent a positive emotion. In India, people distribute sweets to spread their happiness. Though you could be caught up with all the positive emotions when it comes to sweet, in reality, it can get really damaging when you do not regulate its intake. Most of us think that too much sugar is just related to diabetes, but many research studies on sugar revealed that it could bring in a host of other diseases which could be killing you at a very slow pace right this moment.
1 It is bad for your heart
Sugar doesn’t do much damage as long as you keep its intake at moderate levels. Researchers believe sugar doesn’t do much harm when you source less than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake from it. A Research study that was carried out in Harvard University which involved thousands of adults revealed that people who constantly sourced 25 percent or more of their daily calories from sugar are twice more likely to die from a heart disease than those who sourced less than 10 percent of their daily calorie intake. This study was stretched to a course of 15 years time frame, so you cannot really question its legitimacy.
2 No added sugar beverages are not safe either
There are many fruit juices available in the market which has a labeling called “No added sugar” or “No sugar added” and it even claims to be 100% fruit juice. However, this doesn’t mean it is any safer. Naturally occurring sugars present in these fruit juices are way more concentrated than the sugar content actually present in its fresh fruits. Orange or apple fruit, for example, has fiber and other nutrients attached to it in addition to natural sugar. But, its fruit juices literally have zero fiber content, plus they have reduced levels of nutrients. In other words, you are just drinking empty calories in the name of fruit juices which is equal to consuming sugar crystals directly.
3 Damages your brain
Excessive sugar intake is directly linked to brain damage. In fact, they have the direct relation with the early onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia its been proven. In a research carried out at the University of Bath, Scientists found a molecular link between sugar intake and Alzheimer’s. This study revealed that glucose obtained from sugar undergoes a chemical reaction called glycation through which glucose affects the normal and healthy cells in our body and damage a very vital enzyme that is responsible for removing abnormal protein from settling down in the brain. Dementia and Alzheimer patients have unwanted protein build up in their brains.
4 Harmful to your kids
Many people believe that their kids become hyper whenever they have a sugary snack. But research on this direction did not find any conclusive results to back up this claim. Dieticians claim the reason for your kid’s hyperactive behavior could be the environment in which these sweets are served. Naturally, kids tend to have more energy at parties and family functions where sweets are mainly served, but you cannot directly put the blame on sugar for it.
However, I am not claiming that sugar is playing a healthy role here. It does increase the blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your kids. These two factors are directly linked to blood sugar levels. In a study published by the Journal “Obesity” proved that when kids have regulated and low levels of sugar intake for just nine days, they showed incredible and healthy development in their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, followed by the reduction in blood glucose levels.
5 Snacks have hidden sugar content
Many of the snack items which you find in the supermarkets and local grocery stores which think to be healthy are not healthy at all. Most of these snacks contain a large quantity of sweet stuff hidden from you. These are added to make it more desirable and taste better. So whenever you feel like snacking consider a homemade alternative.
- Smoothies: You should be having no doubt that store bought smoothie is loaded with sugar content. But, you may not have any idea on the quantity. A medium-sized smoothie (500ml approx) contains around 30 to 80 grams of sugar. That’s way over the healthy levels of sugar which you should be consuming for the day.
- Trail Mix: This is usually considered as the best snack while you are on the go driving(probably). Of course, it looks healthy. But, a quarter cup of commercial variety approximately contains over 16 grams of sugar in it.
- Yogurt: A single cup (120ml) of flavored yogurt contains around 13 grams of sugar. When you have it in addition to a quarter cup of granola, you will be adding another 6 to 8 grams to it, totally the amount to around 20 grams.
- Oatmeal: Flavoured and packaged oatmeal is a favorite breakfast option for many busy people because it is easy and fast to prepare. But, a single serving contains around 12 to 13 grams of sugar. If you are adding another one to two teaspoons of sugar to it in order to make it taste better than you can be increasing its sugar levels by another 12 to 20 grams.
- Salad Dressings: Salads are great when you are on a weight loss regimen and want to catch up with a healthy lifestyle. But the problem lies in the salad dressings you could be drawn towards. Some bottled dressings contain over 4 grams of sugar in it for every couple of teaspoon serving.
6 Most adults consume over 100 grams of sugar a day
Do you know that most adults worldwide consume over 100 grams of added sugar every single day? The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends sourcing less than 10 percent of calorie intake from sugar daily for adults. Which is approximately equal to 48 grams of sugar a day. But most of us end up taking more 100 grams a day which is really not a good practice.
7 It will make you die sooner
With increasing proofs that sugar is behind many of our ailments, most people are looking for alternatives like artificial sweeteners. But they are no good either. Some research proves that artificial sweeteners damage and good bacterias and microbiome in our gut. Additionally, they serve no goodness in return. They are associated with weight gain and glucose intolerance. Simple but also difficult way to get rid of sugar is by just take it out of your kitchen or anywhere in your home. Start to enjoy the natural sweetness present in unprocessed foods you have. Initially, they might taste bit boring as you are used to the taste of added sugar, but as you get used to the taste of natural sweetness, your tongue and body get adapted to it, you will gradually start to find processed food unpleasant to taste.
8 Damages your liver
It is not just alcohol that damages your liver, sugar can be equally destructive. There is a fatty liver disease that is caused by having excessive added sugar diet called Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). One of the prominent sign of this disease is your belly size. Yes, just like beer belly, sugar can inflate your midsection as well. NAFLD leads causes inflammation and scarring in the liver. A shocking fact about NAFLD is its one of the major causes of liver transplant every year worldwide.
9 Alternatives is not an escape route
If you want to cut down your sugar intake, you are most probably be looking for natural alternatives like honey or maple syrup. But, many studies revealed the fact that sugar is sugar in whatever form you take it. So instead of avoiding processed sugar in order to cut down your sugar intake, just try to use it in moderation.
10 Unmoderated sugar intake leads to diabetes in young people
Do you know that a kid aged between 9 to 18 years old in Canada consumes about 175 grams of sugar a day on an average? This level of sugar consumption is way above the recommended levels. This has a direct impact on the increase in the number of young people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Recent stats released by Canadian government revealed that the number of young people with diabetes has increased by nearly 300 percent in the last 30 years. So if you have a kid at home who is fond of sweets, just try to regulate his sweet intake.
11 Cancer cells befriends sugar
Cancer cells just love sugar as much as you do. Increase in sugar intake will increase the rate at which cancer cells multiply in cancer patients. A new research carried out at the University of Texas revealed a direct link between sugar and squamous cell carcinoma. A type of cancer cell found in a quarter of lung cancers worldwide. This type of cancer cell is very hard to treat.
12 Sugary beverages leads to premature aging
Most of us just love the taste of the carbonated sugary beverage, they make us feel better whenever we feel bit bloated and it aids digestion, right? Wrong, sugary beverages don’t encourage speedy digestion at all. Drinking water after a fulfilling meal will do more good than drinking a bottle of cola. If you drink around 600 ml of the sugary beverage every day, you will start to age at a rapid rate which leads to premature aging. Its effects are almost equal to being a regular smoker.
13 Spoils your sleep
If you have the habit of drinking a sugary beverage at night before sleep and was wondering why you couldn’t sleep well at night, you now know who the real culprit is. Yes, it is the sugar. A study conducted by the Journal of clinical sleep medicine in 2016, finds out that people who consume more sugar with less intake of fiber tend to have disrupted sleep or have a less restorative sleep.
14 Energy drink doesn’t mean healthy
On the whole, most people across the world have reduced their sweetened soda intake. This is bit encouraging. However, most people have replaced cola with energy drinks and other flavored alternatives. Energy drinks on an average contain around 85 grams of sugar. Just know that energy drink is no better than any carbonated beverage. Even sports drink contain about 40 grams of sugar in it. So change in name and flavor in your drinks doesn’t make it any good for your health.
15 Increases bad cholesterol
Our body contains two types of cholesterol, good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). When our body contains higher levels of good cholesterol it keeps our heart in healthy condition. On the contrary, increase in bad cholesterol (LDL) will increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association which involved over 8000 adults who are over 18 years of age revealed that increase in added sugar intake, decreased the level of good cholesterol and Women particular who had more sugar in their diet regularly increased their levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
16 Added Sugars are almost everywhere
If you happen to pick a food item from any of the supermarket shelves near your place, it is 66 percent more likely to contain added sugars. This stat is released by Canadian Medical Association Journal Study which took place in the year 2016. They have analyzed nearly 40,000 items popularly found in most popular supermarkets and retailers in the country. So next time you are picking up a food item from a local retailer do check out its contents.
17 Will shoot up your BMI
If you are not familiar with BMI, it is expanded as Body Mass Index. Its calculation is based on your body weight and height. Doctors and scientists recommend maintaining a healthy BMI level in order to keep yourself disease free. As you know by now that increase in sugar intake can increase the levels of bad fats and bad cholesterol in your body, which in turn will lead to weight gain and shoots up your BMI. Overweight and obesity is one of the leading cause of many diseases and death.
18 Learn to read the labels
Labels in food items vary from country to country. There are different names to sugar like glucose, fructose, sucrose etc… Some tables do not differentiate between added sugars and naturally occurring sugar, so you need to do your research accordingly.
4 grams of sugar equates to 1 teaspoon of sugar. A coke can contain about 40 grams of sugar, which is equal to 10 teaspoons full of added sugar.
19 Sugar could be hiding in your plain sight
Even if you read the label carefully you may not find the word sugar or any known alternative terms used for sugar on it. However, that doesn’t mean the particular food item is sugar-free. Manufacturers use different terms to refer sugar in order to fool the public. So do not fall prey. Below is the list of all terms that refer to sugar.
- Carob powder
- Corn syrup
- Evaporated cane juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High-fructose corn syrup
20 Linked to Asthma
Scientists and researchers across the world have always suspected a possible link between sugar and lung conditions like Asthma. This doubt was put to rest after analyzing data of over 140 thousand adults. Data revealed that people who drank at least two sugary beverages a day were more prone to respiratory diseases and lung conditions. It is one of the main reasons why most Doctors will ask Asthma patients to refrain sugar from their daily diet.
21 Sweets lead to hypertension and high blood pressure
If you do not know the normal blood pressure range falls between 90/60 to 120/80. In a study published in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology revealed sweet rich diet or diet rich in fructose content will shoot up your blood pressure to 120/80 range. Though this range lies in the normal range, it is at the top end of it. Increase in blood pressure will negatively impact your heart’s health. Some experts even claim that sugar has a higher impact on your blood pressure than salt.
22 Increases depression
Many of us try to fight depression by having more chocolates, candies, and more sweets. But this practice can make you feel more sad and depressed in the long run. In a Study conducted by Columbian University Medical Centre, scientist and researchers found out that post-menopause women who regularly took added sugar in their diet increased their depression. On the contrary, women who had more dietary fiber, whole grains, and vegetables were relatively happier and emotionally more stable.
23 Ruins your dental health
When you consume a sweetened beverage or chocolates or any sweet, the bacterias present in your teeth get stronger and multiply more rapidly. This leads to the formation of a thin film called plaque over your teeth. Plaques produce acids that dissolve minerals present in your teeth. Remember, these minerals is what makes your teeth remain healthy and strong. When these minerals get dissolved it permanently damages your teeth forms cavities.
24 Leads to periodontal disease
Sugar intake not only ruins your teeth directly, it can also damage your gums and cause inflammation. Inflammation of your gums increases your chances of getting periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is accompanied by bad breath, bleeding gums, and sensitive teeth.
25 Make you get addicted
There is a clear evidence that people who give up sugar intake show what is called cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Which is seen in patients who are addicted to nicotine and cocaine. Researchers claim drugs such as varenicline which is used on nicotine and cocaine addiction patients could also be used on sugar addicts in future.