Is sugar bad for you? Let’s take a look at the sugar health concerns. Although not likely to cause havoc in small amounts, high sugar can damage health.
Sugar, a common component of the average American diet is actually quite dangerous in high consumptions. Many know it to be very sweet, tasty and even addictive; however, chemically sugar is a crystalline substance obtained from various plants, sugar cane and sugar beet to name two. Sugar is primarily sucrose and is utilized as a sweetener in many foods and drinks that we consume every day.
You may wonder what the sugar health concerns are. Excessive sugar intake has been associated to an array of health complications: including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and tooth decay. Ideally, the average adult man should consume no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar a day, while women should get no more than 6 teaspoons, according to the American Heart Association. Unfortunately in today’s society of sugar-enhanced products, most people, especially children, consume twice that daily allowance.
Many people do not view sugar in regards to the effects of daily caloric intake. So many people are unaware that sugar is just empty calories. For instance, there are four calories in one gram of sugar, so if a food contains 25 grams of sugar, then that amounts to 100 calories.
Because sugar contains no nutrients, these empty calories can lead to extra, unwanted pounds and eventually obesity; a problem affecting more than one-third of the American population today. When someone abuses a high sugar diet, gaining weight can be extremely easy.
For example, according to the American Heart Association consuming 50 extra calories per day could result in a 5-pound weight gain in a year. Since sugar is linked to obesity, it is also linked to the effects of obesity, which include raising risks of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. All or which are conditions that can shorten a person’s life.
In addition to having no nutritional value, high consumption of sugar leads to insulin resistance which causes excessive fat storage. Sugar is stored in cells to use as energy through the release of insulin. Extra sugar that isn’t used for energy is converted into fat.
Eating too much sugar makes the body less sensitive to insulin which results in high blood sugar levels. Another problem with high insulin levels is that it can interfere with the hormone leptin. When leptin signals are blocked in the body, a person still feels hungry after eating. This leads to overeating and weight gain.
Consuming a diet high in sugars and sugar added foods will elevate triglycerides levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood that is an acknowledged risk factor for heart disease. Risks of high blood pressure are also increased when these high levels of triglycerides are present in the blood.
The American Heart Association reports that in a human study it has been found that drinking more than one sugary soft drink per day can drastically proliferate the chance of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure, like many health issues as a result from high sugar intake, can result in other complications such as heart attack or stroke, both of which are fatal.
According to the American Dental Association, consuming sugar saturated foods and beverages increases the chance of pre-mature tooth decay. When the accumulated bacteria in your mouth come in contact with sugar, acid is produced.
This acid then corrodes teeth throughout the course of the day. This acid eats away at the tooth enamel, and if it progresses substantially, it does not take long for a cavity to be produced. Sugary soft drinks are one of the substances that has the most drastic effects on teeth. The American Dental Association warns that soft drinks are a major reason for tooth decay related incidences. Some soft drinks comprise as many as 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving size.
By limiting sugary foods and drinks, you can keep in your health in check by avoiding weight gain and sugar related illnesses. Sugar can be a very dangerous substance when abused in high amounts. Keeping daily sugar intake low or eliminating it completely from your diet will reduce your risk of health problems.