Health Risks of Added Sugar

    Is Added Sugar Good for Your Health?

    Added sugar is considered as one of the harmful ingredient of our daily diet. It can cause chronic diseases. According to different studies, many researches show that there is a direct relationship between added sugars consumption and chronic disease risk factors. Those chronic diseases include obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as cognitive decline and even some cancers.

    Natural sugar is a type of carbohydrate which our bodies use for energy. Natural sugar is found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products as well.

    Added sugar refers to any type of sugar or sweetener that is added to foods or beverages during preparation or processing. Added sugar is found mostly in desserts, sodas, energy drinks and also processed foods. Added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, cane sugar and molasses.

    • It increases blood cholesterol. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sugary drinks significantly raised the level of bad cholesterol, triglycerides and the risk factors in the blood of young adults in just two weeks.
    • The more sugar, the more diabetes. It is evaluated that for extra 150 calories of added sugar consumed by those people every day, has the possibility of getting affected by diabetes even after modifications done for obesity, total calorie intake, physical exercises, etc. It is found that if a person consumes 12 ounce of sugar sweetened beverages daily then it may cause type2 diabetes.
    • Sugary beverages are linked to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide each year, according to a Harvard study presented at the American Heart Association conference in New Orleans. Large-scale studies have shown that the more high-glycemic foods, including foods containing sugar, a person consumes, the higher his/her risk for becoming obese.
    • Study in JAMA Internal Medicine, it was found that 10 percent of people who consumed the most added sugar were almost three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease. Elevated risk was seen regardless of body weight, physical activity level, age, sex, race/ethnicity, overall diet quality, and many other factors.
    • According to study in Journal of Nutrition, people who follow healthy diet which includes two glasses of sugary drink a day are more likely to suffer from stroke than those who drank rarely.
    • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study which covers that high sugar intake increases blood pressure by 6 to 8 points, on average. In fact, added sugar probably contributes more to hypertension than sodium does.
    • In 2014 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that at least one sugary soda a day was linked with to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis. It’s theorized that added sugar may increase the risk by promoting insulin resistance and/or inflammatory processes.
    • Harvard researchers found that among girls ages 9 to 14, those who drank sugary soft drinks often had their first period nearly three months earlier than girls who rarely consumed the drinks. Fruit juice was not associated with early menarche. Early menarche is a health concern in part because it is associated with an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer later in life.
    • A high-sugar diet often results in chromium deficiency.
    • Sugar contributes to the sign of aging as well. The more sugar you consume, the more of your molecular structures contribute to the loss of elasticity found in aging body tissues, from your skin to your organs and arteries.
    • Added sugar is bad for your teeth. Sugar decays your teeth very fast. Sugar contains a lot of calories, with no essential nutrients. It also causes tooth decay by feeding the harmful bacteria in the mouth.
    • Sugar affects behavior and cognition in children.
    • It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome.
    • It increases your uric acid levels. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.
    • Overloading The Liver With Fructose Can Cause Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Excess fructose gets turned into fat, which can lodge in the liver and cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
    • Sugar increases stress.
    • People who consume the most sugar have the lowest intakes of essential nutrients––especially vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B-12, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.

    According to American Heart Association, it is recommended that a woman should consume 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of added sugar per day which is equivalent to 100 calories. A man should consume 150 calories of added sugar per day which equals to 9 teaspoons or 36 grams. Children should not consume more than 6 teaspoons added sugar.

    Remember that artificial sweeteners like aspartame is also not good for health as they come with many health problems as well that are much worse than what sugar or corn syrup can cause. Here are some additional dietary tips to remember:

    • Increase your consumption of healthy fats, such as omega-3, saturated, and monounsaturated fats. Your body needs health-promoting fats from animal and vegetable sources for optimal functioning. In fact, emerging evidence suggests that healthy fats should make up at least 70 percent of your diet. Some of the best sources include organic butter from raw milk, (unheated) virgin olive oil, coconut oil, raw nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, avocado, and wild Alaskan salmon.
    • Drink pure, clean water. Simply swapping out all the sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices for pure water can go a long way toward improving your health. The best way to gauge your water needs is to observe the color of your urine (it should be light pale yellow) and the frequency of your bathroom visits (ideally, this is around seven to eight times per day).
    • Add fermented foods to your meals. The beneficial bacteria in these healthful foods can support your digestion and provide detoxification support, which helps lessen the fructose burden on your liver. Some of the best choices include kimchi, natto, organic yogurt and kefir made from grass-fed milk, and fermented vegetables.

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