Why is excess sugar harmful to your health?

Why is excess sugar harmful to your health?

Healthcare News

Sugar is a simple soluble carbohydrate used as a sweetening agent in food. Too much sugar consumption can cause multiple health complications. 

Sweets are often tempting, but have you ever wondered how too much sweets can affect your health? Eating sweets or sugar-based food in moderation is OK, but when your sugar consumption is higher than required, it may cause serious damage to your health.

Dr. Sonal Mhatre, BHMS with 17 years of Clinical experience, shares a list of seven health complications arising from higher sugar consumption.

1. Weight Gain: Sugar-sweetened foods and beverages contain fructose (simple sugar). Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire to eat more. Further, drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to increased visceral fat (deep belly fat). Consuming too much sugary foods and beverages can lead to weight gain despite regular exercise.

2. Diabetes: Excessive sugar consumption has been medically associated with an increased risk of diabetes. Eating large amounts of sugar can indirectly increase your risk of developing diabetes, as it contributes to weight gain and body fat — both of which are risks for developing diabetes. Obesity, often caused by excessive sugar consumption, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes.

3. Tooth cavities: Too much sugar consumption can cause tooth decay and may lead to cavities. After eating sugar-based food, bacteria present in the mouth react with the sugar in food and trigger the release of an acid that damages our teeth.

4. Cardio Vascular Disease: Sugar is dangerous for your heart’s health and may affect the arteries directly. Diets that are high in sugar affect your heart in the following ways:

  • Triglycerides: When you overeat, your body stores extra calories as a type of fat called triglycerides. Diets rich in sugar can increase triglycerides in your body. And having high levels of triglycerides raises the risk of heart disease.

  • LDL cholesterol: Weight gain connected to diets high in sugar can lead to higher LDL cholesterol levels. LDL, commonly called “bad cholesterol,”— causes artery-clogging and plaque formation. This can damage blood vessels and your heart.

  • Blood pressure: Obesity that arises from sugar-rich diets may contribute to high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease.

  • Causes Inflammation: Sugar can cause inflammation throughout your body, which can stress the heart, increasing the risk of heart disease.

5. May increase the risk of Cancer: Diets high in sugar increase the inflammation in your body and cause insulin resistance, both of which increase the cancer risk.

6. Impacts your energy: Foods high in added sugar quickly spike insulin levels, increasing energy. However, this rise in energy levels is temporary. Products loaded with sugar generally lack nutrition and therefore lead to a temporary energy boost, and soon the person experiences a drop in their blood sugar. Having constant blood sugar swings impact energy levels.

7. May increase Depression: A healthy diet helps in improving your mood. On the contrary, a diet high in added sugar and processed food may affect your mood and emotions. High sugar intake may even increase the chances of developing depression in individuals. High sugar consumption is also linked to memory problems, cognitive impairments, and emotional disorders like anxiety and depression.

In a nutshell, sugar lacks nutrition and is hazardous to your health. Excess sugar in the diet can cause various health complications, including heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes. However, consuming a natural source of sugar is better than consuming added sugars. It is advised that you should be aware of the sources of food that have added sugar in it and food types that can spike your blood sugar levels.