Effect of Sugar
The effects of added sugar intake — higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease — are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke
- Sugar causes glucose levels to spike and plummet.
Unstable blood sugar can leave you experiencing mood swings, fatigue, and headaches. It also contributes to cravings, which begins the cycle of false hunger. By contrast, those who avoid sugar report having fewer cravings while feeling more emotionally balanced and energized.
- Sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Sugar consumption leads to increased weight. Research has repeatedly pointed out the harmful effects of sugar through the consumption of too many colas, juices, and other sweetened beverages. Those who rely too much on junk and processed food to curb their hunger weigh more than those who eat healthily. Obesity is the leading cause of heart disease in the world.
Having too much sugar in the blood leads to insulin resistance, this leads to diabetes. Obesity, another cause of diabetes is also because of excessive sugar intake.
While we all like to indulge once in a while, foods that quickly affect blood sugar contribute to a greater risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Emerging research also suggests connections between these high-glycemic diets and various forms of cancer. These effects are often a result of added sugar working in your body, so be sure to read those nutrition labels.
- Your immune function can be affected by sugar.
As if being sick wasn’t bad enough, studies have shown that sugar can interfere with the way your body fights disease. Bacteria and yeast feed on sugar, so excess glucose in the body causes these organisms to build up and cause infections.
- A high-sugar diet can lead to chromium deficiency.
Chromium, a trace mineral, helps regulate blood sugar in the body. While it can be found in meats, seafood, and plant foods, 90% of Americans still don’t get enough chromium because of refining starches.6 Other carbohydrates can also rob foods of their chromium supplies, so limiting your carbs is your best bet for increasing those mineral levels.
- Sugar accelerates aging.
A high sugar diet leads to accelerated skin aging. Those who eat sugar have more wrinkles and sagging skin than their counterparts who don’t. Sugar consumption leads to the formation of AGEs (Advanced Glycation Endproducts), compounds that are the result of a reaction between sugar and protein molecules in the body. These AGEs damage the skin’s collagen and elastin which are responsible for the elasticity of the skin. Sugar increases acne. The spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels increase oil production and androgen secretion that lead to breaking out of the skin.
While you probably know that sugars can affect your body composition, they can also mess with your skin by contributing to wrinkles and sagging. After sugar hits your bloodstream, it attaches to proteins. The mix of these proteins with sugar causes the skin to lose elasticity and leads to premature aging.
- Sugar causes tooth decay and Joint pain.
With all the other life-threatening effects of sugar, we sometimes forget the most basic cosmetic damage it does. When it sits on your teeth, sugar causes decay more efficiently than any other food. It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day to stop sugars from fueling plaque and bacteria.
Those who suffer from joint pain and reduce their sugar intake, notice a considerable decrease in their pain levels. Sugar has even linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Studies have shown that a high sugar environment is conducive to the proliferation of cell multiplication. Sugar increases inflammation in the body and is responsible for the increased incidence of cancer in the world.
- Sugar affects cognition in children.
Let’s not forget about our little ones! When New York City public schools reduced the amount of sugar in their lunches and breakfasts, their academic ranking increased 15.7% (previously, the greatest improvement ever seen had been 1.7%). The study also eliminated artificial colors, synthetic flavoring, and two preservatives, showing the importance of natural ingredients for children.
- Sugar increases stress and Depression.
Eating sugary snacks leads to a release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the body. As this surge reduces, the brain begins to crave again for the same high. High sugar intake has been connected to depressionin adults. When we’re under stress, our bodies immediately kick into fight-or-flight mode, releasing large amounts of hormones. Surprisingly, the body has the same chemical response when blood sugar is low. After you eat a sweet snack, stress hormones begin to compensate for the crash by raising your blood sugar.
10. Sugar takes the place of important nutrients.
According to USDA data, people who consume the most sugar have the lowest intakes of essential nutrients––especially vitamins A, C, B-12, and calcium. The trade-off is especially dangerous for children and teens, who simultaneously consume the most sugar and need the most nutrients. Now that you understand the negative effects of sugar on your body and mind, it’s time to be more careful when choosing foods.