Most of us don’t follow the recommended moderate intake amounts of nine teaspoons for men and six teaspoons for women when consuming sugar. In fact, between the year of 2016 and 2017, the top five areas that consumed the most sugar (India, Europe, China, United States, Brazil, respectively), consumed a total of 82.17 million metric tons of sugar. Almost everyone thinks that sugar is better than saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, or calories. Experts even call sugar the “Sweet and Silent Killer,” because it’s cunning and deadly. If you only know what sugar does to you and your body, you might throw all your sweets right at this very moment. To help you understand the dangers of sugar, we’ve gathered some facts—most of which you probably don’t even realize when eating it.
- Sugar is making you fat.
Too many calories from any food source will be stored in your body as fat if you don’t burn it. And you may not know this but sugar is lacking the necessary nutrients to fill you up. Sweetened food like donuts or licorice don’t pack on energy but certainly pack on the pounds. This is why even when you’ve consumed a lot of sugar-sweetened foods or drinks, you still won’t feel full or energized yet you’ll end up gaining weight.
- Less sugar
If you’d eat less sugar, you’d lose an average of 1.8 pounds even without exercising within the period of ten weeks to six months.
- More sugar
If you’d eat more sugar, you’d be at risk for gaining about 1.7 pounds within eight weeks.
- Sugar can shorten your lifespan.
A high sugar intake will increase your blood sugar, which in turn can damage cells in your body. This can be deadly in the long run. In fact, sweetened drinks cause 184,000 deaths every year. Studies show that people who consume a lot of sugary beverages can die from diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
- Sugar could sap the power of your brain.
Believe it or not, you may end up having memory problems because of too much sugar consumption. Studies show that people with high blood sugar tend to have memory problems. Glucose affect your brain in a lot of ways; it can damage your memory by causing coagulation and mini-strokes. It can also cause your brain to age faster as well.
- Sugar can make you age faster.
A diet full of sugary food can take a toll on your skin. Experts believe that sugar can make your skin appear wrinkled and dull. The process that does this is called “Glycation.” The sugar in your bloodstream attaches to your proteins. These then form into new harmful molecules called Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs). The more sugar that you eat and your body consumes, the more AGEs you’ll have, thus the faster you’ll age.
- Sugar can be toxic to your liver.
Overeating sugar can take your liver into overdrive. It has a similar effect on your body as alcohol because the way your body metabolizes fructose can stress out and inflame your liver. This is the reason that the excess fructose is deemed to be a key player in your chances of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Sugar can be linked to cancer production.
Cancer cells need a lot of energy to grow quickly and multiply faster, that’s why they require a lot of glucose. Sugar and food rich in sugar are said to have a role in promoting the development of cancer. Some studies have found that there’s an increased risk for women to develop endometrial cancer if they consume a lot of sucrose.
- Sugar can damage your heart.
A recent study shows that consuming a lot of sugar can damage your heart tissue. Studies also show that high blood sugar levels may lead to the hardening of your arteries and are associated with increased risk for heart disease and heart failure. And researchers found that sugar from food called glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) can stress out your heart and simultaneously decrease the function of your heart muscle.
- Sugar can slowly kill you with you even knowing it.
You may be avoiding sugary items such as candy, cake, or cookies, but you’re still consuming a lot of sugar without your knowledge. They can hide in items that you thought to have less sugar.
Some of these items are:
- Low Fat Yogurt
A single cup may contain 47 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 12 teaspoons of sugar.
- BBQ Sauce
Two tablespoons of BBQ sauce may contain 14 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 3 teaspoons.
A tablespoon of ketchup can contain one teaspoon of sugar.
You may be one of the people around the world that eats sugar as part of their diet. You may not worry about sugar being bad for your health. However, if you want to live a long and healthy life, you may want to cut down on your sugar consumption. Sugar is not completely bad; you just need to know that you should consume it moderately. A healthy life is a sweet life.
Jessica is a professional health expert who works for some major health industry giants. She currently writes for Membersown and is dedicated to helping people learn more about health related topics along the journey. When she’s not a health advocate, she enjoys some down time traveling or talking with family.