The Dangers of Sugar Consumption

The Dangers of Sugar Consumption


Most people have a love-hate relationship with sugar. Even though it makes your taste buds happy, it can lead to several health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Sugar is a natural component of foods that contain carbohydrates, including grains, dairy and fruits and veggies. While these foods contain sugar, they also offer significant amounts of essential minerals, fiber, and in the case of dairy, protein. Sugar consumption through eating foods that offer other nutritional value gives you energy to function, as the food digests slowly. However, we can also consume sugar through processed foods. Manufacturers add sugar to processed foods to increase flavor. Sodas, fruit drinks, cereal and candy all have added sugar, and make up a big chunk of the American diet.

Sugar and Your Teeth

It is a widely known fact that sugar can cause cavities and tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth uses sugar to produce acids that damage and decay the enamel on our teeth. Enamel covers the outer layer of each tooth, and is made up of minerals. The purpose of enamel is to protect the tooth from decay and sensitivity. The body cannot replace this coating, as enamel does not contain any living cells. Brushing immediately after consuming sugary foods can help prevent tooth decay.

Sugar and Heart Health

In 2014, Dr. Hu found that a high-sugar diet increase the risk of heart disease. Excess sugar is converted to fat in the liver,and too much fat can lead to fatty liver disease, which increases the chance of heart disease. Too much sugar can also raise blood pressure, as well as increase chronic inflammation. Added sugars increase your triglycerides, lower good cholesterol (HDL), and increase bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Because liquid calories do not satisfy your appetite the same way solid calories do, added sugar in the form of sugary drinks makes it easier to overeat and gain weight. There are about 150 calories in one can of regular soda. Experts are still unsure of how much sugar is too much, but studies have shown that the health risk increases as sugar intake increases.

Buzz Words Signalling Added Sugar

  • corn syrup
  • honey
  • molasses
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • brown sugar
  • syrup sugar molecules ending in “ose” (fructose, glucose, sucrose)

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