Why Is Sugar Bad For Me
Consuming too much sugar may lead to health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay.
If you’re very active and exercise regularly some sugar in the diet helps supply ready energy to fuel your muscles and keep your brain active. The problem for the majority of us is that many of the processed foods we eat in particular those marketed to children have added sugar that supplies energy in the form of empty calories, so we end up consuming more than we need.
Eating too much sugar on a regular basis may lead to:
Energy slumps: a high intake of sugar causes our blood sugar levels to shoot up, giving us that feel-good ‘high, which is followed by a crashing slump that leaves us tired, irritable and craving more sugary foods. This vicious cycle may compound other health problems. Weight gain: over-consumption of sugar leads to extra pounds and may in turn increase our risk of chronic health conditions. Diabetes and heart disease: over time excess sugar may damage blood vessels and nerves. Tooth decay: a common problem and with its incidence increasing, sugary snacks and fizzy drinks are major contributors.
In recognition of these health issues, the UK government has issued guidelines for the food industry to promote the reduction of sugar in packaged products.
You Dont Need To Cut Out Sugar From Your Diet If You Have Diabetes And While We Dont Know Exactly What Causes Type 1 Diabetes But It Isnt Linked To Lifestyle And So Sugar Doesnt Directly Cause The Condition
The question of whether sugar directly causes type 2 diabetes is a bit complicated.
Because diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are too high, its all too easy to think eating too much sugar is the cause. But whats the truth about sugar and how does it affect diabetes?
In this article well explain whether sugar causes diabetes, how to cut down on sugar and how to read food labels to make informed decisions about your diet.
Why Is Too Much Sugar Bad For You
Each week, MyHealthNewsDaily asks the experts to answer questions about your health. This week, we asked nutritionists and diabetes specialists: Why is excess sugar bad for you? Here’s what they said.
Dr. Zachary Bloomgarden, professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City:
Sugar is bad for you a because it has calories, and because if you have diabetes or a diabetes-related condition lets say high blood fat levels then having sugar will increase your blood sugar and your triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
If you have someone who has diabetes, their problem is that either they aren’t producing insulin, or are resistant to it. Without insulin, eating sugar will increase blood sugar. But, essentially, diabetes is not just about blood sugar. It’s about, blood sugar and triglycerides, and lipid levels.
Sugar is very calorie-dense. So you can easily consume a lot of sugar in soft drinks, and in all kinds of food that contain added sugar. It’s not that the sugar calories are more fattening than any other calories. It’s just calories are calories, and sugar packs a lot.
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Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont in Burlington:
There’s also been some research that has shown that added sugars increase your risk of high blood pressure. And added sugars seem to promote inflammation, and more and more we find that inflammation is not good for the heart.
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Sugar Cookies: The Good The Bad And The Ugly
Sugar cookies are a holiday favorite, but are they bad for you? A sugar cookie is basically a cookie made with sugar, flour, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. They are often decorated with icing, sprinkles, or other decorations. While sugar cookies may seem like a harmless treat, they actually contain a lot of sugar and calories. One sugar cookie can have over 50 calories and 5 grams of sugar. That means that if you eat just four sugar cookies, youve consumed over 200 calories and 20 grams of sugar! Thats a lot of sugar, especially if you consider that the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day and men consume no more than 36 grams of sugar per day. In addition to the high sugar content, sugar cookies also contain saturated fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood that can also contribute to heart disease. So, are sugar cookies bad for you? Yes, they are high in sugar and calories and can contribute to weight gain and heart disease. However, they can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. If you are concerned about your sugar intake, try making sugar-free sugar cookies or using natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
Your Weight And Sugar
Eating too much sugar can contribute to people having too many calories, which can lead to weight gain.
For a healthy, balanced diet, we should get most of our calories from other kinds of foods, such as starchy foods and fruits and vegetables, and only eat foods high in free sugars occasionally or not at all.
The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat should come from each of the main food groups in order to have a healthy, balanced diet.
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May Accelerate The Skin Aging Process
Wrinkles are a natural sign of skin aging. They appear eventually, regardless of your health.
However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed up the skin aging process.
Advanced glycation end products are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging .
Consuming a diet high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely .
When collagen and elastin become damaged, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag.
More research is needed to fully understand the connection between sugar and skin changes in humans.
Sugary foods can increase the production of AGEs, which can accelerate skin aging and wrinkle formation.
How Much Sugar Can I Eat Each Day
Recommendations from the World Health Organisation and the UK’s official nutrition advisors are that only 5% of our daily calorie intake should consist of added ‘free’ sugar. This means:
Adults should have no more than 30g a day . Children aged 7-10 years old should have no more than 24g a day . Children aged 4-6 years old should have no more than 19g a day .
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Sugar Attracts Bad Bacteria And Lowers Your Mouths Ph
Sugar is like a magnet for bad bacteria.
The two destructive bacteria found in the mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus.
Both of them feed on the sugar you eat and form dental plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that forms on the surface of the teeth .
If the plaque is not washed away by saliva or brushing, the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic and cavities may start to form.
The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a solution is, with 7 being neutral.
When the pH of plaque drops below normal, or less than 5.5, the acidity start to dissolve minerals and destroy the tooths enamel .
In the process, small holes or erosions will form. Over time, they will become larger, until one large hole or cavity appears.
Sugar attracts harmful bacteria that destroy the tooths enamel, which can cause a cavity in the affected tooth.
Sugar And Diabetes And Your Diet
We all enjoy eating sugary foods occasionally, and theres no problem including them as a treat occasionally as part of a healthy, balanced diet. And, for some people with diabetes, sugary drinks or glucose tablets are essential to treat a hypo, when your blood glucose levels get too low.
However, we are eating too much free sugar and harming our health as a result. Being overweight can make it difficult to manage your diabetes and increase your risk of getting serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke in the future. Too much sugar is bad for your teeth too.
The maximum recommended daily amount of sugar is 30g for adults which works out at just seven teaspoons a day. Given that a tablespoon of ketchup contains around one teaspoon of sugar, a chocolate biscuit has up to two, and a small serving of baked beans almost three, you can see how quickly the teaspoons tot up.
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Increases Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a leading cause of mortality and reduced life expectancy. Its prevalence has more than doubled over the past 30 years, and projections estimate its burden will continue to rise (
While no study has proven that sugar consumption causes diabetes, there are strong connections.
Eating large amounts of sugar can indirectly raise diabetes risk by contributing to weight gain and increased body fat both of which are risks for developing diabetes .
Obesity, which is often caused by excessive sugar consumption, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes .
Whats more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.
Additionally, research has found that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages are more likely to develop diabetes .
A study including individuals who drank sugary beverages for over a 4-year period found that increased consumption of sugary beverages including soft drinks and 100% fruit juice is associated with a higher risk for type 2 diabetes .
A high-sugar diet may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Is One Cookie A Day Bad
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a variety of factors, including the type of cookie, the ingredients used, and the persons overall diet and health. However, in general, eating one cookie a day is unlikely to cause any serious harm, and may even offer some health benefits if the cookie is made with wholesome ingredients.
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Protecting Your Kids’ Teeth
Beyond the long-term prevention of diabetes and heart disease, avoiding added sugars can keep kids from having to undergo painful and expensive dental treatment. Tooth decay is exacerbated by the regular consumption of sugary foods and beverages. If untreated, dental problems can lead to serious infections .
Along with the avoidance of sugary snacks and drinks, teaching your kids to brush at a young age removes plaque-causing sugar and helps maintain strong, healthy teeth. Regular toothbrushing gets kids used to good dental habits.
Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad For You
Sugar is fine for you in small amounts, but too much can lead to weight gain, acne, type 2 diabetes, and can increase your risk of several serious medical conditions.
From marinara sauce to peanut butter, added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products.
Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake.
In the United States, the average adult consumes an estimated 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day . That accounts for 14% of total calorie intake in adults following a 2,000-calorie diet.
Thats why dietary guidelines suggest limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% per day (
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How Much Is Too Much
The World Health Organization recommends limiting sugar intake to less than 10% of daily calories and suggests a further reduction to 5% for even more health benefits. These recommendations refer to whats called free sugar. This is sugar added to foods during manufacturing, cooking and at the table. It also includes sugars present in honey, syrups and juices. It does not include sugars present in whole fruits and vegetables.
So what does that look like in terms of food? Each person is different, and how much you eat depends on your metabolism and daily activity. In general, women eat between 1600 and 2400 calories per day, and men between 2000 and 3000 per day. For someone eating 2000 calories per day, 10% is 200 calories. This equates to 50 grams of sugar . To put this into context, a can of pop or juice has about 40 grams of sugar. A bottle of Gatorade has 34 grams. A tablespoon of maple syrup has 14 grams. And one Oreo cookie has 6.6 grams.
Sugar intake varies from country to country. In the US, the average person has about 77 grams per day, or about 15% of daily calories. While in the UK, its estimated at 10% of daily calories. In Canada its 67 grams or 13% of daily calories.
Labels On The Front Of Packaging
There are labels containing nutrition information on the front of some food packaging.
This includes labels that use red, amber and green colour coding, and advice on reference intakes of some nutrients, which can include sugar.
Labels that include colour coding allow you to see at a glance if the food has a high, medium or low amount of sugars:
Some labels on the front of packaging will display the amount of sugar in the food as a percentage of the RI.
RIs are guidelines for the approximate amount of particular nutrients and energy required in a day for a healthy diet.
The reference intake for total sugars is 90g a day, which includes 30g of “free sugars”.
For more information, see Food labels.
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Can Increase Cellular Aging
Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, which are molecules that hold part or all of your genetic information.
Telomeres act as protective caps, preventing chromosomes from deteriorating or fusing together.
As you grow older, telomeres naturally shorten, which causes cells to age and malfunction .
Although the shortening of telomeres is a natural part of aging, certain lifestyle choices can speed up the process.
Consuming high amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, which increases cellular aging .
A pilot study on 61 preschool-aged children found that increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with decreased telomere length, signifying cellular aging (
Foods high in added sugar quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to increased energy.
However, this rise in energy levels is fleeting.
Products that are loaded with sugar but lacking in protein, fiber, or fat lead to a brief energy boost thats quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash .
Having constant blood sugar swings can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels .
A meta-analysis examining sugars effect on mood found that carbohydrate consumption, especially sugar, lowers alertness within 60 minutes of consumption, and increases fatigue within 30 minutes after consumption .
To avoid this energy-draining cycle, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fiber.
The Cookie Diet: Unhealthy Unsustainable And Ineffective
Despite the fact that the cookie diet may result in short-term weight loss, no studies have shown that it is effective. Overweight and obesity are heavily influenced by prepackaged cookies, which are extremely restrictive, and there is no guidance on how to maintain weight loss without cookies. The cookie diet does not provide enough nutrients to make it healthy because it does not provide enough energy to keep people energized and satisfied. It is also likely to result in weight gain in the long run because the person will lack the other essential nutrients required by their body.
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The Insulin Resistance Can Progress To Type Ii Diabetes
When our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, the beta cells in our pancreas make more of it.
This is crucial, because chronically elevated blood sugars can cause severe harm.
Eventually, as insulin resistance becomes progressively worse, the pancreas cant keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down.
At this point, blood sugar levels skyrocket and a diagnosis of type II diabetes is made.
Given that sugar can cause insulin resistance, it is not surprising to see that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages have up to an 83% higher risk of Type II diabetes .
It Has Been Linked To Skin Issues
The evidence linking diet and acne is limited, but scientists agree there is some connection.
Growing up, you were probably told to stop eating chocolate if you wanted your acne to clear up. While there’s no proof that chocolate alone leads to acne, eating too much sugar from any source can increase your risk of developing skin issues, including acne: Research shows that eating a high-glycemic diet can play a role in acne development.
Population studies have suggested that acne is more prevalent in Western societies, such as the US, where diets high in fat, sugar and processed foods are common. While still a controversial topic — further studies are needed to confirm the relationship between diet, sugar and acne — scientists say the link between diet and acne “can no longer be overlooked.”
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