Your Body on Sweets: The Alarming Impact of Added Sugars

Introduction

When you think of sugar, your mind probably goes straight to sweet treats like ice cream and cookies. But sugar is also hiding in a lot of the foods that we eat every day—including some of our favorites! In fact, added sugars (like fructose) are found in so many foods that it’s hard to avoid them altogether. And while these added sugars can provide us with some nutrients, they have been linked to several negative health effects. Here’s what you need to know about how your body reacts when you consume too much added sugar:

Linked to heart disease

Added sugars are linked to heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Heart disease: A study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who consumed more added sugar were more likely to develop coronary heart disease.

Obesity: A review of 10 studies published in The Lancet concluded that increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with weight gain and obesity, especially in children and adolescents.

High blood pressure: Research shows that consuming excess added sugars affects the body’s insulin production, which can cause elevated blood pressure levels over time.

Sugar can BOOST your risk for diabetes

If you eat lots of sugar, your body produces more insulin than it needs. This can lead to high blood sugar levels and diabetes.

Many people who have diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. Eating a lot of added sugars is one way to get too much sugar in your body, which can make you more likely to develop diabetes.

Sugar can cause cancer

Like the rest of your body, your mouth needs sugar to function properly. When you eat foods with added sugars, they can lead to cavities and gum disease. Sugary foods also cause tooth decay by promoting bacteria growth in the mouth.

When consumed in excess, added sugars can lead to obesity, which can increase your risk for many diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Obese individuals who do not lose weight or remain obese are at higher risk for several cancers including breast cancer (in men as well as women), colorectal cancer (colon), endometrial cancer (uterus), kidney cancer and esophageal cancer (throat).

Over time excess consumption of added sugars may also increase the risk of developing liver cancer by raising levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This is a protein that stimulates cell growth throughout the body including cells that make up our immune system—but is also involved in other processes such as metabolism.

Increase’s your risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

Added sugar can also increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study published in the journal Nature, inflammation in the brain may be a factor in developing the disease. The brain is the most important organ for memory, concentration, and thinking—so it’s important to keep its health at its optimal level by cutting out added sugars from your diet.

In addition to increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, sugar can cause inflammation in other parts of your body as well. For example:

Inflammation in the heart (cardiovascular disease)

Inflammation of arteries (atherosclerosis)

Sugar can affect your healing from injury or infection.

Your immune system will be compromised. When you’re injured, your body releases inflammatory chemicals to help clean up the damaged tissue and jumpstart the healing process. But, according to research from the University of California-Davis, sugar can interfere with this process by causing inflammation in your body. If you suffer from a chronic illness or are predisposed to one, it’s important to keep your diet as sugar-free as possible—and avoid sugary foods altogether if they make you feel worse.

You’ll become more susceptible to infection. A study from Loyola University found that rats who were fed high-fat diets were more likely than those on regular diets to develop pneumonia after being exposed to bacteria called pneumococcus—a bacteria that causes serious illness in humans too! Because the liver is responsible for producing many proteins necessary for fighting infections (like TNF-α), consuming large amounts of added sugars can impair its ability do so effectively, leaving us vulnerable against dangerous germs like salmonella or even cold viruses (which have been known cause symptoms similar those caused by salmonella).

To reduce added sugar intake;

One of the best ways to reduce added sugar intake is by limiting beverages with added sugar, such as soda and fruit drinks. That’s because they have one of the highest amounts of added sugars in a single serving (in fact, soda has more than 20 teaspoons per 12-ounce serving!).

Even though fruit drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives, they also contain high amounts of added sugars. For example, orange juice has about 7 teaspoons per 8 ounces; that compares with 10 teaspoons for a can of Coke! So if you want something sweet or fruity that isn’t loaded with calories or too much sugar, try drinking unsweetened tea or coffee instead.

Conclusion

In summary, the best way to reduce your added sugar intake is by limiting beverages with added sugar, such as soda and fruit drinks. In addition, you can choose foods that are lower in sugar or eat less of a sweet food if you enjoy it. Eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables will help ensure that your diet is balanced and contains all the nutrients needed for good health!

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