Too much sugar in the diet has been linked to several health problems. Sugar is in many foods and drinks, so it’s easy to eat or drink more than recommended without even realizing it. When you eat too much sugar, you can gain weight, become obese, and increase your chances of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems.
Studies have shown that eating too much sugar can hurt the liver, teeth, skin, brain, and immune system. This article will detail the bad things that happen when you eat too much sugar and why cutting back is important. Understanding the risks of eating too much sugar is important to live a healthy life and avoiding long-term health problems.
It’s important to remember that these tips are based on the diet that gives most people enough energy. On average, most people eat more sugar than is recommended daily. The Who says that about 12% of the average energy people get comes from free sugars. It’s a lot higher in some countries, where some adults get 20–25% of their daily calories from sugar.
Various kinds of sugar
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that can be found in many different foods and different forms.
- Simple sugars like glucose, fructose, and galactose are monosaccharides. They are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and honey.
- Disaccharides are made up of two simple sugars that are linked together. Sucrose, lactose, and maltose are all examples of disaccharides (malt sugar). You can find them in regular sugar, honey, and syrups.
- Polysaccharides, like starch and glycogen, are long chains of simple sugars. Starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, and grains have them.
Why you must not consume too much sugar
Here are some reasons why eating and drinking too much is bad for you:
Obesity and gaining weight
Sugar can guide to weight gain and obesity because it is high in calories and has no nutritional value. When we eat sweets, our bodies change it into glucose, utilized as fuel. When we eat more sugar than our bodies need for energy, the extra glucose is stored as fat. This makes us gain weight and cause fat to build up.
Heart disease can happen in a few ways if you eat too much sugar. One of the main ways is by making people gain weight and become obese. Extra weight is a major cause of heart disease because it can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol. Triglyceride levels can also increase when more sugar is in the blood. High levels of triglycerides have indeed been linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
Too much sugar can hurt the liver in more than one way. One of the main ways is for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to happen (NAFLD). Whenever the liver is exposed to a lot of sugar, fat can build up inside the cells of the liver. This can cause the liver to become inflamed and scarred.
This is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH can lead to cirrhosis, which is a serious disease that causes a lot of damage to the liver and could cause the liver to fail. Another way that eating too much sugar can hurt the liver is by giving it too much fructose.
When we eat too much sugar, the liver changes much of it into fructose. Fructose can’t be broken down like other sugars, and if there’s too much of it in the liver, it can cause inflammation, oxidative stress, and other types of cell damage.
Type 2 diabetes
Too much sugar in the diet can cause insulin resistance, leading to type 2 diabetes in the long run. Insulin is a hormone the pancreas makes that helps keep blood sugar levels in check. When you eat sugar, it goes into your bloodstream and raises your blood sugar level. So, the pancreas makes insulin to move the sugar from the blood into the cells, which can be used for energy immediately or saved for later.
When a lot of sugar is eaten often and in large amounts, the body’s cells could stop responding to the effects of insulin. This means the pancreas’s insulin is not good at moving sugar from the bloodstream to the cells. This leads to hyperglycemia, a high sugar level in the blood. Over time, this can hurt the pancreas and make it less able to make insulin.
Sugar is an important cause of tooth decay, so if you eat a lot of sugar, you might have dental problems. When you eat sugar, bacteria in your mouth make acid, which damages the enamel on your teeth. This erosion can lead to cavities, which are holes in the teeth caused by the decay of the enamel and the layers below it.
The most common bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth decay are Streptococcus mutants and Lactobacillus. These microorganisms break down sugar and other carbs to make lactic acid. This lowers the pH in the mouth, which makes it easier for tooth enamel to lose its minerals, which leads to cavities.
Too much sugar in the diet can cause insulin resistance, raising testosterone levels and making the body make too much sebum, clogging pores. Too much sugar can make your skin and other body parts swell up.
Inflammation can cause too many skin cells to be made and a rise in bacteria that cause acne. When you eat too much sugar, hormone changes could also cause acne. Too much sugar can cause a rise in blood sugar and overproduction of hormones like cortisol and insulin.
When you eat too much sugar, it can mess with your brain in several ways. One choice is to change the way the brain works. Large amounts of sugar can change the amount of sugar in the blood and throw off the balance of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. If the balance of these neurotransmitters, which are important for controlling mood, is off, it could lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Sugar may also change how the brain controls hunger and appetite, which can cause problems with thinking. When the body has too much sugar, the brain may not be able to correctly control feelings of fullness and hunger, which can lead to overeating and obesity.
Too much sugar in our diets can hurt our health in many ways. Too much sugar can cause weight gain, addiction, heart disease, diabetes, and trouble sleeping, among other things. It’s crucial to be conscious of how much sugar we eat and try to cut back on added sugars as much as possible.
A balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in added sugars can help keep you healthy and lower your risk of chronic diseases. Getting enough sleep and sleeping well can also improve your health and well-being. Sugar may not be bad for us in small amounts, but if we eat too much of it, it can hurt our health in a big way.