Sugar&Health-The Slow White Poison
Six main reasons why eating too much-added sugar could be hazardous for your health:
1- CancerSugar is not a carcinogenic (causing cancer) substance. However, the excess consumption of added sugar can contribute to obesity, which is a significant risk factor for cancers such as breast and colon cancers. That is due to the indirect link between cancer and sugar. Eating lots of added sugar over the years can cause you to gain weight. And studies show that being overweight or obese increases the risk of 13 different kinds of cancer. There is a single study that suggested there could be something else going on. As researchers found that people who drank too much added sugar drinks had a slightly increased risk of cancer, regardless of their body weights. Still, more studies will be needed to rely on that.
2. Cardiovascular disease
3- Depression and anxietyToo much added sugar in the diet could lead to an increased risk of depression or anxiety, especially among men. A study in the UK has found that men consuming too much sugar (more than 67g a day) had a 23% increased chance of suffering from a common mental disorder after five years than those who consumed lower sugar levels (less than 39.5g a day). This study found no link between sugar intake and new mood disorders in women, and it is unclear why, but more research is needed to test the sugar-depression effect in large population samples. Another study for over 67,000 women showed that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a high risk of depression symptoms than those with lower added sugar consumption.
4- Weight gainObesity occurs when energy intake from food or drink consumption is higher than the energy spends through metabolism or exercise. There are different ways to classify bodyweight, but the most widely used is the Body Mass Index (BMI). A person is thought to be obese when their BMI exceeds 30 kg/m2. However, a high BMI does not consider to be a definitive diagnosis of obesity. As some people can have excessive muscle bulk, which increases their weight; but it is generally a good indication of whether you are overweight or not. Added sugar products are often referred to as empty calories as they’re relatively high in calories and lack nutrients (minerals, vitamins, protein, Fiber and fat). Which our bodies need to work correctly, and those nutrients are essential to give us the feeling of fullness. Also, added sugars affect the appetite-regulating neurotransmitter, which may cause the effect of desiring food and leads you to overeat. Not to mention that the prolonged elevated blood sugar and the insulin resistance the added sugar leads to, all of that linked to weight gain and excess body fat, especially around the waistline.
5- Accelerate AgeingToo much added sugar in your diet can cause dark circles, dehydrated skin, and wrinkles and fast-track the ageing process.
Some of the issues your body is faced with when facing too much added sugar(A) Glycation: When sugar enters your bloodstream. Bonding of a sugar molecule to a protein or lipid molecule without enzymatic regulation occurs. During glycation, toxic compounds called ( Advanced Glycation End Products) or AGEs are produced, and these can cause wrinkles, sagging, dark circles under the eyes. (B) Inflammation: Added sugars consider to be an inflammatory food, and overeating of it may cause chronic low-grade inflammation that can lead to broken capillaries, loss of skin elasticity, and breakdown of cells. All of which fast-track ageing.
6- Type 2 DiabetesOvereating added sugar does not directly cause type 2 diabetes. However, some evidence suggests that the higher overall availability of sugar makes diabetes more common. A review article in 2016 suggests that direct effects of sugar are mainly related to fructose consumption as the liver absorbs fructose (fruit sugar) without regulating the intake, potentially leading to a build-up of liver fats and a decrease in insulin sensitivity. The insulin sensitivity function shapes how effectively cells use glucose and regulate removing it from the bloodstream. Decreasing insulin sensitivity can cause blood sugar to become persistently high, potentially leading to type 2 diabetes.
In summary,Sugar deserves to be tagged as slow white poison as it doesn’t kill you by one or even ten doses, but it takes time to destroy your body cells through the years and leads you to suffer from lots of chronic diseases.
Though, we should have a question here:
What is the recommended daily intake of added sugar?WHO ( world health organization) guidelines are to reduce added sugar intake at all life stages to under 10 percent of the total calorie requirement to reduce the risk of unhealthy weight gain, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Which equals a maximum of 50 g of sugar per day (10–12 teaspoons) for the average adult (at a calorie intake of 2,000 kcal). The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends decreasing the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of the total estimated daily energy requirement (kcal). For women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day or about six teaspoons of sugar (30 grams). For men, it’s 150 calories per day or about nine teaspoons (45 grams). Now we almost have an idea regarding the daily intake of sugar, which we can consume and still be healthy. So, let us have a look at how to reduce your sugar intake.
Here are some tips to reduce your sugar intake:
1- Shopping tips
- Write a list and stick to it.
- Plan meals and snacks for the week and make sure you buy everything you will need.
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry because you are probably going to be tempted by unplanned choices.
- Concentrate on buying foods from a specific grocery store. The more stores you will go to, the more added sugar product you are going to see.
- Read the labels of each product you shop to work out, which are the best choices.
2- Switch Sweets and processed food to home-made mealsProcessed food is what we got in a can or pocket; if you need a snack in your break, try switching over to fresh fruit, yogurt, carrot or a small handful of unsalted nuts. Instead of grabbing a cake, biscuit or muffin.
3- Don’t drink fruit; eat it!Obviously, if you juice your fruit, you will consume a lot more serves than if you were to eat it whole because juicing takes off the pulp. Which contains fibre that makes you feel fuller and satisfied. Also, your fruit juice will be high in sugar. So if you want to decrease your sugar intake, reducing your fruit juice consumption will be a good start.
4- Switch soft drinks to waterWe all know that soft and energy drinks are full of sugar. If you regularly drink either of these, you can quickly drop the amount of sugar in your diet by decreasing your consumption of these drinks. If you don’t love the taste of plain water and struggle to consume the proper amount. You can buy some sachets of the concentrated flavoured powder. They come with ten calories per sachet, which is enough for more than 500 ml and different tastes.
5- Changing your hot drink habitsTry to reduce the amount of sugar you put in your coffee or tea, one teaspoon at a time. Or, if you’re a fighter, go ahead and take it all off from your hot drink. Dr. Dalal Hassan has medically reviewed the article.
There are lots of healthy recipes you can find it online, with low sugar and more fibre, and it is delicious too!