A Sugar Free World (1): The Dangers of Excess Sugar Intake

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"We consume too much sugar!" You must have heard this statement before; it is worth hearing over and over again. Statistics estimate that a single person consumes more than 60 pounds of added sugar, or an average of 6,780 teaspoons, annually, while the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of daily added sugar consumption to no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

Although most sources of sugar are quite obvious—such as: soda, candy, added sugar to tea and coffee, in addition to other unexpected means by which sugar sneaks into our diets—we are still way far from these warnings and recommendations. Have you thought what happens to your body if you decide to permanently stop consuming sugar in your diet?

Recently, awareness and warning campaigns have been launched on the dangers of consuming sugar in all its forms and following sugar-based diets. People quickly associate sugar intake with excess weight; yet, many are unaware of the other ways in which excess sugar affects health.

Foods rich in sugar cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike, which, over time, encourages visceral adipose tissue accumulation; a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. A study has shown that people who consume 17–21% of their calories intake in the form of added sugar—meaning the sugar added by you or by the manufacturer, not the natural sugar found in some vegetables and fruits—are 38% more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar. Moreover, excessive sugar intake has been linked to some types of cancer, as increased weight gain, inflammations, and insulin resistance all add to the risk of cancer.

Excess sugar also increases the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes (T2D); according to statistics, the number of people with diabetes has tripled at least three times since 2000. The majority of people with T2D suffer from obesity and lack of physical activities; the disease also spread rapidly among people who depend on fast-food and adopt urban lifestyles.

Sugar also increases the risks of gout due to the excessive production of uric acid. It also affects skin health, increasing the risk of acne, and accelerating aging by forming sugar end-products that conflict with the proteins responsible for skin elasticity. Sugar also affects the mood, causing fatigue, anger, alertness, and depression.

No-sugar is not just a diet, and it is not about crazy strict decisions we make in our lives to lose weight; it is simply a way to adopt a new lifestyle devoid of processed and fast food. Quitting sugar means consuming the same way as our ancestors did in the past, before the emergence and widespread of modern metabolic diseases; such as: obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, cholesterol, and other diseases that were once much less of a concern.

References 

health.com

healthline.com

medicalnewstoday.com

webmd.com

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