Even though sugar tastes sweet and enhances the taste of most beverages and foods, its consumption especially in large quantities isn’t recommendable.
Sugar has a number of negative effects on one’s health. Sugar does not only come from the household sugar that is used to sweeten beverages like tea and coffee, other sources of sugar include processed fruit juices, energy drinks, soda, candies, chocolates, syrups, sweeteners, cakes, alcoholic beverages, and wines.
It is important to note that almost all carbohydrates are digested into sugar as the end product. Consumption of carbohydrates is therefore indirect consumption of sugar. Sugar has a number of negative impacts on the body as follows:
1. It increases blood glucose levels
Consumption of any form of sugar leads to a spike in the blood glucose levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia. Increase in blood glucose interferes with the body’s metabolic rate and consequently causes other health problems.
2. It causes weight gain and obesity
Sugar is very high in calories. A teaspoon of sugar alone contains about 16 calories. Given that most people put more than one teaspoon of sugar in their tea and also that tea and other beverages are not the only sources of daily sugar for most people, people can acquire a lot of calories from consumption of sugar. Sugar is usually digested into glucose and then the excess glucose is converted into glycogen and stored in the liver. If you continue to take more sugar and get more calories than your body needs, your liver will turn some of the glycogen into fat (adipose tissue). This consequently leads to weight gain.
Aside from being high in calories, sugar also causes an increase in secretion of insulin hormone. Insulin usually hinders fat from being released for conversion to energy. This means that your body will have difficulty burning fats leading to them piling up within your body.
Consumption of too much sugar has been linked to obesity. Sugar interferes with the hormones which control the body’s metabolic rate and this could be a contributing factor towards obesity.
3. Sugar causes diabetes type 2
Consumption of excess sugar leads to an increase in blood glucose levels. This triggers the production of more insulin by the islets of Langerhans cells of the pancreas. Too much sugar in the blood may cause the body cells to be unresponsive to insulin leading to the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. Continuous secretion of insulin may also cause the insulin producing cells to stop working, also leading to the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.
4. Sugar causes tooth problems
Sugar can cause tooth and gum problems. It offers a good environment for bacteria which cause tooth problems to thrive. The bacteria can weaken your gums and also cause tooth decay through formation of plaques.
5. It causes aging
Sugar has been linked to aging. Sugar can combine with protein in the body in a process known as glycation. This process can cause the body tissues to lose their elasticity leading to aging and sagging skin.
Apart from everything, sugar has also been linked to cardiovascular diseases and cancer. It can also lead to health problems like fever and fatigue.