We’ve all read and heard that too much sugar is bad for our health. It can cause weight gain, tooth decay, and a whole host of other health problems. But, how and why does sugar have such a significant impact on our bodies?
Understanding how our bodies react to sugar and process it can help throw light on just how insidious overconsumption of sugar can be.
In this article, we will gain a better understanding of sugar and how it affects our bodies.
The Role Of Sugar
Sugar is a carbohydrate that is found naturally in a lot of foods. Fruit, milk, honey, maple syrup, and agave all contain natural sugars. Added sugars can be found in almost everything, from tomato sauce and bread to juices and cereal. But, did you know that sugar is actually not a required nutrient for humans?
Sugar is addictive because it creates an energy spike in our systems after eating it. Evolutionary speaking, our brains are wired to always want more sugar. It causes a release of higher dopamine as compared to other foods.
However, consuming sugar moderately in its natural form, such as through fruits, is healthy. Some fruits also have cancer-fighting properties and are rich in antioxidants.
Added sugars, on the other hand, are proven to cause weight gain, lethargy, sugar crashes, and even heart disease.
How Much Is Too Much?
As our bodies don’t necessarily need added sugars, it can be tricky to know how much sugar we should be consuming. Several medical sources, however, suggest the following guideline for sugar consumption:
- For adults, no more than 24 to 30 gms, or six to seven cubes of sugar per day.
- For seven to ten-year-olds, no more than 20 to 24 gms, or five to six sugar cubes per day.
- For four to six-year-olds, no more than 15 to 19 gms, or four to five sugar cubes per day.
Completely cutting back on added sugars works wonders for many people. There are cases where even cutting out added sugar for 30 days made people experience higher energy levels, fewer headaches, and improved oral health.
How Does Sugar Affect Us?
1. Hampers Appetite
Too much sugar consumption increases our body’s resistance to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that controls our appetite, which tells us when we are full. This makes it hard for us to stop drinking or eating sugary foods because we feel we aren’t full!
2. Weight Gain
There is a direct link between weight gain and sugar consumption. Drinking soft drinks consistently can increase visceral fat and lead to heart disease.
3. Negatively Affects Liver Functioning
Our livers process sugar the same way they do alcohol. Too much sugar consumption burdens the liver, and instead of storing the fructose, it starts getting converted to fat. This leads to fatty liver disease.
4. Increased Inflammation
Raised blood sugar levels also cause chronic inflammation. If you already suffer from inflammation, then sugar consumption can be highly detrimental to your health.
5. Reduced Energy
We’re all familiar with the dreaded sugar crash. Regularly consuming added sugars makes us more susceptible to experiencing energy drains, confusion, headaches, and fatigue.
Sugar can affect our health in ways that we may not even realize, causing major health issues. The good news is that switching to a diet with natural sugars and wholesome ingredients can actually reverse diabetes and heart risk.
At Natural Heaven, we strive to make products that have no added sugars but feel just as indulgent! Grab our green bananas Bantastic Brownie Crisps or a box of our gluten-free pasta made with hearts of palm to enjoy tasty treats without compromising your health.