Consuming too much-added sugar is linked to high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, and fatty liver disease.
This article is geared at giving a breakdown of how sugar affects living a healthy life.
One drink per day of a sugar-sweetened beverage, over time, can amount to a tremendous amount of sugar entering the body.
How many of us dislike sodas, energy, and sports drinks? They are the leading source of added sugar worldwide.
How Sugar Affects living A Healthy Life
Drinking sodas can increase your risk of dying from heart disease. Studies showed that people who consume one to two sugar-sweetened beverages per day have a 26% higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to people who drink less than one per month.
Our bodies process liquid sugar differently from foods especially those with fiber contents.
When we make comparisons between an apple and a drink containing sugar, it is clear that the apple will give your body more nutritional value.
By eating one apple your body will benefit from 18 grams of sugar, but this is a purely natural sugar with about one-fifth of our daily requirement of fiber.
Because it takes our bodies a long time to digest the fiber, the natural sugar is released slowly into our bloodstream giving us added sustained source of energy.
On the other hand, the sugary drink doesn’t include fiber which makes it easier for the sugar to travel faster to our bloodstream, delivering more sugar to the body’s vital organs than they can handle.
This is one example of how sugar affects living a healthy life.
What Is The Result of Excess Sugar To The Body?
The excess of sugar from sugary drinks causes an overload on the pancreas and liver causing serious diseases.
The entrance of sugary drinks into our bodies responded to a blast of sugar by producing triglycerides, which some of these fat globules are stored in the liver.
Others are exported into the bloodstream, where they may end up lining the arteries. Clogged arteries will put us at risk for a heart attack.
High Calorie Beverages
When high-calorie beverages are consumed, we don’t feel full as we would if we had eaten the same number of calories from fruits.
It was revealed in a study that you can consume 38 grams (9 teaspoons) of sugar in a single soda, about twice as much as an apple without even noticing this.
In further studies done by World Health Organization (WHO) it was found, that free sugar (any sugar added to food or found naturally in honey, syrups, or fruit juice) particularly in sugar-sweetened beverages increases your energy intake and can lead to an unhealthy diet, weight gain and increased risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
The consumption of sugar has been linked to diabetes and heart disease in children.
A childhood obesity specialist who advocates for “no sugar” found that added sugar is eleven (11) times more potent at causing diabetes than general calories.
Sugar And Cancer
In a 2013 study, it was found that sugar has also been likened to causing cancer and could trigger the formation of the hormone gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) that increases insulin levels which are connected to cancer.
The cells in our bodies including cancer cells use sugar (glucose) from our bloodstream for fuel. Our blood sugar comes from carbohydrates rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy sources.
Some glucose is produced within our bodies from protein, but it is evident that the sugar in your diet preferentially feeds tumors over cells.
Eating a lot of high-sugar foods may contribute to more calories in your diet than you need which eventually leads to excess body fat.
Maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do to prevent cancer.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries to transport blood to other parts of the body. It usually rises and falls throughout the day, depending on the types of activities involved.
High blood pressure gradually develops over time as a result of unhealthy lifestyle practices and not getting regular physical exercise.
Certain health conditions such as diabetes, and obesity, can also develop. Most cases of high blood pressure can be managed to lower your risk of serious health problems by making lifestyle changes such as:-
- Physical activities (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week)
- Not smoking
- Eating healthy diets, including limiting salt and alcohol
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing stress
In an effort for positive lifestyle changes, it may mean some people with high blood pressure will need to take medication in order to lower their blood pressure.
You can protect yourself against heart disease, and strokes by taking action to lower your blood pressure.
People suffering from overweight are estimated to be about 1.9 billion adults existing worldwide, of which 650 million are obese.
Obesity is caused when the energy intake from food or drink eaten, is greater than the energy expended through metabolism or exercise.
Obesity is measured through the Body Mass Index (BMI) method which helps in classifying a person’s health in relation to their weight.
If you weigh more than 30kg/M2, you are considered an obese person.
Excess sugar-sweetened drinks and processed foods are likened to the major cause of obesity.
Some recommendations for reducing obesity are to reduce sugar intake to 30 grams (6 – 7 teaspoons) of sugar daily for adults.
Fatty Liver Disease
The liver is the organ responsible for digesting food and ridding your body of toxic substance
Fatty liver disease is a condition caused by the storing of excess fat in the liver. The symptoms are not detected early as there are no signs and do not cause serious problems
In other cases, it can lead to damage but can be reversed through lifestyle changes.
In most cases doesn’t cause serious problems or prevent your liver from normal functioning. About 7 – 30% of people with the condition, get worse over time as it progresses through three (3) stages.
Inflamed liver (swollen) which causes damage to tissue. This stage is called steatohepatitis.
Scarred tissue where the liver is damaged and the process is called fibrosis.
Extensive scar tissue replaces healthy tissue. This is called cirrhosis of the liver.
The liver is severely damaged and the hard scarred tissue that replaces healthy ones slows down the liver functioning.
It can eventually block the entire liver function which leads to liver failure and cancer of the liver.
Some signs of fatty liver disease are listed:-
- Yellowish appearance
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Pale-colored stool
- Chronic Fatigue
- Loss of appetite
Is The Demand For Sugar Rising?
Before the 19th century, sugar was not a popular staple in our diet, but since the introduction of new techniques employed in the extraction process, the sugar industry has been booming.
It has grown from a quarter of a million tons to 1,800 to 8 million tons in 1990. Since then, the steady increase in sugar consumption has steadily increased production with the demand still rising to the effect on how sugar affects living a healthy life.
The World Health Organization has recommended 61/2 teaspoons or 25 grams per day. Despite this limitation, sugar consumption is at its largest and still is rising eclipsing the recommended limit.
Sugar plays an important part in our daily lives as it gives our body energy but in order to be on top of our healthy lifestyle we have to make commitments and manage them.
It is therefore important to pay attention to the activities we perform daily as physical activities should be a part of your daily living with at least 30 minutes of exercise daily five times a week.
Eat balanced meals and try to get most of your sugar consumption from fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
Keep your blood pressure under control and take your medications if you are on them.
Pay attention to your body and take note of any changes of feelings happening, and don’t forget to get regular medical check-ups
I hope this article adds some value to you and if you have a question, please feel free to drop a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.