One of the most prevalent components of foods and diets in the modern western society, excessive sugar is also one of the biggest contributors to poor health and unfortunately, we’re eating lots and lots of it. Even though it occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, we’re addicted to manufactured sugars. Worldwide, experts estimate that we’re eating approximately 500 more calories than we should per day from sugar alone. However, although most know it’s not good for them, excess sugar is often considered a lesser evil than too much salt of saturated fats. However, there are several facts about sugar that every health conscious person should be aware of.
Sugar has a similar toxic effect on the liver to alcohol.
Fructose and glucose (two types of sugar) has been shown by scientists to have a similar effect, when eaten in excess, on the liver to the metabolism of ethanol. And being thin doesn’t save you. Another study showed that liver damage can happen whether weight gain occurs or not.
Sugar Can Hurt Your Heart
It’s been known for a long time that excess sugar generally increases the overall risk for heart disease, however a recent study has suggested that it might also actually affect the mechanism controlling the pumping action in the heart. The study isolated a particular molecule made from glucose that caused changes in the muscle protein in the heart, which could eventually lead to heart failure.
Sugar Makes Us Fat
It’s kind of obvious, given the accelerating rates of obesity in both adults and children, however not many people know why. Excess calories from any source will be stored by the body as fat, however the lack of nutritional value in sugary foods make it a lot easier to eat far more of them than we should. Foods full of fibre, protein and fat have all been shown to be associated with an accompanying fullness when eaten, but sugar will leave you without the feeling that you’ve had enough, leading to over eating.
Natural Sugars Are Different.
Simple sugars, such as lactose in milk, or those coming naturally in fruit are much less damaging to the body. The scientific literature shows that these natural sugars don’t come with the same negative effects that manufactured complex sugars are associated with.
Too Many Sugary Drinks May Reduce your Life
A study in 2013 suggested that 180,000 deaths worldwide may be in part a result of over-consumption of sweetened drinks. The USA accounted for 25,000 deaths alone and the scientists concluded that the deaths were as a result of the relationship between sugar drinks and diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Don’t get too depressed though! Knowledge spurs action and now you know these facts, you can start reducing the impact of sugars on your life. Remember the golden rule of everything in moderation! If you’re further interested in this topic, more facts can be found on the Huffington Post article that inspired this blog.