Do you know what the recommended daily sugar intake is for adults? It’s only 30 grams, but a lot of people are nearly doubling that in a day – and they do it every day!
Excess sugar consumption is associated with obesity, but there are other, less known side effects that you may not have learned about. Here are some of the harmful effects of sugar on the human body:
1. It can damage the brain
Too much sugar can make depression and anxiety worse by causing energy spikes, which are then followed by crashes. Sugar also interferes with the neurotransmitters that regulate out moods.
Sugar has also been linked to dementia, because eating too much can lead to diabetes, which in turn can lead to memory loss.
2. Skin ageing
Women are at a disadvantage for keeping young-looking skin, as they have lower levels of collagen than men. Collagen is the substance that keeps skin looking firm and young, and eating high levels of sugar can damage collagen – if you’re a woman who eats lots of sugar, your skin may look older than you actually are!
Excess blood sugar can attach itself to collagen in the skin, and once attached, it can make the collagen become brittle. This makes it harder for our skin to repair itself, which leads to extra wrinkles and possible adult acne.
3. Liver disease
If the liver gets overwhelmed with amount of fructose from sugar it has to process, it converts the fructose to fat cells. Some of these cells go round the body as cholesterol and triglycerides that can lead to weight gain, but many are stored in the liver. This can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
4. Kidney damage
To much sugar can lead to obesity, which can trigger type-2 diabetes. This type of diabetes can cause kidney damage, and stops them filtering waste from our blood effectively.
5. It’s bad for the digestive system
Sugar isn’t always completely digested into the small intestine, which can mean that it has fermented by the time it reaches the large intestine, leading to gas, cramps and bloating.
6. It can cause yeast infections
Too much sugar can encourage recurring yeast infections such as thrush, because yeast thrives on sugar.
7. Heart disease
High levels of sugar can reduce the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, which carry fat in the bloodstream. It also causes an increase in triglycerides, which is the main constituent of body fat.
Sugar can cause obesity, which can also put people at risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.
8. It can damage blood vessels
High glucose levels can cause the blood vessels to contract, and this can set a bad chain of events in motion as extra pressure is placed on the heart and other organs. This starves them of their blood supply, and causes high blood pressure.
9. Tooth decay
Sugar is the enemy of tooth enamel. Harmful bacteria in the mouth feed off the sugar and multiply, causing tooth decay.
Sugar contains a lot of calories for no nutrients – but it tastes good. This sweet taste and calorie count can soon lead to weight gain, and if sugar and fat consumption isn’t curbed it can lead to obesity.