Sugar - the sneaky substance lurking in almost everything we consume. Somehow, sugar always manages to find its way into our diet. Cakes, sugared drinks, candy and baked goods are usually the main sources of sugar in our diet. However, even savoury foods such as bread and rice contain sugar as well, making it all too easy for our sugar intake to spike.
While you have probably heard the saying “consuming too much sugar is bad for you”, chances are the consequences never fully registered in your mind. We all know too much sugar is bad, but how exactly does it detriment our body? Read on for a closer look on how excessive sugar consumption can ruin your health.
More often than not, sugary food are made up of ‘empty’ calories, which are lacking in nutrients and usually do not keep you full. Thus, this lack of satiety can lead to over-consumption of more foods that are high in empty calories. Accompanied with a sedentary lifestyle, these extra calories are stored in the body as fat and result in weight gain over time. If this bad habit further escalates, the risk of obesity will increase as well.
Insulin, a hormone, is responsible for regulating sugar levels in the human body. High insulin levels will convert excess glucose into glycogen to be stored in the body. Thus, a diet high in sugar will lead to prolonged periods of high insulin levels, causing the body to be desensitized to it. Eventually, glucose will build up in the blood as insulin loses its ability to convert glucose to glycogen.
This common disease often occurs as a result of insulin resistance. The persistently high blood glucose levels can eventually result in a multitude of other complications, such as high blood pressure and bad vision.
Fructose is a component of table sugar and high fructose corn syrup (often found in processed foods). High consumption of sugar, especially fructose, can cause the liver to go into overdrive, triggering it to store fat more efficiently. A diet high in fructose can lead to a fat building up in the liver over time, leading to the phenomenon of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The term ‘sugar rush’ should not be unfamiliar to any of us here. Unfortunately, bad news wait for those who rely on a mountain of sugary food for that spike of energy or adrenaline. After a sugar rush, unrelenting fatigue usually follows after the crash. This only results in craving for more sugar, which creates a vicious cycle. Sugar has also been known to trigger the release of serotonin, a sleep regulator, causing you to feel even more exhausted than before. So much for a sugar rush!
Insulin resistance has shown to be linked to high blood pressure - consistently high insulin levels may cause the muscle surrounding the walls of arteries to grow faster than normal. This causes tense arteries and can restrict blood flow, eventually leading to high blood pressure.
Now that you know more about the detriments of a high sugar diet, make sure to cut down on it before your health goes down the drain. One great substitute for sugary drinks would be tea, which is sugar free and high in nutrients and antioxidants. Be sure to check out Nilufer Tea for some amazing organic tea options! They are not only delicious, but also contain a hint of subtle sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth without giving you the unwanted health problems.