One of the biggest risks to both your health and your diet is sugar. It is a white menace which can play havoc with both your hormones and your organs.
It was one of the first things I sought to cut out when I started dieting. Not only do you cut a lot of calories out of your diet, but you also reduce your chances of developing a lot of health risks.
Here’s some of my top reasons why you need to be taking less sugar throughout the day.
Sugar Causes Weight Gain
The most obvious problem with having a lot of sugar in your diet is that it is a fast way to pack on a lot of fat.
It’s a substance that offers absolutely no nutritional benefit in the form of vitamins or minerals, yet it packs an astonishing 400 calories in every 100 grams. That’s nearly a quarter of your recommended caloric intake for the day!
Going above the amount of calories your body needs throughout the day puts you in a surplus. Your body stores the excess as fat, and sugar being high calorie makes that a very easy thing to do.
Too Much Sugar May Cause Acne
This is more of the hormonal effect that sugar has on your body which can lead to you developing a case of acne.
The problem is that when you consume sugar it causes your insulin levels to spike. With higher levels of insulin your body has higher levels of oil production and inflammation which can greatly contribute to spots and acne.
This can give a massive hit to your skin’s health and can do major damage to your looks.
It Can Increase Your Risk of Cancer
This is only the case when your sugar intake is incredibly high. However, this is still something worth knowing.
This comes back to our previous point about high insulin levels can increase your inflammation levels. High inflammation in your body is a cancer risk.
Not only that, high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance. This is where your body builds a tolerance to the insulin your body produces and doesn’t have as much of an effect. Insulin resistance is another high cancer risk.
Accelerates Skin and Cellular Aging
Another problem with getting a lot of sugar in your diet is that the effect that it has on your body can make you look older.
Compounds known as ‘Advanced Glycation End Products’ come from a reaction between the sugar and protein in your blood. They are believed to be one of the causes of skin aging.
This compound reduces the elasticity and collagen in your skin which can make you appear older than what you actually are.
Studies suggest a lower intake of high-sugar foods and carbs can help reduce the effects of the process.
It Lowers Your Energy Levels
You’re probably already familiar with this fact, but having high sugar foods can make you feel slower and more sluggish throughout the day.
This due to the spike in blood sugar the foods create. Although the spike comes on quickly and gives you a temporary boost in energy, it leaves just as fast leaving you unfocused and fatigued.
A more balanced diet and consuming more complex carbs are a good way of keeping your energy levels stable and constant.
Sugar Increases Your Heart Disease Risk
This is a more indirect effect of sugar, but the threat is still very real. This is all due to the effect that sugar has on your body. Excess amounts of it gets stored as fat. Too much fat can make you overweight, and being overweight can put an extra strain on your heart.
All this extra fat can lead to artery clogging fat deposits which really start to put your heart under fire, boost your blood pressure, and can eventually result in heart disease.
More Chance of Diabetes
Again, as you may already know eating a lot of sugar can have a tremendous effect on your insulin levels, and not in a good way.
By causing your insulin levels to continuously spike and dip, your body can develop a tolerance to it, which eventually leads to insulin resistance. Meaning that the insulin that your body used to regulate itself no longer has the effect that it once did.
The end game of this is diabetes type II. This puts you in a fragile position where you may need insulin shots just to stay alive. Of course, this is unlikely to happen, however, if you’re diet is heavily focused around sugar this could come in later years.
Sugar May Cause Depression
Researchers believe that a diet high in sugar may lead to mood problems such as depression. It’s not inconceivable considering it’s a food that has such a strong effect on our hormones.
The science behind it is due to how easily sugar can manipulate your blood sugar levels and how high insulin can influence your body’s inflammation levels. This can result in neurotransmitter dysregulation which can lead to depression.
Not only that, the inflammation that sugar causes can in itself, have an impact on mental health which could lead to depression.
Increases Chance of Getting Fatty Liver
And of course, the final reason that we’re covering today is that sugar can cause a fatty liver.
When you consume sugary foods, your liver breaks it down into an energy supply known as glycogen. However, when there is too much sugar for it to store as glycogen the remainder is turned into fat.
This excess fat in your liver can cause fatty liver disease, or more specifically Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. This can lead to scarring of your liver which can in some cases lead to eventual liver cancer.
It can be lethal if adjustments are not made to your lifestyle.
As you can see, sugar offers you very little apart from flavor. It lacks a lot when it comes to nutrition or any long term health benefits.
The effects that it can have overtime on your organs and hormones can be huge and cutting down on your intake on it would be a wise decision.
Sodas and ‘low fat’ food are the main culprits for this. They’re easy to consume without realizing how much sugar you’re putting into your body.
The American Heart Association recommends a maximum 37.5 grams of sugar a day for men and 25 grams of sugar for women. This is not a guideline for how much you should be taking – go lower if you can.
Find pleasures in different types of food. Your body will thank you for it.