Of all the foods consumed today, added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. It is not only toxic affecting the body in all sorts of way but can also have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. Sugar is prevalent in food in more forms than the white powder we are accustomed to having. Right from honey to maple and corn syrups, they are present everywhere and add zero value to the food we consume. They contain no proteins, no fibre, no enzymes, no minerals, no healthy fats, only empty calories
More often than not, when we refer to sugar, we are talking about the white granulated sugar, but what is it made of that makes it so deadly for our consumption? When we talk about sugar’s composition, it’s a mixture of glucose and fructose. Known as simple sugars, sucrose is naturally present in plants and some fruits. However, what makes it different than artificial sugars is primarily how our body tends to break it down and metabolise them. These simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, like table sugar (disaccharide) which is comprised of half glucose and half fructose.
One of the major differences between these two sugars lie in the nutritional value they seem to add. While naturally occurring sugar found in fruits and vegetables at least get balanced by the vitamins, fibre, and helpful enzymes which the body can deal with easily, processed sugar is devoid of any such benefit and instead is called empty calories as they offer no nutritional value. Moreover, they are incredibly addictive and rob your body of energy and health.
Here are a few disturbing reasons why you should avoid added sugar like the plague.
Sugar causes blood glucose to spike and plummet.
Sugar levels if left unchecked can lead to fatigue, headaches, mood swings and further cravings which turn into a vicious cycle. These longings lead to further hunger pangs and make you irritated and cranky if you don’t get your sugar rush.
One of the major reasons for toothaches, decay and plaque formation is sugar as it effectively leads to more decay creation than any other food. Sugar helps provide the bad bacteria in your mouth, the necessary nutrients which aren’t good for your pearly whites.
Bad for Your Skin
Sugar helps contribute to skin problems like sagging skin, wrinkles and other prominent signs of premature ageing. On hitting the bloodstream, the sugar you consume attaches itself to the helpful proteins in your body, in a process known as Glycation. These invaders then attack and weaken your proteins leading to a loss of elasticity due to damage caused to the protein fibres in elastin and collagen which are key contributors in ensuring that your skin remains firm and elastic. What more, they also wreck havoc with the functioning of your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes leaving your skin unprotected from the harmful rays of the sun, leading to further damage.
Increases Risk of Heart Disease And Diabetes
Increasing studies and research have revealed that higher intake of sugar can lead to obesity while also causing excessive release of insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin levels if left unchecked can eventually lead to the development of type II diabetes. Additionally, insulin levels also help keep cancer at bay. However, constant high levels of Insulin as a consequence of high sugar consumption can lead to the development of cancerous cells as well.
Heart disease and diabetes are intricately related. Excess insulin can affect your body’s circulatory system including your veins and arteries and result in blood vessels expanding. This eventually leads to high blood pressure which puts you at risk of a stroke or even a heart attack.
It’s important to treat your body like a temple and keep a track of the food you put in it. Excessive sugar in the diet is not the best idea when it comes to healthy living and empty calories are just the tip of the iceberg. Sugar can have a myriad of harmful effects on your body and it’s essential to keep a track of your daily sugar intake to prevent things from accelerating. The easiest way to curb and satiate your sugar intake is by eating healthy and consuming fruits, given their high amounts of disease-fighting compounds and fibre, at the right time to get the sugar rush you need. Substituting sugar with pure honey extracts can also help reduce your sugar intake. However, it is paramount to understand that sugar is akin to sweet poison, the more you consume, the more poison you’re stuffing in your body. Abstain, keep sugar at bay, and feel the difference for yourself.