Sweet Poison: How Sugar Is Ruining Your Health

Can’t resist those rasgullas and ras-malai? Well, you’re not alone! 

Although we kashmiri’s don’t consume a lot of sweets except at occasions such as kath gandin, nishean, khaandar, mubarakas and so on..) but let’s be honest with ourselves, these occasions occur frequently throughout the year. So that being said, sometimes we have more than we should be having.

So, you probably are here because you love sugar and haven’t realized how sugar has made your body unhealthy and on the verge of annihilating itself. Let me make things clear, sugars are healthy for your body. Your body needs sugar. But wait, then what is this all about? 

Sugars that are processed are unhealthy for your body. Beverages, sweets, and baked goods, sauces, ready-made meals, canned goods are examples of foods that contain refined sugars. 

Natural sugars are the sugars that are present in fruits and won’t cause you harm unless taken in excess amounts. It is nearly impossible to consume excessive amounts of fructose by eating fruits only.

So, the health risks of eating sugar come from consuming refined sugars and not from natural sugars that are found in milk and fruits.

HOW IS SUGAR RUINING MY HEALTH?

 Refined sugar can wreck your health from head to toe. Let’s see how:

  1. BRAIN: You can thank your brain for those midnight chocolate cravings. That’s because sugar makes the brain produce a hormone called dopamine. The reward center in your brain releases dopamine in response to pleasurable experiences that lead to addiction. Additionally, excessive sugar does not allow the brain to function aptly, which leads to depression, dementia, anxiety, and mood swings.
  1. HEART

 Consumption of extra sugar produces extra insulin in your bloodstream that can    affect the arteries of your body. It causes their walls to get inflamed, grow thicker than normal, and make it stiff. This stresses your heart and damages it over time that ultimately leads to heart diseases like heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes. High sugar intake has also been linked to elevated blood pressure and lowered HDL (good) cholesterol levels, both contributors to heart disease.

  1. SKIN

“Sugar is an inflammatory food, so sugar causes inflammation within the body,” said Dr. Saya Obayan, MD, MPH, FAAD, a board-certified clinical dermatologist. Excess sugar can aggregate skin conditions such as eczema and acne. When consuming sugar, proteins incorporate it as part of their structure, aging your skin and causing it wrinkles. 

  1. TEETH

Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria in the mouth that feed on sugary foods and drinks to produce acids that damage the enamel of teeth.

  1. LIVER: A high intake of carbohydrate (fructose) has been linked to an increased risk of building up a fatty liver. It can also lead to cirrhosis.
  1. PANCREAS:

A surplus of sugar can contribute to pancreatic failure or even pancreatic cancer in some cases.

  1. KIDNEYS:

 Excessive sugar increases the kidney size and produces pathological changes in the kidneys. It also causes kidney stones. Along with that, it damages the kidney’s delicate filtration system.

  1. JOINTS

Suffering from joint pain? You should stop eating sugar as it can cause inflammation which can worsen the joint pain and eventually lead to arthritis.

  1. FERTILITY: 

High blood sugar can cause infertility in both men and women. It leads to erectile dysfunction in men and sexual arousal dysfunction in women.

CAN REFINED SUGARS KILL ME?

Long answer short. Yes, it can! Let me explain. Refined sugars tend to digest rapidly which causes insulin and blood sugar to rise. Your liver then turns these sugars into fat. And as the liver releases sugar into the bloodstream, your blood pressure rises. Other than that, it releases a hormone, dopamine in the brain that can cause an addiction. The high insulin level causes glucose levels to drop, making your body tired and asking for more sugar to keep up the balance.

So when your body keeps asking for more of them and you keep feeding your body more of it, as a result, you will have consumed a lot more calories without realizing it. Rome had not been built in a day and so your body won’t get damaged in a day. It’s a process that leads to several illnesses. Two of the illnesses that are fatal i.e. type 2 diabetes and heart disease are caused by the intake of extra sugar. Treatment at the right time could save you, but why cure over prevention?

SO HOW MUCH SUGAR IS TOO MUCH SUGAR?

According to the American Heart Association’s recommendation, the daily allowance of sugar for women is 100 calories per day (6 teaspoons) and men are 150 calories per day. (9 teaspoons). Sugar consumed in excess to the limits for a considerably long time may cause several ailments.

HEAR FROM THE EXPERTS:

“A sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight. So says a major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.” -Julie Corliss -Executive editor Harvard Heart Letter

Did you know?

At least 10 percent of population in Srinagar is suffering from type-2 diabetes and another 10 percent are at the risk of getting it[1]

HOW CAN I STOP EATING LOTS OF SUGAR?

It’s never too late to turn away from sugar. 

You can start by replacing your soft drinks with water. It’s free and has zero calories. You can also opt for tea or coffee or maybe a homemade lemon soda!

Swap your desserts with fresh fruit, dates, or even dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has high cocoa content and less sugar. It serves as a great option if you wish not to get completely rid of sweet things.

Now that you are aware of the ill effects of excess sugar, don’t forget to share this with your family and friends!

References:

[1]https://www.thekashmirmonitor.net/10-of-srinagar-population-diabetic-as-many-at-risk-study/

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