The Sweet & Sour Facts About Sugar

The Sweet & Sour Facts About Sugar

May 13, 2024Simran Nahata

Sugar seems to be everywhere, and rightly so because it is our primary source of energy. But haven’t you heard that too much sweetness can kill you? From physical health to mental well-being, it influences every aspect of our lives, shaping not only our lifestyles but also determining our life expectancy. Let’s delve beyond its alluring facade and see how sugar affects our systems and lifestyle beyond the taste buds.

Metabolism: As per scientific research, added consumption of sugar has serious consequences on our overall health beyond calories. When it comes to our metabolism, excessive sugar (especially refined sugars and sugary beverages) can lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and thus type 2 diabetes. 

Digestion and Gut Health: Consuming too much sugar can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, leading to digestive issues like bloating, gas, and even more severe conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Immune System: When it comes to the defense system of our body, high sugar can suppress and interfere with our immune cells, impairing their ability to fight off pathogens effectively.

Brain Health: It is true that our brain cannot work without sugar (glucose), but excessive sugar can cause cognitive decline such as memory problems, and has been linked to increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. 

Hormones: Sugar can make you moody by disrupting the hormonal balance of your body. These imbalances can further contribute to fatigue, and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women.

 

When we look outside our systems and into our lifestyle factors, quick sugar food especially snacks can create a cycle of high and low energy levels. This is because these snacks have a high glycemic index, GI (a value to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels). The lower the GI, the better the blood sugar regulation and better productivity. Since most of the Sugary foods in the market are high in calories but low in nutrients, they lead to overeating and weight gain over time. Lastly, Mom wasn’t wrong when she advised us against chocolates (sugar again) because they feed bacteria in the mouth and promote dental issues.  

While we cannot live without sugar (carbs) for sure, we have plenty of reasons to be wary of too much sweetness. If it's unrealistic to eliminate sugar entirely, moderation is definitely the key. You can always opt for whole foods and natural sweeteners and find a balance. Once you start looking beyond your plate and taste buds, you solve major health problems.



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