Almost everyone knows that consuming a lot of sugar is rather harmful for our body system. However, how much do we really know about bad effects of sugar? This article will introduce you to some of the unhealthiest consequences of excessive sugar consumption. Even though it is quite hard giving up on sugar entirely, hopefully after learning more about its negative sides you will at least manage to substitute it with some healthier alternatives.
Empty calories: added sugar is known as an “empty calorie”, since it provides no nutritional values. Although it contains zero essential nutrients, it is abundant in calories – the ones that are bad. Sugar consists of no proteins, minerals, vitamins, essential fats or any other positive traits with beneficial influence on health. By consuming a high number of this type of calories (10-20 percent), a human being may suffer from a number of health deficiencies.
Liver malfunction: liver uses the fructose in sugar to make fats. The problem is that its capacity to metabolise the fructose is quite limited. Dr. Lustig, who has spent 19 years exploring and fighting childhood obesity, states that a liver has the capacity to metabolise up to 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. However, researches show an average American consumes up to 20 teaspoons of artificial sugar per day. When this number is so dramatically increased, all of this excessive sugar gets transformed into body fat. This scenario may lead to developing a number of chronic metabolic diseases: diabetes, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, dementia and in some cases even cancer.
Insulin resistance: insulin is very important hormone in our system, responsible for many processes in our body. It permits the glucose to enter the blood cells and makes those cells burn the blood sugar instead of fat. The problem that occurs rather frequently is that those cells become resistant to the insulin. This appearance is called insulin resistance and it may develop into serious diseases, such as type II diabetes, etc.
Dental diseases: since added sugar is abundant in “bad” calories, it causes tooth decay due to the fact that it feeds the bad bacteria in the mouth. It is the main “specialty” on the cavity and bacteria lunch menu.
Addictive: when consumed, high amounts of sugar cause the body to produce hormone called dopamine which causes high addiction in the brain.
"Over time, consuming large quantities of added sugar can stress and damage critical organs, including the pancreas and liver. When the pancreas, which produces insulin to process sugars, becomes overworked, it can fail to regulate blood sugar properly.
Large doses of the sugar fructose also can overwhelm the liver, which metabolizes fructose. In the process, the liver will convert excess fructose to fat, which is stored in the liver and also released into the bloodstream.
This process contributes to key elements of MetS [metabolic syndrome], including high blood fats or triglycerides, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and extra body fat in the form of a sugar belly."
- Dr. Lustig on bad effects of sugar on pancreas and liver