Why Sugar Is Bad for You | 6 Science-Backed Reasons Explained
Sugar is one of the most popular sweeteners used in kitchens around the world. It is extracted from sugarcane or beets. But do you know why is sugar bad for you?
Yes, excessive use of this widely used ingredient is linked to several health issues and its uncontrolled use may even lead to cancer, depression, acne, heart, and liver disease.
Other Names for Sugar
Basic simple sugars:
Solid or Granulated Sugars:
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Castor sugar
- Coconut sugar
There are over 56 different names of sugar available in different forms around the world.
Although it is widely used worldwide in food and bakery items as a sweetener, it is also considered bad for health because of its side effects.
Here are the 6 reasons why is sugar bad for you:
1. Sugar Feeds Cancer
This is true that sugar feeds cancer cells along with all other cells in your body. However, research shows that it doesn’t necessarily cause cancer.
When you consume too many sugar calories in your diet, you may gain weight. And, being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for cancer and many other diseases.
It may lead to breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and endometrial cancer. The reason why it leads to cancer is that cells use an increased amount of energy from it.
However, so far there is very little proof that a low-sugar diet reduces the chance of cancer. But many references like Mayo Clinic listed that the use of excessive amounts of sugar may increase the chance of certain cancers, such as esophageal cancer (esophagus is the tube that runs from your throat to your stomach). More research is warranted to investigate this.
2. Premature Aging
The use of processed sugar in your diet, even in small quantities, can lead to premature aging such as dark circles, wrinkles, and dehydrated skin, and can increase the aging process quickly. So, be sure to use other sugar alternatives we have mentioned below.
3. Depression & Anxiety
According to a study by researchers in London that sugar and depression are linked with each other. Processed foods like sweetened desserts, fried foods, and processed meats may lead to depression.
Whereas, people who largely relied on unprocessed, whole foods are less likely to develop depression.
The study also suggested that whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and fish, can reduce the risk of depression in middle age.
4. Heart Disease
Sugar and heart disease are linked when consuming an excess amount of sugar. Due to which arteries in your whole body are affected by the extra insulin in your bloodstream. Because of this, your arteries get inflamed, thicker than usual, and stiffer.
Due to this, the load on your heart is increased, and it damages it over time. This leads to heart diseases, like heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes.
Some people also feel heart palpitations after eating sugar. If you feel palpitations, this may be due to food sensitivity.
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5. Sugar and Acne
Sugar and acne are widely linked to each other. Here is why:
When your blood sugar level increases, it results in inflammation in your body. This increase in sugar level causes your body to produce more sebum.
Sebum is an oily substance in your skin. Both inflammation and excess sebum can lead to acne.
Nearly 10% of the world’s population is affected by acne (source).
Many other factors contribute to the development of acne. These may include keratin production, bacteria that cause acne, body hormones, inflammation, and blocked pores of your skin.
However, a higher risk of acne is there when you eat a diet high in refined carbs, including sugary foods and drinks. It is recommended that the use of brown sugar is better than white.
6. Bad for Your Liver
Is sugar bad for your liver? Yes, excess sugar is not just bad for your teeth, it is equally bad for your liver, too.
Here is how sugar is bad for your liver:
The majority of refined sugar contains fructose. Liver processes fructose. If fructose is processed in large amounts, it can lead to damage to the liver. This happens when fructose is broken down in the liver.
This results in the development of fat, which in turn causes: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): In this condition excess amount of fat is accumulated in the liver. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): In this type of fatty liver, inflammation, and scarring of the liver occur.
Among the safest and healthy sugar substitutes, here are some:
- Stevia – the healthiest option
- Yacon syrup
- Maple syrup
Yet, they should still be used sparingly. As a rule of thumb in nutrition, moderation is the key.
In summary, it has been a widely used ingredient in diet worldwide in different drinks and foods. At the same time, research shows that it may lead to the development of certain diseases and disorders. This is because of its excess use. So, try to use alternates and substitute honey for sugar and maple syrup. It is also easily available in the market and has no side effects.
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