Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up large proportion of their daily calorie intake.
Here are some of the reasons why eating too much sugar is bad for your health:
1. Can cause weight gain
Sugar-sweetened drinks such as sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar. Excessive fructose consumption may cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to stop eating.
Sugary beverages don’t curb your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume a high number of liquid calories. This can lead to weight gain.
2. May increase your risk of heart disease
Evidence suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar and blood pressure levels, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterised by fatty, artery clogging deposits.
3. Has been linked to acne
Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed sweets, raise your blood sugar more rapidly than foods with a lower glycemic index. Sugary foods spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which play a role in acne development.
4. Increases your risk of diabetes
Obesity which is often caused by consuming too much sugar is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes. Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.
5. May accelerate the skin aging process
Wrinkles are a natural sign of aging. They appear eventually regardless of your health. However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed up the skin aging process. Advanced glycation end products are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. AGEs damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its youthful appearance.
6. Drains your energy
Foods high in added sugar quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to increased energy. However, this rise in energy is fleeting. Products that are loaded with sugar but lack in protein, fiber or fat lead to a brief energy boost that is quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash. Having constant blood sugar swings can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels.
To avoid this energy-draining cycle, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fiber.