Sugar is the building block of life. Without sugar we cannot exist. Yet nowadays, much is said and written about the side effects of sugar than it benefits. In this article, am going to write about the benefit of sugar to the body, side effects of excess sugar, about added-sugar and benefits of a sugar free diet to your health.
Benefit of sugar to your body
One of the foremost benefits of sugar to the body is that it is used to provide the needed energy for our daily activities and to carry on as a living creature. Carbohydrate foods are the main source of energy for our body. During digestion, the sugar in carbohydrate is converted to glucose, otherwise known as blood sugar and glucose is what the cells utilize for energy. Therefore, consuming sugar is not what is bad and there is no way we will not consume sugar because it occurs naturally in our foods but consuming excess sugar, added-sugar, sugar-laden foods and being an habitual sugar consumer is what is bad for our body and health.
Some health hazard of excess sugar in the body
Sugar can lead to fast increment of glucose level in the blood.
Sugar can result to pathological changes in the kidney as well as increment in kidney size.
Chronic added-sugar consumption can lead to habit and addiction and side effects which are no less than that of smoking and alcoholism.
Sugar increase the risk of gastric and ovarian cancer and it also plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.
Sugar is full of calorie. Therefore excessive consumption can lead to obesity.
Linda Pages in her book titled ‘ Linda Page’s Healthy Healing,’ says that “ sugar may lead to irritability, anxiety, poor concentration and emotional outburst.
Sugar can suppress your body immune system thus reduces the body’s ability to fight against bacteria infection and diseases.
Sugar can damage the cells and body tissues through increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Sugar can reduce high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and increase low density lipoproteins (LDL).
Sugar can make the eyes more vulnerable to eye defects such as hypoglycemia and myopia (near sightedness).
How much added sugar can I consume per day
America Heart Association recommends that added sugar such as honey, high-fructose corn syrup and brown sugar should be limited to 9 teaspoons or 36g for men per day and 24g or 6 teaspoons for women per day.
One of the reasons why added sugar is bad for your body and health is that added sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical in the name, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This chemical is required by our brain to form new memories, to learn and to remember things. BDNF help in sugar breakdown and formation which is usually poor in diabetics patients or people with defect glucose metabolism.
The ability to produce BDNF and level of BDNF reduces for every sugar you eat. This lowered level of BDNF lead to insulin resistance which can then lead to health problems such as type2 diabetes.
Eating added sugar can also lead to obesity because consuming diet filled with added sugar such as soft drinks and sweet candies seems to make us want more and this can make us obese since sugar contains much calorie.
Therefore, it is advisable to avoid much of processed foods high in added sugar since they do more harm than benefits to our health.
Benefits of a sugar free diet
A sugar free diet can help you to minimize your body weight. Foods such as oats, whole grains and vegetables are good to reduce and maintain your weight as they produce only small blood sugar thus preventing insulin surging.
Reducing or removing sugar from your diet can help to improve your mood by helping to avoid unnecessary mood changes or fluctuation.
Avoiding sugar or having a sugar free diet can help you to reduce your risk of diabetic by a huge percentage. Though, sugar consumption is not the major cause of diabetes but study shows that chance of having diabetes goes up with increment in one’s sugar consumption overtime. Regular consumption of sugary diets such as drinking one or more sugar-sweetened drinks daily can increase your diabetes risk by 50 percent.
This article does not preach total avoidance of sugary diet, sugar-laden foods, added sugar, soft drinks, beverages and beers but that consumption should be done minimally and occasionally with proper consideration of the relationship between sugar and your health.