Sugar is famous as a white, crystalline, and sweet powder which is best known for its nutritional qualities. Sucrose is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar and, sometimes, it is also called as saccharose. A sucrose molecule is further composed of a disaccharide of monosaccharide glucose and fructose. However, excess sugar consumption is not good for your health. A person who is consuming a high percentage of sugar in his diet may experience the following health conditions. Keep reading to learn all about it.
- Weight Gain: Sugar-based food items and beverages are typically high carriers of fructose. A high level of fructose increases one’s hunger, thereby leading to excess consumption of food. It can easily result in autogeneration of resistance to leptin, a hormone that regulates a person’s hunger. So, more the fructose-intake, the higher is the resistance to leptin and greater is the food-intake.
- An Increased Risk of Diabetes: High sugar consumption in the form of soft drinks, beverages, and canned and processed sweets increases the resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas required to regulate the blood sugar level in the human body. Once a high insulin resistance or less secretion of insulin occurs, the risk of diabetes increases.
- Increased Risk of Cardio Diseases: High sugar consumption lowers the levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol that helps remove LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol from the artery walls with the increase in levels of triglycerides, a type of fat found in the blood that poses an increased risk for the heart disease. Day-to-day medical evidence also suggests that high-sugar diets have resulted in increased cases of obesity, inflammation, and high triglyceride, high blood sugar, and blood pressure levels — all are risk factors for heart disease.
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- Increased Risk of Cancer: A diet rich in sugar can ultimately result in obesity, increased inflammation in the body with insulin resistance, thereby resulting in a condition that can make you prone to cancer. These conditions can easily make you susceptible to esophageal cancer, pleural cancer, or cancer of the small intestine.
- High Risk of Depression: A higher rate of sugar consumption increases the level of blood sugar and serotonin levels in the brain. However, once the high sugar levels suddenly withdraw from the system, neurotransmitter dysregulation and inflammation can occur which could have a significant effect on the mental health of a person and cause mood swings.
- Hastens Ageing of Skin: Skins elasticity (youthfulness) is generally maintained by collagen and elastin. Advanced Glycation End Products or commonly known as AGE are nothing but compounds formed from the reaction between sugar and protein in the human body. When sugar level rises, the sugar may attach to the proteins present in the bloodstream, thereby resulting in AGEs that hamper the production of elastin and collagen, which are crucial for maintaining the elasticity of the skin. An increase in sugar level can stimulate a high rate of AGE products which can damage the collagen and elastin, thereby resulting in skin losing its firmness and initiation of sagging – a condition called premature aging.
- Increased Risk of Acne: Edibles or eatables which are high in glycemic index can increase a person’s blood sugar count more rapidly than what ones with lower glycemic index do. This can result in increased androgen secretion. All of these can play a major role in the development of acne.
- High Risk of Fatty Liver: One of the medical conditions which may result due to high sugar intake is fatty liver. As we have observed that glucose and other types of sugar are taken up by many cells throughout the body, and fructose, which is a major constituent of sugar, needs to be completely broken down by the liver for essential glycogen – a source of energy. However, when one has a high intake of sugar, apart from the required amount that can be stored by the liver, the remaining or the excess turns into fat. This large accumulation can lead to disease conditions, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Generating Deficiency of Essential Minerals: Sugar, if not consumed in the required quantity, can deprive your body of essential minerals. Excess sugar causes essential minerals, such as Na, K, Mg, and Ca, to drain out from the body. The long-term effect can be weakening of teeth and bones, thereby causing conditions, such as tooth decay and related diseases like osteoporosis.
- Effect on the Human Brain: Increased sugar or elevated glucose in the bloodstream can result in delayed cognitive function with memory difficulty and a loss of attention. However, this is identified more or less as slow retardation of the blood vessels which can have a minimal effect on the normal functioning of the human brain.
It is once again prudent to say that one should maintain an optimum balance of sugar or sugar-based products in their diets to self-immunize from the bad effects of high sugar level related diseases.