We are all aware that we shouldn’t be consuming so much sugar, as it is not healthy for us. However, a lot of us forget just how harmful sugar can be to our bodies, especially if we suffer from a sweet tooth or if we happen to find ourselves drinking a lot of sodas or even glasses of those “natural” juices that come in cartons.
Obviously, cutting sugar completely from your diet is virtually impossible, especially with how processed things are these days. But if you happen to be one of those people that ends up indulging more often than not, you should keep on reading to see what actually happens when you get too much glucose into your body! Not only will we take a look at some of the myths, but we will also talk about the long-term effects that eating too many sweet things will have on your body.
Who knows? Maybe this will help you evaluate your eating habits and give you that one last push you need to make some better food choices!
#1 Sugar Will Not Help You If You’re Hungry
It may sound like a great idea to snack on something sweet when you’re craving something to eat or when you’re actually hungry, yet, we’re here to let you know that they won’t do much. Anything with a lot of sugar will not have enough nutrients and you will be feeling hungry very soon after snacking on anything sweet.
Not to mention, any sweet drink will end up making you feel hungry quite fast. So if you’re getting a sweetened energy drink you’re actually just drinking sweet calories: the sugar in liquid form is not satiating at all, and not only will you be left feeling hungry, but you will also end up consuming way more calories than you would want. And if you’re paying attention to your diet, or have to stick to a regiment when it comes to calories, drinking these things will throw off your numbers.
Grab some hummus and carrot sticks or plain yogurt instead.
#2 You Will End Up Gaining More Weight
While eating something sweet will end up giving you that boost of energy you need, if you have too much of it, it won’t turn into extra energy, but rather your body will store it as fat! Not a shocker to anyone that has ever been on a diet, even a small one, but one of the things that most people suggest when you start dieting is to cut down on sweets and sweeteners! That’s because there is a clear connection between the two.
If you need anything more to make you consider this a dire example of what too much sugar can do to you, it may be surprising to you to find out that eating lots of glucose-heavy foods will make your waist circumference increase. And we aren’t pulling your leg here.
There have been studies that have shown that you will develop more belly fat from sugar! And we all know how annoying and difficult it is to get rid of belly fat…
#3 You Can End Up Shortening Your Life
No, we’re not the sugar police and aren’t saying that you should never enjoy something sweet ever again in your life. But what we are saying is that you need to have some balance in the way in which you eat, with the occasional guilty pleasure and indulging moments; you cannot go to an event and then turn down the cake; that’s just rude (plus that, who doesn’t like the occasional dessert?)
But making a habit out of eating too much sugar every day will end up shortening your life way more than you would expect. Studies have shown that if you end up drinking a 20-ounce soda, which has been sweetened artificially, every day, it would amount to 4.6 years of cell aging (which has been linked to a shorter human life)! It may not sound so impressive to you, but when you put it into perspective that it does the same damage to your cells that smoking does, it sounds a bit dire.
#4 Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
If your recent blood tests have come up with a high blood sugar count, you should already be on the fence when it comes to type 2 diabetes. Since research has proven just how closely the consumption of sugar is connected with type 2 diabetes, you should be even more careful if your blood tests already show you have high blood sugar.
The pancreas is the organ responsible for producing insulin, which helps level out the glucose level in the blood, which can spike if you eat a lot of sweets or sweetened foods. If the pancreas has to produce insulin in excess because you have developed a habit of eating a lot of sugar, it can become tired from overproduction. This, together with the insulin resistance your body will develop in time, can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
This may happen even if you aren’t adding half a bag of sugar to your daily coffee, as added sugar isn’t the only way in which you can end up abusing the substance. The risk can be high for everyone, especially if you know that you have a history of diabetes in your family.
#5 Sugar Can Mess Up Your Brain
While it will never compare with something like drug addiction, research has proven time and time again that sugar is no different when it comes to forming addictions than caffeine and nicotine.
If anything, it may have just one too many similarities, which range from craving it when you shouldn’t, to developing an overtime tolerance to consuming it frequently, which leads you to increase how much you actually eat, and to severe withdrawal if you stop.
Consuming a lot of foods that are packed with energy and have a sweet taste will lead to fooling your brain into believing that consuming these types of foods is good, if not even a necessity. This will mess up the part of your brain called the limbic system that will end up learning that not only does it love sweet foods, but it will lead to you craving them more and more.
The more you crave it, the more you will consume it, and this is a slippery slope toward overconsumption and a similar reaction to addiction.
Some research also shows that the brain may show similar reactions to sugar as it does to drugs, as they stimulate the pleasure centers in it.
#6 It Can Also Make Your Brain Suffer
We talked about the effects sugar has on your brain in the way that it makes you want it more and more, but we should talk about how it actually harms our brains as well. The reasons to cut down on sweets keep piling up, especially since there is verified research that shows that drinking soda is actually bad for your brain.
Not only are diets that are full of sugar and high in fat harmful for your body as a whole, but they are also bad for your brain. Too much added sugar will make your memory worse, but it can also have long-lasting effects. They can even lead to short-term memory impairment and other adverse impairments in your brain’s memory functions.
If you have issues with this, instead of relying on ginkgo biloba pills or other memory supplements, you should look at your diet and make some changes in the sugar department if you realize it’s going over the top.
#7 It Will Spike Your Insulin
What sugar does almost immediately is that it makes the body release more insulin in order to regulate the sugar levels in your blood. And while there are a lot of foods and drinks that act very fast, the ones that end up doing this are the sodas.
Because sodas are packed with sugar and because the glucose comes in liquid form, it gets absorbed by the body way quicker than with any other type of food. This leads to your body increasingly releasing more insulin to combat the rising blood glucose levels.
This can be dangerous because, over time, your body will develop insulin resistance, meaning that it will need more and more insulin in order for it to be effective, which can, in turn, lead to the development of other diseases such as diabetes or other adverse metabolic health issues.
There’s some good news, however, as this doesn’t occur from naturally occurring sugars, such as the ones from fruit, as fructose is paired with the fiber from the fruit and it doesn’t have any adverse effects. Even so, you shouldn’t consume too many fruits either, as everything should be eaten in moderation.
#8 You May Just End Up Developing Fatty Liver Disease
Do you have a family history of liver problems? If that is so and you have a huge sweet tooth, you may just be in a lot of trouble. One of the most well-known effects of sugar on your body is how it will end up messing with your liver if you have too much of it. Large quantities of fructose will end up damaging your liver, as this is the organ that metabolizes glucose; having too many sweets will lead to the liver producing way too much fat.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 30 to 40 percent of adults with fatty liver disease develop the disease for non-alcoholic reasons, such as sugar overconsumption. And while you may think it doesn’t sound like such a big drawback, fatty liver disease puts you at risk of prediabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity (sounds like the other reasons we mentioned beforehand are all meeting here as well)!
#9 The obvious! It WILL Make Your Teeth Rot
No, the dentist didn’t lie when they tried to scare you back when you were a kid. Let’s be honest, how many of us have used this same threat with our own kids or with younger siblings or cousins? The simple truth is that the bacteria that grows in your mouth is the biggest sugar lover. And not only do they consume it, but after the sugar is gone, they release a byproduct: acid!
The sweets by themselves aren’t doing much to your teeth, but the acid left behind by the bacteria eats away at the enamel of your teeth, which just lets the bacteria get deeper and deeper into your teeth, thus forming cavities. The more sweets you eat, the more acid gets released, and the faster you let your teeth rot: it’s a vicious cycle!
And if this didn’t convince you to make the switch to sugar free gum already, just keep in mind that yeast (which is a type of bacteria found in and around the mouth) feeds on sugar as well. And if you suddenly find yourself with your tongue or the corners of your mouth red, this may be the cause of it. It also comes along with that horrible velcro feeling on your tongue and sensitivity to spices!
#10 Your Heart May Give Up On You Due To The Pressure
The best thing you can do to make sure your heart is healthy and you give it a break (we aren’t talking about the emotional heartbreak here) is to have sugar-free days or to cut sugar as much as you can from your diet.
Numerous studies have shown that increased intake of sugar will lead to the production of a blood lipid that is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Not only will glucose decrease the production of “good” cholesterol (which helps protect the heart against diseases), but it will also lead to high blood pressure due to the increased insulin production we kept mentioning here and the strain on the brain centers that are responsible for regulating blood pressure.
We told you all about what sugar had been proven to do, so give a read to these debunked myths about Parkinson’s disease!