There’s a distinct difference between added and refined sugars. Naturally occurring sugars, like those found in fruit and vegetables, should be eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet. It’s the sugar that’s added into your food and drink that can cause the real problems.
The NHS recommends that adults consume a maximum of 30g of refined sugar a day – roughly the equivalent of seven sugar cubes – and that no more than 5% of your daily calorie intake comes from sugar.
It’s Empty Calories
Sugar has no nutritional value, which means it doesn’t provide your body with any goodness, and it won’t fill you up. So you’ll find yourself needing to eat more.
Sugary food and drink, such as cakes and cola drinks, have a high-calorie content. If your diet is high in sugar, it’s likely you’ll gain weight or be overweight. In children, each daily portion of sugary food or drink increases the risk of obesity by 60%.
It Can Increase the Risk of Cancer
While there isn’t a direct link between sugar and cancer, it’s generally agreed that a healthier lifestyle, including a reduced sugar intake, is the best protection against cancer.
The consumption of sugar releases the hormone dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel good when you’re eating it. This ‘sugar high’ can leave you craving more.
It Causes Tooth Decay
The more sugar that comes into contact with your teeth, be it in a sugary drink or a sweet snack, the more damage it can do. Tooth decay is a direct result of a diet that’s too high in sugar.
Your liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose, which is found in added sugar. If you eat too much, your liver won’t be able to keep up and it will turn into fat. If your sugar intake is only 2-3 times the recommended amount, you’re at higher risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Several studies have shown that a diet high in sugar can impair your cognitive function and adversely affect proteins needed for memory and responsiveness. Keeping a healthy brain can help reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Premature Skin Ageing
When sugar in your bloodstream attaches to certain proteins, it can damage the collagen and elastin in your skin cells, which is what keeps wrinkles and sagging at bay.
Type 2 Diabetes
Being overweight and consuming too much sugar can cause insulin resistance – when your blood sugar level is untenably high – which can lead to type 2 diabetes. A diet high in fizzy and cola-based drinks can increase your chance of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 83%.
You May Become Nutrient Deficient
If a large percentage of the food you eat is sugary snacks and drinks, it’s likely you’ll become deficient in nutrients such as calcium and iron, as sugary foods have no nutritional benefit.
It Can Lead to Heart Disease
Too much fructose in your bloodstream raises your bad cholesterol level, which, if maintained, can result in heart disease.
It Can Cause Depression and Anxiety
Regular spikes in your blood sugar caused by multiple sugary intakes will increase your chance of insulin resistance, which can create a chemical imbalance in your brain, affecting your mental health.
It Gives You Bad Breath
Sugary saliva is the perfect breeding ground for bad bacteria in your mouth. Drinking lots of sugary drinks often leads to having bad breath.
If you’d like to reduce your sugar intake but are unsure how to start, try our Wild Force Markus Sweet, totally natural, non-fattening, vegan sweetener. This is a great transitional product which can help you take the first step in breaking free from a sugar-rich diet, moving towards a healthier mind and body.
Want to read more? Here is another great article on the negative effects of sugar.