Sugar, the sweet white crystal, loved by children and adults alike, is a popular ingredient in many packaged foods and beverages. Despite its sweet taste and accepted use in the food industry, sugar has also been termed as the silent killer and white poison for the numerous health issues that its excessive consumption causes. Let us look at some of the ways in which sugar damages the body:
Excessive consumption of sugar can increase an individual’s risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. When excessive amounts of sugar remain in the bloodstream, the body reacts by producing less insulin which is necessary to convert the sugar into energy. This leads to a vicious cycle of sugar remaining in the bloodstream and less insulin being produced making it difficult for the body to metabolize both the sugar and the insulin, resulting in diabetes.
People who consume high levels of sugar in their diet usually get the excessive sugar content from packaged foods and beverages, usually in the form of junk food rather than from healthy fruits, vegetables or grains. A sugar – packed diet is bad for the heart, irrespective of how much a person weighs as it can raise the levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lower the “good” (HDL) cholesterol in the body while also increasing blood fats called triglycerides and disrupt the work of an enzyme that breaks them down.
Fructose, a simple sugar from fruits or vegetables like corn, is mostly used to sweeten most packaged and processed foods, snacks and beverages. The liver converts fructose into fat. When an individual consumes a lot of fructose, the fat builds up in the liver resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If left undiagnosed and untreated, swelling and scarring can cause irreversible liver damage.