Stop sugar: main reasons to limit the intake

Excessive consumption of sugar may have a negative impact on our health. You might not be able to resist the temptation of including sugar in your diet, but there are some quite convincing reasons to change your dietary habits and avoid it.

It is safe to claim that our body needs sugar to have energy to function well, as it is the fuel our organs need, namely our brain. However, not all sugars are the same.

On the one hand, intrinsic sugars are those present naturally in foods, such as fruits and cereals. We do not need to worry about this kind of sugar. On the other hand, free sugars are added to foods and have terrible consequences for our health. Not only the two teaspoons we add to our coffee, but also the “invisible sugar” that many ultra-processed foods contain: sauces, juices and soft drinks, ready-made dishes, pastries... These are normally foods with scarce nutrients, and our body finds it difficult to metabolize them. WHO has already recommended not to exceed 25g daily, which is the same as six teaspoons.

What occurs to our body when we consume sugar?

When we consume sugar, the first consequence is an increase in glucose levels in the blood. Then, our pancreas starts to release insulin, which is the hormone that helps cells absorb glucose to obtain energy. The problem is always due to excess. When the amount of sugar we consume is too high and our cells do not need it as a source of energy, the excess of glucose accumulates in the form of fats.

Why do we have to avoid sugar? 

  • Overweight and obesity. As previously mentioned, the excess of glucose accumulates in our body as fat surrounding our organs, which will increase our weight and our risk of suffering from obesity.
  • Hypertension. The relationship between sugar and overweight also causes an increase in blood pressure and other negative consequences for our cardiovascular health. 
  • Sugar is addictive. It stimulates the release of dopamine in our brain, which makes us feel pleasure. If we succumb to its appealing features, we may end up suffering from the consequences of that addiction: irritability, nervousness and mood changes.
  • Oral disorders. Sugar affects our oral health negatively, as it is the food of the bacteria that live inside our mouth and that produce acids that cause caries and damage our dental enamel.
  • Skin disorders, aging. Sugar decreases the elasticity of our skin and produces AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End Products), which are molecules that damage collagen and thus promote the appearance of wrinkles and cause oxidative damage.
  • Malnutrition. It is obvious that when we eat sugar, we do not consume other more nutritious and healthier foods, so these are empty calories that do not feed us.

Change your mind! By reducing sugar consumption, you do not avoid sweet foods, but you gain wellness.

Tags #tips #health #nutrition