You’re probably eating too much sugar than you’re supposed to. According to the American Heart Association, the amount of added sugars that the average person should eat per day are 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women. To put that into perspective, that’s about four fun-sized Snickers for men and slightly less than three for women. Here’s the news that we all know, but very blatantly ignore: sugar is bad for you. But why? How does it affect your health?
1. It damages your liver. Just like alcohol, fructose can only be processed by the liver. Too much sugar intake can overwork and eventually damage this organ.
2. It causes metabolic dysfunction. Classic Metabolic Syndrome is caused by excessive intake of sugar. Symptoms include weight gain, obesity, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.
3. It promotes the growth of cancer cells. Sugar is known to be used by cancer cells to promote cell division and speed their growth, which will allow cancer to spread faster.
4. It’s addictive. Fructose can stimulate the brain’s “hedonic pathway”, which creates dependence in the same way that alcohol does.
5. It increases your risk for diabetes. Studies show that for every extra 150 calories worth of sugar consumed, the risk of diabetes increases by 1.1%.
6. Sugar makes you hungry, even when you don’t need to eat. Eating too much sugar confuses your brain, and it can stop releasing the proper amount of leptin hormones, which let your body know that you’re full. This can lead to significant weight gain.
7. It can worsen or hurt your mental health. Blood sugar crashes after eating foods with high-sugar content can leave you tired and feeling low.
8. You can develop skin imperfections. A resistance to insulin, caused by high sugar intakes, can cause acanthosis nigricans, darker patches appearing on the armpits, neck, and groin. It can
also lead to dark, raised bits of skin. Both of these effects are not reversible, even with a change in diet, so start cutting back on sugar now!
9. Sugar can destroy your teeth. After eating sugar, bacteria in your plaque create acids that wear down your tooth enamel and create cavities over time.
10. All of your organs risk significant damage. Fructose accelerates oxidation in cells, which can damage proteins, tissues, and organs. This can increase the risk of a plethora of health conditions like cataracts and kidney failure.