Sugar and weight problems: The stuff belly fat is made of
Obesity is gradually becoming one of the most common lifestyle diseases that plagues modern society, and the fact that an increasing number of children and teenagers are being diagnosed with the condition is nothing short of alarming. A 2010 study by the Endocrine Society has found that fructose-packed foods and beverages contribute to the formation of fat in the abdominal parts of the body. Combined with a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise, excessive intake of sugar in young adults can result in chronic weight problems, obesity and diabetes, which is a rather grim prospect for generations growing up on monosaccharide-laden cereals, sodas and snack bars.
The sweet tooth: Dental problems linked to sugar intake
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high sugar intake is directly linked to dental problems such as tooth demineralization and caries. Although regular use of fluoride toothpaste can help curb the negative effects of sugar consumption on oral health, the widespread use of refined sugar in industrial food is a force to be reckoned with, especially since sugar is listed under many different names on product labels different names on product labels, such as glucose, sucrose, dextrose, sucrose and maltose.
A study carried out by the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2013 has revealed that the regular consumption of high amounts of added sugar can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. According to the study’s findings, glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate found in refined sugar impacts the heart’s pumping mechanism and can increase the risk of heart failure. If you have a habit of wolfing down sugary snacks, you may want to take heart and cut down on your monosaccharide intake, at least for your heart’s sake.
The silent killer: Sugar and leptin resistance
Based on a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Psychology, a diet high in fructose can trigger leptin resistance and induce overeating, unwarranted weight gain and obesity. Leptin is a hormone that signals to the brain that the body has enough fuel to function on. Once the hormone level is disturbed, you may face the risk of binge eating and multiplying inches in the waistline area. The problem with leptin resistance is that you will not feel any telltale symptoms save for gradual weight gain – and silent diseases are the ones that are the most difficult to treat efficiently.
What the label does not tell you: Cancer thrives on sugar
You probably know that cancer has by now become one of the leading causes of death across the globe, but what you probably do not know is that excessive intake of sugar is linked to an accelerated progress of the fatal disease. Like all other cells in the body, cancer cells feed on blood sugar (glucose), which is why a diet centered on products rich in refined sugar may be an ideal ally to a growing cancer. In addition to that, sugar plays a major role in the development of obesity and diabetes, both of which are linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Addicted to the substitute for love: The sweet obsession
Sugar is a common ingredient of most comfort foods we usually reach for when stressed, sad, lonely or moody. If you are not careful, the sugary reward at the end of the day may take control of your life and cause a downright addiction – and those are extremely hard to shake once the habit is formed. That is all the more reason not to give in to the cravings every time you feel a bit under the weather: there are many healthier alternatives to candies, chocolate and starchy, sweet treats that will not get you hooked or contribute to development of potentially fatal diseases.
Are you ready to quit sugar and do your body a favor? However much you may love meals and snacks punctuated by sweet flavors, sugar is definitely not your health’s best buddy, so if you cannot imagine a life without it, at least try to be moderate with your daily sugar intake.
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and has spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for a better life. He is an all-around fitness adviser and his words are strong as an Australian Bull.