For many people, warnings about the dangers of sugar on dental health have been have been ingrained in the mind since childhood. These warnings are backed by scientific proof that too much sugar consumption leads to tooth decay. Excess sugar can also cause a host of other medical problems. However, reducing your sugar consumption is easier said than done especially if you are a foodie and love to cook.
If you are struggling to lower your sugar intake and need some motivation and guidance, the following primer on how sugar can be a detriment to your health may inspire you to take action and consider ways to help curb your sugar consumption.
You could fill an encyclopedia with the number of studies that have shown a correlation between weight gain and sugar. Nevertheless, grocery store shelves are still filled with foods that list "added sugar" in small print on labels. Thus, you may not even realize how much sugar you are actually consuming each day.
Even products that are considered to be healthy or beneficial such as yogurt and juice may contain processed sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup.
Because so many processed foods have such a high concentration of sugar, you are consuming a lot of calories per mouthful. Consequently, you may not be burning off enough calories during the day to offset the amount of calories you consume via processed sugars.
In addition, the processed sugars add no added nutrients to your meals. Therefore, they are empty calories.
You may surprised to learn that consuming processed sugars is actually linked to heart disease. According to one study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, you do not have be overweight to be at a higher risk of heart disease if you consume large amounts of sugar on a daily basis.
The study concluded that, in general, Americans consume too much sugar to maintain a healthy diet. If sugar makes up at least 25 percent of your daily caloric intake, you are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to those with less than 10 percent added sugar among the calories consumed.
Your liver performs numerous essential functions including regulating cholesterol in the body and storing vitamins and minerals. The liver also manages refined sugar, also known as sucrose. This sugar product is present in many types of sweets, sugar-laden drinks, and sugary breakfast cereals. If you consume too much refined sugar, the liver becomes overloaded with sucrose. When this happens, the liver turns some of that sucrose into fat.
Too much liver fat can lead to inflammation of the organ and, in some cases, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Left unchecked, the severe inflammation can also cause cirrhosis, a condition usually associated with chronic alcoholism.
If you suffer from diabetes, you probably already know the risks of consuming too much sugar. Excess sugar causes your body to resist insulin. Without insulin, your body will not be able to release glucose, also known as blood sugar, into the bloodstream. When this happens, your body will not burn fat properly and you will suffer from low blood sugar.
If you are already suffering from problems like pre-diabetes or obesity, the last thing you want to do is consume so much sugar that your body begins to resist insulin.
Sugar Alternatives to Help Improve Your Health
One of the easiest ways to reduce refined sugars in your diet is to eat more fruits instead of reaching for sweet, processed foods.
Another effective method that can manage your blood sugar levels and help your body digest carbohydrates properly is taking probiotic supplements. The supplements contain microorganisms that are beneficial to your health.
Probiotic supplements come in many forms. You can purchase tablets, capsules, liquids, and powders to add to drinks. You can find probiotic supplements at health food stores and retailers that specialize in nutritious supplements. Check out a site like Sugar 2.0 to learn more about probiotics.