Sugar

By Anna Lynn C. Sibal

Chocolate

To a certain degree, we all love our sugar, even though we do not have a sweet tooth. We love them in our cakes and cookies and ice cream. We love them in our chocolate bars and moccachinos and iced caf lattes with whipped cream. Sugar is sweet, and sweet feels nice and good.

But as our mothers always tell us, too much of a good thing can spoil it and make it a bad thing. Nothing can be a better example of this than sugar, because too much sugar is just bad for our body.

Why is too much sugar bad for the body? Here are ten different reasons why we should all keep ourselves from going on a sugar high.

Tooth decay. We all know this, as this is something that has been ingrained into our minds by our mothers since our very childhood. We have been taught to brush our teeth after every meal and before we go to sleep because when sugar is left on our teeth, especially after a binge on ice cream, it causes our teeth to decay faster.

Gum disease. Another thing when we let sugar sit on our teeth is that it can also lead to gum infection. Because of the way our body reacts to different kinds of infection, gum infection can in turn lead to inflammation of the coronary artery.

Unstable blood glucose. Eating too much sugar causes our blood sugars to go haywire. When the sugar levels in our blood fluctuate, they lead us to feeling fatigue and exhaustion. Headaches and mood swings are also apparent when the blood glucose is unstable. Moreover, the more sugar we take in, the more unbalanced our blood glucose becomes, and the more sugar our body craves in order to fix the imbalance it perceives.

Obesity, diabetes and heart disease. This is also somewhat of a common knowledge for all of us. Sugar in the blood that is too much for the body to consume completely is stored as fat. Too much fat in the body can lead to obesity, and obesity is known to trigger diabetes and heart disease.

Malfunctioning immune system. The bacteria and yeast that are present in our blood stream feed on sugar and cause them to multiply. If there is an imbalance in the growth of these bacteria and yeast, our immune system may not be able to handle it. It could, therefore, weaken.

Chromium deficiency. Ironically, too much sugar in the body causes the body's ability to regulate sugar levels to go on strike. This is because most of the sugar we eat is already refined and lacks chromium, the chemical needed to help manage the levels of sugar in our blood.

Nutrients. Consuming sugar makes the hunger pangs go away. That is why we are often told not to eat sweets before a main meal. When we take in too much sugar, we do not feel the need to eat food that contains more of the important nutrients that our body needs, such as vitamins, iron, calcium and magnesium. There is a difference between feeling full after every meal and gaining the nutrition you need from every meal.

Stress. When we eat too much sugar, we go on a sugar high because of the energy boost we get from the sugar consumption. But this sugar high is only temporary; our energy level takes a plunge afterwards. When this happens, the body releases hormones to bring the sugar level in our blood back to optimum level, and these hormones include the stress hormones: adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones make us irritable and stressed out.

Aging. When we eat too much sugar, the process called glycation can occur. When this happens, some of the sugar we consume sticks to the proteins in our body, causing our body tissues to lose their elasticity. It is not just our skin that is affected, but also our internal organs. The faster that the body loses its elasticity, the faster aging occurs.

Cognition. Too much sugar in the body also affects our mind's ability to learn and recognize.

Thus, before you pop that chocolate bar into your mouth, think again. How much sugar have you had today?



Also see: Walking is good exercise

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