It’s no secret that excess sugar is incredibly bad for you. If you’re someone with a major sweet tooth, watch out for these harmful effects that your diet may be having on you…
Whether your choice of drink is Coca-Cola or Pepsi, your refreshing beverage may be doing more bad to you than you think. Just one can of soda per day can increase the risk of death by heart disease by nearly a third, according to this study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Additionally, another study from the Current Diabetes Reports states that drinking soda once or twice a day results in a 26% higher chance of Type 2 diabetes.
You might immediately associate liver problems with alcohol but beware: sugar has a massive impact too. One of the most popular types of sugar, fructose, can negatively affect the liver much like alcohol, according to the Journal of Hepatology Nature. Fructose is commonly found in fruit, and of course, fruit is healthy as the sugar in it is naturally-occurring. The problem lies when fructose is manipulated by manufacturers who take it from corn, beets and sugarcane and then put it through a refining process. This makes the fructose lose fiber and important nutrients that may help your body process it properly. This puts stress on the liver. Scientists have begun to link fructose consumption with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (excess fat build-up) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which manifests as liver scarring, inflammation, and fat build-up.
You might be thinking, oh it’s easy to reduce sugar intake. Just eat less cookies, ice-cream, desserts right? But the truth is that 74% of packaged foods in supermarkets contain added sugar, according to a report from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Even in foods you might not expect, like pasta sauce and even bread! Next time you go shopping, take a careful look at the labels on what you are buying.
Metabolic syndrome is a term that comprises several chronic issues such as heart disease, diabetes and liver disease. One of the high risk factors for these is high blood sugar, according to research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, because it affects organs like the pancreas and liver which then destabilizes your blood sugar regulation. One of the common tell-tale signs of metabolic syndrome is the apple body shape, also known as "sugar belly." If you or a family member’s waist measurement is larger than that of your hips, that can be a sign you need to monitor your health better to prevent future problems.
According to research from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, sugar can actually affect the brain a lot like alcohol and cocaine, which are highly addictive substances. Consuming more and more sugar also causes you to crave it more, creating an endless, negative cycle. But there are indeed methods to train your brain and body to crave healthier things instead, and lessen your sugar intake while staving off cravings. Look into healthier sugar alternatives as replacements in your diet, such as monk fruit, agave and honey.