Sugar exists in nearly all the food that we buy and eat on a daily basis, whether it’s naturally occurring or added.
It’s in your favourite pasta dish, your dessert, your fruits, your teh peng, and many more.
Why is too much sugar bad news for your body, and what should you do to avoid consuming excessive amounts of this substance?
Natural vs Added Sugar
As mentioned, sugar is mainly categorised in 2 forms: natural and added.
Whole foods like fruit, vegetables, grains and dairy products have natural sugars. On the other hand, added sugars are present in many packaged foods and drinks.
While your body digests natural sugars gradually so that your cells get a regular supply of energy, this doesn’t apply to added sugars.
Common Sources of Added Sugar
- Sports/carbonated drinks: 42.2%
- Grain-based desserts: 11.9%
- Fruit drinks: 8.5%
- Dairy-based desserts: 5.5%
- Sweets: 5%
How Much Sugar Should I Be Having?
The American Heart Association recommends this amount of sugar intake:
- No more than 25g of added sugar for women
- No more than 36g of added sugar for men
How Excessive Sugar Harms Your Body
- Packing on the Pounds
If you’re noticing that your pants are getting tighter and your scales are tipping dangerously to the right, it might be because of the sugar you’re getting.
Consuming too much sugar will lead to weight gain even if you’re exercising regularly. Added sugar, for example, is high in empty calories with little to no beneficial nutrients.
It also increases your blood sugar levels, and when this happens over a long period of time, it may cause diabetes, more belly fat, and weight gain.
You may also notice yourself feeling less full even though you just wolfed down a big plate of cake. This is because it has little to no protein, the nutrient that promotes fullness.
- Hurts Your Heart
A 2014 study revealed the link between a diet high in sugar and a greater correlated risk of mortality due to heart disease.
Those whose calories had a greater proportion of sugar experienced a greater likelihood of dying from the disease. This may be a result of some indirect complications, like how excessive sugar can overwork the liver.
It can also increase your blood pressure and chronic inflammation, which may in turn cause heart disease.
- Type 2 Diabetes
Having too many sugary drinks may cause Type 2 diabetes.
This is because sugar that remains in your blood may trigger your body to react by producing less insulin hormone. It may not work as well either.
Weight gain is also a risk factor for diabetes – and if you think about it, they are all connected one way or the other.
As sweet as sugar is, going overboard can leave plenty of devastating effects on your body.
Be conscious of what you eat and regulate the amount of sugar and sodium you eat. You can also ask a house call doctor to help you draw up a meal plan to make sure that you’re getting what your body actually needs.
We have plenty of access to a professional doctor in Singapore to help, so act on it now!