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Sugar: How Does It Affect You?

Updated on March 4, 2020
Tory Peta profile image

Nutrition enthusiast who loves inspiring others to be healthy

Sugar, your sweet friend. But is it a friend?

Many of us have a need to get something sweet because we feel an instant energy boost from it. Sweets often help us by soothing our nerves when we are under stress and also, many of us are naturally inclined to consuming more sweets. So, what is so bad with sugar then?

Why do we crave it?

The more you eat sugar, the more you crave it. It is a fact because sugar is addictive, one of the most addictive foods. It is a palatable food, which means that it stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain and makes you crave more and more even if you have reached a level of fullness.

How Does Sugar Affect Your Health?

1. Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Eating large amounts of sugar cannot directly cause diabetes, but it can increase your risk of developing it. The disorder occurs when your body cannot regulate the blood sugar levels in your body. This happens when your pancreas stops producing enough of the hormone called insulin, which is necessary for removing sugar out of your bloodstream. By consuming more sugar, you consume extra amounts of calories that get stored as fat, and eating too much can cause weight gain, which is one of the factors of developing diabetes.

2. Makes you gain weight, while leaving you feeling hungry.

Sugar, while containing calories, which give you energy, has poor nutritional value because it does not contain many nutrients. After eating sugary foods, rich in calories, you may find yourself not only craving more sugar, but food in general. It is because your body is not only addicted to sugar, but it is also craving nutrients. Once you get the necessary vitamins and minerals, you can feel fulfilled even if you do not consume an excess amount of calories.

3. Contributes to the development of tooth decay.

In a previous article, I mentioned a few different ways to maintain good oral health. You may have read about avoiding sugary products as sugar is one of the main causes for tooth decay as it brings acidity to your mouth, creating the perfect environment for bad bacteria to thrive.

What Can You Do?

Very simple to say, but difficult to do when you have sugar cravings, simply reduce your sugar consumption as much as possible while adding new and better substances.

Quitting sugar is, on the other hand, difficult not only because it is difficult to quit, but also because it is everywhere and it is highly marketed. Almost any product you find in a market will contain some type of added sugar in it. Even pasta sauces contain sugar. What you can do is read labels and make sure that you buy products with low amounts of sugar in them. Or you can make your own food if you have this time. Fortunately, there have been more and more products that are sugar-free, so you can look for them in the market as well.

To make reducing sugar easier for you, make sure to add other sweet foods in your diet. Stevia is a herb that is a great alternative. It is far sweeter than sugar, but does not contain that many calories while also not raising the sugar levels in your blood, without the effect of craving more. You can also try consuming more natural sugars, such as sugars found in fruits, if you like them. They are packed with the necessary vitamins and minerals your body needs, so they are great for you.

All in all, quitting or reducing sugar intake does not have to be difficult and it can even be quite enjoyable. Once you stop feeling cravings, you will also notice how much better you feel. Without the excess calories, you will feel lighter. But make sure to still add foods that have high nutritional value so you do not feel deprived and fall back to sugar binges.

© 2019 Tery Peta

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    • Tory Peta profile imageAUTHOR

      Tery Peta 

      8 weeks ago from Bulgaria

      Thank you for your comment, Eric.

      It is great that you have removed sugar from your home. The sweeteners you have mentioned are definitely better alternatives to white sugar. Some of the best alternatives, after stevia, are natural sweeteners such as monk fruit powder and date sugar or paste. And you can also rely on fruits. They contain natural sugars and are packed with beneficial nutrients.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      In my teens my five elder siblings and I started calling it "White Death".

      There is no white sugar in my home. Stevia is a fine every now and then alternatives -- but what about such things as coconut leaf sweetener, turbonondo(sp) Sugar in the Raw and such. Could you give a list of heallthy alternatives sometime.

      Loved this article

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      2 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Good article. Sugar is harmful in many ways and we must restrict it in our diet. Well explained.

    • Tory Peta profile imageAUTHOR

      Tery Peta 

      6 months ago from Bulgaria

      This is a great choice, Lorna. I hope you truly see benefits for your health.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      6 months ago

      This is an excellent article full of great advice on how to improve your health. I cut sugar out of my diet many years ago and if I do feel those cravings I tend to eat more fresh fruit or use honey in my tea. Thanks for sharing Tory.

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