The danger of sugar

Sugar, especially refined sugar can have a negative effect on your health. 

Eating sugar is something that most of us do on a daily basis.  Whether it’s a cup of tea with a spoon or two of granulated sugar or, a sweet treat at the end of the meal.  There’s no denying, sugar tastes delicious.

Fructose is the sugar that is present in most plants including fruit and vegetables.  Naturally occurring sucrose is fine in moderate amounts.  Sucrose is the sugar that we typically use to sweeten tea or coffee. This granulated sugar and the high-fructose corn syrup that is often used as a sweetener in processed foods go through a refining process.  This refined sugar is addictive and can cause real health problems especially later in life.

Health Problems Caused by Sugar

We all know that too much sugar can lead to teeth decay and that too much of this high-calorie treat can lead to weight gain and even obesity.  This obesity is what can lead to type-2 diabetes.  The RNIB say that if the glucose in your blood stream is not regulated, it  can cause your vision to become blurry  and in the longer term, this can cause you to develop cataracts.  There has been significant research by many different scientists and research organisations into the health damage caused by refined sugar.    This research has shown that sugar can suppress the activity of our white blood cells and makes use susceptible to infections such as cold and flu, and possibly even cancer.

Sugar Causes Aging

Dermatologists believe that wrinkles and sagging skin can occur when excess sugar molecules in your bloodstream attach to collagen fibres and cause them to lose their strength and flexibility meaning that skin is less elastic which is when lines start to appear.

Arthritis can be Triggered by Sugar and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition say that processed or refined sugars can trigger inflammatory messengers called cytokines.  If you have arthritis your body is already inflamed and increasing this inflammation by consuming refined sugar can perpetuate the problem and make your symptoms worse.

Sugar and Heart Disease

A major study conducted in the USA, which is referred to on the NHS website found that over 71% of people in their group consumed 10% or more of their daily calories from added sugar, this is higher that the UK’s recommended limits for sugar intake.  Additionally, 10% of adults consumed more than a quarter of their daily calories from added sugar.  The British Heart Foundation says that obesity causes by over-consumption of sugar can cause cardio-vascular disease (CVD).  CVD includes many serious heart problems including 

Everything in Moderation

Whilst it is clear that refined sugar can cause serious health complications, it must be noted that this is due to excess consumption.  The occasional sweet treat or quick ready-meal will not cause harm.  It is important to know that naturally occurring sugar in fruit and milk is not refined sugar and contributes to part of a normal, healthy and balanced diet.