Sugar can make you gain weight and impair your immune system. Sugar provides an average of 16 percent of calories mainly from soft drinks, fast food and desserts. This corresponds to a whopping 18 to 26 teaspoons of extra sugar a day, based on a 1,800- to 2,600-calorie diet. Excessive sugar in your diet can not only make you gain weight, but can also negatively affect your overall health.
It is no surprise that consuming too much sugar can make you gain weight. The extra sugar your body does not immediately require for energy can easily be converted to triglycerides, a type of fat that can then be stored around your waist as well as in your hips and thighs. Sugary beverages, such as soft drinks and fruit-flavoured punches, are the worst offenders because their liquid calories do not affect satiety and can even make you crave more. Over time, many studies have validated the association between sugar, especially in beverages, and obesity.
The sugar you eat eventually makes its way into your bloodstream, where it can elevate your blood sugar levels. The more sugar you eat, the more fluctuations you will have in your blood sugar levels. One of the damaging effects of a diet high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates is that it puts you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, whether it is type 1, type 2 or gestational, too much sugar in your diet can prevent you from keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
Your immune system is one of the most important defence mechanism your body has against infections. Eating too much sugar can seriously compromise the ability of your immune system to fight viruses, bacteria and parasites, according to studies. Eating sugar, either from table sugar, honey or unsweetened orange juice, depressed the immune system of healthy volunteers by about 50 percent for up to five hours. If you eat sugar at every meal, it means that your immune system will be functioning at half-capacity for most of the day.
In addition to elevating your blood sugar levels, constantly eating too much sugar can also result in elevated insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone your pancreas produces in response to rising blood sugar levels. The more sugar and refined carbohydrates you eat, the more insulin your pancreas produces, according to the international glycemic index table. However, chronically high insulin levels are associated with an increased risk of some cancers, heart diseases, polycystic ovarian syndrome, acne and even myopia.
Reducing your sugar intake and exercising regularly will help you lower your insulin levels and your risk of developing these chronic conditions.
I’m not gonna “sugar” coat it for y’all.
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