I have written so many posts on sugar consumption that to list them here would bog down this post immeasurably. If you want to learn more about sugar, simply type S U G A R into the search box at the right and you can see them all.
Before I get into this morning’s topic, I want to reiterate the best tool for dealing with sugar consumption – information. One teaspoon of sugar weighs 4.2 grams, so when you read that a beverage has 40 grams of sugar, you will know instantly that it has about 10 teaspoons full and maybe you will decide not to drink it. Secondly, the American Heart Association recommends 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 for men per day.
So, what does too much sugar do to me?
Here’s what BBC Science had to say on the subject:
“If we consume more sugar than we burn through activity our liver converts the excess glucose into fat. Some of this fat stays in the liver but the rest is stored in fatty tissues around the body.
This is why repeatedly eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and even obesity, when combined with a sedentary lifestyle.
“Here are some other health problems that can be caused by eating too much sugar:
• Diabetes: Consuming too much sugar in your diet can lead to obesity, which increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Those with this condition don’t produce enough insulin and aren’t sensitive enough to what’s produced. Blood sugar levels aren’t regulated properly leading to thirst and tiredness in the short-term and damage to blood vessels, nerves and organs if left untreated.
• Heart disease: Obesity also raises blood pressure and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels while lowering levels of ‘good’ cholesterol. These all contribute to raising the risk of heart disease.
• Fatty liver disease: Excess sugar can be stored as fat in the liver. The condition has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and even liver cancer.
• Tooth decay: When we eat sugary foods, bacteria in our mouths break down the carbohydrates and produce acids that dissolve minerals in our tooth enamel. The longer the sugar is in contact with teeth, the more damage bacteria can cause. Left untreated this can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.
• Bad mood: Sugary foods like chocolate, cake and biscuits have been labelled ‘bad mood food’ by the NHS. They can give you a quick burst of energy by causing a sharp increase in blood sugar, but when levels fall this can make your mood dip. This cycle can make you feel irritable, anxious, and tired.”
So, there are five more good reasons to pay attention to the amount of sugar you are consuming. I hope that helps you to cut down.