Mon | Mar 18, 2019

Fit 4 Life | Sweet tooth hurting your health?

Published:Thursday | January 31, 2019 | 7:27 PM
The effects of excessive (added) sugar consumption can be devastating for your health.
The effects of excessive (added) sugar consumption can be devastating for your health.

Without realising it, people consume way too much sugar. In fact, many don't know that many common foods, such as 'healthy' whole-wheat bread and protein bars, have added sugars. Still, the effects of excessive (added) sugar consumption can be devastating for your health.

Here are a few reasons to cut back on added sugars:

CALORIES

Among the easiest crimes to pin on excessive sugar intake is obesity. This is especially true when excessive sugar consumption is paired with a lack of exercise, and even more severe when one makes a habit of overindulging in processed and fast foods.

It's really simple math: if you are consuming more calories than you are burning, you will gain body fat. Added sugars provide massive amounts of extra calories.

Think about it: you go to lunch and, along with your meal – which already has all the calories you need – you get a soda and some sweet dessert. What happens to all the extra calories?

NOT SO SWEET AT HEART

While the exact relationship between sugar and cardiovascular health is not yet clear, one thing is sure: high sugar consumption is linked with death from heart disease.

A 15-year study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine showed that people who got 17 to 21 per cent of their calories from added sugar had a 38 per cent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases than persons whose calories were only eight per cent added sugars.

INTERNAL ORGANS

Excessive sugar intake also affects other internal organs negatively:

- It can have an addictive effect on your brain, causing you to crave more and more sugar.

- Yes, it can help to rot your teeth by providing fuel for bacteria that cause cavities.

- It helps create insulin resistance and diabetes, which could damage other organs such as the kidneys.

- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: marvin.gordon@physiqueandfunction.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com