7 health issues that excess sugar intake may cause
A sugary treat after a sumptuous meal seems like the perfect conclusion to lunch or dinner. However, excessive sugar intake is linked to a host of health conditions that can eventually weaken the immune system and affect one’s overall well-being. Contrary to popular belief, it is essential to limit one’s food intake from the early years to prevent the onset of such health problems. Here are some common health issues associated with excessive sugar intake:
Health issues caused by excessive sugar intake
Excessive sugar consumption is directly linked to the onset of hyperglycemia and type-2 diabetes, caused by high glucose levels in the body. Chronic hyperglycemia can trigger diabetes-related complications, such as diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
The body typically produces high insulin levels to manage elevated blood sugar levels. The consequent drop in blood sugar releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which affect not only sleep duration but also sleep quality. Studies have demonstrated the link between sugar intake before bedtime and hampered sleep quality.
Elevated LDL cholesterol levels and reduced healthy cholesterol are common consequences of increased sugar consumption. Conversely, studies have demonstrated an association between low sugar intake and lowered LDL cholesterol in the body.
Dental problems and tooth decay
Studies have shown that sugar gradually dissolves enamel in the teeth, causing tartar, cavities, and eventual tooth decay. Essentially, sugar integrates with oral bacteria 20 minutes after it is consumed, leading to the formation of an acid that can damage the teeth.
Elevated blood pressure
Certain studies have linked excessive sugar intake with elevated blood pressure, which puts extra pressure on the heart and blood vessels. Eventually, chronically high blood pressure can weaken the body organs and the immune system.
Damage to the body’s nerves and blood vessels due to excessive sugar intake can affect intestinal activity, either slowing it down considerably or accelerating it. Therefore, having too much sugar can cause digestive and bowel issues like constipation and diarrhea.
Reduced white blood cell reactivity
Excessive sugar intake can prevent vitamin C from entering the bloodstream, which plays a crucial role in increasing white blood cell count in the body. A reduced amount of vitamin C decreases the reactivity of white blood cells, which are essential in fighting against bacteria and viruses. This can severely weaken one’s immunity and cause symptoms such as mouth sores, shortness of breath, and painful urination.
Tips to maintain blood sugar levels
Reduce the intake of sugary foods
Sugary items like confectionaries, desserts, and soft drinks can directly increase glucose levels, increasing the risk of health issues like type-2 diabetes, cholesterol, and heart diseases. Thus, it is best to replace added sugar with natural sugar sources like fruits and fresh fruit juices wherever possible.
Stay physically active
Regular exercise helps maintain good cholesterol levels and reduce LDL cholesterol. It is a good idea to incorporate different types of exercises, such as cardio, pilates, and strength training, into one’s workout routine to prevent a sedentary lifestyle.
Ensure a balanced meal plan
A complete meal rich in all essential nutrients can reduce sugar cravings. Thus, it is important to have nutrient-rich foods like fruits, whole grains, leafy greens and other vegetables, and eggs to maintain blood sugar levels.
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