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Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Updated: May 29, 2021

By Gaurav Karn

Sugar contains a bittersweet recognition when it comes to health. Sugar occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, like fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay. Plant foods even have high amounts of fibre, essential minerals, and antioxidants, and farm foods contain protein and calcium. Since your body digests these foods slowly, the sugar in them offers a gentle supply of energy to your cells. A high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains conjointly has been shown to cut back the chance of chronic diseases, like polygenic disease, cardiovascular disease, and a few cancers.

Consuming an excessive amount of sugar! However, issues occur once you consume an excessive amount of added sugar — that's, a sugar that food makers add to extend flavour or extend the period. In the American diet, the highest sources are unit soft drinks, fruit drinks, seasoned yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods. However added sugar is an added gift in things that you simply might not consider as sugary, like soups, bread, cured meats, and condiment. The result: we tend to consume way too much added sugar. Adult men take up an average of twenty-four teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the National Cancer Institute. That is adequate to 384 calories.

"Excess sugar's result on fat and diabetes is well verified, however one area which will amaze several men is, however, their liking for sugar will have a vital influence on their heart health," says Dr. Frank Hu, faculty member of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School Public Health.

Impact on your heart! In a study revealed in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, Dr. Hu and his colleagues found an association between a high-sugar diet and a larger risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Over the course of the 15-year study, those who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from heart diseases compared with those that consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar. "Basically, the higher the intake of added sugar, the higher the chance for cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Hu.

How sugar truly affects the heart!

Health isn't utterly understood, however, it seems to own many indirect connections. For example, high amounts of sugar overload the liver. "Your liver metabolizes sugar the same as alcohol, and converts dietary carbohydrates to fat," says Dr. Hu. Over time, this will result in a larger accumulation of fat, which can become a fatty liver disease, a contributor to polygenic disease(diabetes), that raises your risk for cardiovascular disease. Consuming an excessive amount of added sugar will raise pressure and increase chronic inflammation, each of that is a pathological pathway to cardiovascular disease. Excess consumption of sugar, particularly in sweetened beverages, conjointly contributes to weight gain by tricking your body into turning off its appetite-control system because liquid calories aren't as satisfying as calories from solid foods. This can be why it's easier for individuals to add a lot of calories to their regular diet when consuming sweetened beverages. "The effects of added sugar intake — higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease— are all joined to an increased risk for attack and stroke," says Dr. Hu.

How much is okay? If 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day are too much, then what's the correct amount? It's arduous to mention since sugar isn't a needed nutrient in your diet. The Institute of Medicine, which sets Recommended Dietary Allowances, or RDAs, has not issued a proper range for sugar. However, the American Heart Association suggests that men consume no more than 150 calories (about nine teaspoons or thirty-six grams) of further sugar per day. That's close to the quantity in a 12-ounce of soda.

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