There are a number of chronic and serious diseases excess sugar consumption pushes us towards – you might think your addiction is harmless compared to alcoholism or drug addiction, but keep reading to find out why sugar is not as sweet as it seems.
Excess sugar consumption has become a major health concern around the globe – with the prevalence of added sugars in many processed foods and beverages, it's easy to consume more sugar than our bodies actually need. While natural sugar is a source of energy for our bodies, excessive sugar intake – particularly added sugar – can lead to various health problems. Here are 4 diseases that excess sugar can contribute to.
Type 2 Diabetes
One of the most well-known diseases associated with sugar consumption is type 2 diabetes – excess fructose has been shown to cause insulin resistance – especially in those who have developed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – and here lies the path to type 2 diabetes. Another potent form of fructose, known as high-fructose corn syrup, is a major offender when it comes to loading the public with sugar – often without us even knowing we’re consuming it. Since its mass introduction into countless products like cereal, muesli bars and yoghurt,research has shown a drastic increase in cases of diabetes.
When we consume sugar, our bodies produce insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels. However, excessive sugar intake over time can lead to insulin resistance, where the cells in our body become less responsive to insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
High sugar intake can also contribute to weight gain and obesity. Sugar is a source of empty calories, meaning it provides little to no nutritional value but adds extra calories to our diet. When we consume excess sugar, our bodies convert it into fat and store it, leading to weight gain and an increased risk of obesity. Obesity is associated with a wide range of health issues, including heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. With cases rising at an alarmingly fast rate, obesity is one of the biggest public health crises. Rates have more than tripled since 1975, and despite the war on fat, research shows it is actually sugar that is the major culprit for visceral fat development. Studies prove a direct link between obesity and excessive fructose consumption, along with researchers finding it causes development of visceral fat. Visceral fat is that which wraps around the abdominal organs, making it more dangerous than subcutaneous fat, which is generally harmless and is found between the skin and the external abdominal wall.
Too much sugar in our diet can also negatively impact our cardiovascular health. Diets high in added sugars have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. High sugar intake can raise blood pressure, increase inflammation, and contribute to high cholesterol levels, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Excessive sugar consumption can also have detrimental effects on our liver. When we consume too much sugar, our liver has to work harder to process and metabolise it. Over time, this can lead to the accumulation of visceral fat in the liver, leading to a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD can progress to more severe liver conditions, such as cirrhosis and liver failure, if not addressed. With a presence in 25% of the population, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a rapidly growing blight in the public health sphere.
So, not a bad reason to quit the sweet stuff, right? Whether you’re looking to eat healthier or fight off a sugar addiction, we’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
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So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!