Sugar, Delicious but Dangerous

College of DuPage Nursing Student Raquel wrote for Healthy Lombard that sugar is delicious, and it can be found in a lot of foods. Sugar has been a trending topic for a long time, but unfortunately, it can cause serious health problems. Many foods, from snacks to fast foods, contain excess sugar and may, therefore, become addicting. Addiction to sugar is a real issue, and many foods containing high concentrations of sugar are cheap and easily accessible. The high consumption of sugar daily, among other things, is contributing to soaring rates of childhood obese obesity, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes.

Sugar in excess is detrimental to health. Abstaining from sugar may be difficult. To begin with, it is helpful to recognize diverse types of sugars that are added to the foods we consume daily such as corn syrup, cane sugar, and fructose (Kubala 2019). Many foods have added sugar in order to make them more flavorful, which increases the calorie content. Food items such as pop, candy, chewy granola bars, ice cream, and many others have excess calories. According to the Coca-Cola website, one 12 ounces can contain 39 grams of sugar (The Coca-Cola Company, 2021). The American Heart Association (AHA, 2021) recommended a mere six teaspoons per day of sugar for women and nine for men.            Another issue with added sugars in food is it tends to be less filling. Foods high in sugar typically contain less protein or are completely lacking in protein. Protein is a nutrient essential for stable blood sugar (glucose) levels which regulate hormones causing hunger (Kubala 2019). Many foods are low in fat, but additional sugar may be added to enhance flavor. It is important to read food labels to know what is in the food we are consuming each day.

Along with the fact that added sugar amounts to empty calories in food, it can contribute to excess food consumption, and the lack of a feeling of fullness leads to overeating. According to Yang and colleagues (2014), the consumption of sugar triggers the brain to crave more and more. Therefore, it is easier to crave foods like cookies, chips or candy, and other unhealthy foods, not to mention the fact that they are often cheaper and more accessible than healthy food options such as fruits or vegetables.

Lastly, a high sugar intake results in weight gain and eventually contributes to other chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes (Kubala 2019). Yang and colleagues (2014) found that those who consumed 25% more sugar were two times more likely to die from heart disease than those who consumed 10% fewer calories from added sugar. This information demonstrates the importance of not only being well-informed about food choices but potential outcomes of these choices. Choosing healthier food options can be difficult, especially when life is chaotic. However, knowing what is actually going into the body is of the utmost importance because our body is the only one, we have.

 

References

How much sugar is too much? (n.d.). American Heart Association. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/how-much-sugar-is-too-much

How much sugar is in Coca-Cola. (n.d.). Https://Www.Coca-Colacompany.Com/Faqs/How-        Much-Sugar-Is-in-Coca-Cola Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.coca       colacompany.com/faqs/how-much-sugar-is-in-coca-cola

Kubala, J. (2019,). 6 ways added sugar is fattening. Healthline. Retrieved October 27, 2021.        from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-sugar-make-you-fat.

 

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