The Effects of Sugar
Written by Well & Being Staff
Don't be fooled by sweets! They're doing more harm than good!
Is sugar toxic? You may consider it so once you finish reading this. The average American consumes a whopping 130 pounds of added sugars in a year - approximately 22 teaspoons a day - extremely over the max recommended by American Heart Association. Overloading on sugar can lead to some serious damage to your body.
The main component - fructose - triggers your liver to store fat more efficiently, and in sometimes odd places. Over time, this leads to fat building up around the liver which can eventually lead to a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that was rarely seen before the 80s.
Sugar are also found to trigger a brain's pleasure center, similar to drugs, in this case opioids and dopamine. Often times this leads people to develop a tolerance for sugar, meaning they need more sugar for a euphoric "fix."
The most unexpected effect of sugar: skin damage. Components of sugar invade and attack nearby protein fibers in collagen and elastin, the components that keep skin firm and plump. Resulting in dry, brittle protein fibers that lead to wrinkles and saggy skin. This opens the door to more skin issues, such as, sun damage and aging.
Now what can you do? Be mindful of your sugar intake on a daily basis. Check out the American Heart Associations recommended sugar levels for a guide. Avoid drinks with lots of added sugars, including healthy-sounding smoothies. Stick to a natural source like fruit—the fiber helps blunt the sugar shock to your system. Plus, fruit contains much less sugar than a commercial smoothie full of added sugars - some of them contain as much as 54 grams! Most importantly, remember to maintain a healthy diet and exercise!