You add it to your morning cup of coffee. You bake it into your famous double-fudge chocolate brownies. You even sprinkle it over your oatmeal for added “flavour.”
But that’s not all… Lots of it is hidden in many of our ‘go-to’ treats such as ice cream, granola bars, soft drinks and jelly babies. It also lurks in our favourite condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce. Can you guess what I’m talking about? Yupp, its sugar! What gave it away? The heading?
We all know that added sugars shouldn’t be over-consumed and that these treats we oh so dearly love are accompanied with some not-so-sweet side effects. Have you noticed your skin starting to break out more than usual? Are your teeth hurting you occasionally? Or maybe you’re finding it hard to button up your favourite pair of jeans? Well, that my friend is the work of your not-so-good old buddy, sugar.
I’m just going to quickly list down some of the things that can happen to your fabulous body if you aren’t careful with the amount of sugar you’re eating.
· Mouth bacteria feed on sugar and produce enamel-destroying acid which causes cavities
· Excess sugar can lead to insulin resistance. This is when your cells resist the effects of insulin causing your blood sugar levels to skyrocket leading to type 2 diabetes.
· Excess sugar intake is associated with many diseases including pancreatic cancer, kidney disease and gout.
· Fructose is metabolised by your liver so excess sugar intake can inflame your liver and is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
· Excess sugar intake reduces performance in parts of the brain that deal with memory. (Yes, you did forget to turn off the oven)
· There is a strong connection between excess sugar intake and weight gain, even in people who exercise regularly
There are literally no nutritional benefits associated with the consumption of sugar! No protein, vitamins, minerals or essential fats. Just empty calories! So why are we constantly stuffing our faces with chocolate, ice cream and donuts? To make our mundane lives a little bit more exciting?
Don’t worry, I know that we are not all sugar-craving maniacs… But seriously though, put that chocolate bar down and go eat an apple.
By Rahaf Mohamed
I am a Nutrition and Food Science Graduate who studied at the university of Surrey. I enjoy travelling, helping others whenever I have the chance and most importantly making people smile! You can contact Rahaf via LinkedIn below.