Though we all know the adverse effects overconsumption of sugar can bring, who doesn’t love a little bit of sugar every now and then? But the truth is, to take in pinches of sugar is alright but spoonfuls of those? Not okay. Especially the manufactured sugar used to increase flavor and shelf life of your favorite snacks.
How Is Eating Sweets Related To Heart Diseases?
We’re all familiar with most of the effects sugar has on our body. For instance, diabetes is something we’re all familiar with. In addition to other health issues sugar can bring about, there is one problem we need to closely look into, simply due to the fact that we haven’t heard it or given it much thought. Sweets can cause heart diseases. Now that is something to be taken seriously as cardiovascular diseases sure can be life threatening.
Here are the different health issues that can result from the consumption of too much sugar:
Weight Gain & obesity
It is known to most of us that sugary foods are high in calories. But yet another fact is that sugar contains other nutrients as well that can leave you craving for more sweets, ultimately leading to an unhealthy consumption of sugar. As a result, the blood sugar levels tend to be high and the insulin levels become unstable. All this leads to weight gain and obesity, which is a problem commonly seen all around the globe.
Higher blood pressure
We’ve seen how sugary foods can result in weight gain and obesity. A consequence of obesity is increased blood pressure also known as hypertension. Healthy arteries are ones through which blood flows freely in order to supply nutrients to the vital organs. Hypertension can have adverse effects on these arteries causing them to narrow or rupture leading to internal bleeding. Coronary heart disease, heart failure, and heart attacks can stem from hypertension.
Sugar can put you at risk for chronic inflammation. But not all of them. Some increase inflammation and some reduce it. But diets consisting of high sugar levels are directly linked to chronic inflammation. There are several studies supporting this finding. One such study proved that people who reduced the intake of sugar showed lower inflammation factors.
But how do sugar trigger inflammatory processes? Sugar triggers the production of fatty acids present in the liver. Digestion of large amounts of fatty acids by the body can, in turn, result in increased inflammation. This elevates the number of inflammatory markers present in the blood.
Even though diabetes can result from increased blood sugar levels, sugar consumption alone cannot cause diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes seen around the globe. High amounts of sugar intake and increased weight can trigger type 2 diabetes. But then again, weight gain is yet another consequence of consuming too much sugar. Therefore, It is clear that all these conditions are related as too much sugar can lead to obesity which, in turn, causes diabetes.
Fatty liver diseases
Liver is a vital organ which functions to keep your sugar levels steady. It helps in the circulation of blood sugar and stores glucose depending on our body requirements. The hormones insulin and glucagon play a major role in maintaining blood sugar levels, both of which are produced by the pancreas.
The liver also prepares sugar on its own to be used later when the body is in need of energy. It uses a sugar called fructose to store fat. But intake of too much sugar can cause excessive fat build up leading to liver diseases. And this can occur even if you have normal body weight.
To top it all, research findings have proved that heart muscles and cardiac function were protected from damage when sugar-blocking drugs were used.
What you need to understand is that all the health problems discussed above can adversely affect your cardiovascular system leading to various heart diseases and arterial damage. As a result, there will be an increased risk for heart attack and stroke which are life-threatening conditions.
According to Dr. Hu, higher the intake of added sugar, higher the risk for heart disease. Hence it is imperative to keep it in mind the next time you munch on extra-sweet pastries. Take care.