Why too much sugar is bad for you

Author: FITivate | Published date: April 17, 2022 | Category: Nutrition
why too much sugar is bad for you

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Naturally occurring sugar in our whole foods such as fruits and vegetables are already adequate to supplement our body’s sugar requirements. Added sugar that is artificially added to processed foods to make them taste better has, in fact, no added benefits to our health. Conversely, when consumed above recommended amounts  , in the long run, it can actually bring about the onset of a has a myriad of negative effects to the body. In this article, we will discuss more on the top harms excessive sugar consumption can bring.

Top 5 harmful effects of sugar

1. Weight Gain

Obesity is the number 1 result of consuming too much sugary foods. It actually causes weight gain from via 2 ways. The first will be the most obvious one, which is, too much sugar in the body will result in it being stored as fats.

The other aspect is when consuming sugary foods that contain fructose, it actually increases the feeling of hunger and desire to consume more food. This is because, fructose in the body causes increased resistance to leptin, a hormone which regulates our hunger levels and signals the body to stop eating. In other words, instead of feeling full when consuming sugary food and beverages, it does the opposite, it makes one crave for more and forms kind of like an addiction to sugary food (1).

In fact, experts have made equal comparisons between cocaine and sugar in relation to the addiction it can cause on individuals. Consuming sugar releases opioids and dopamine in our bodies and this is the key link between sugar and addiction. Dopamine is a pleasure hormone, and the excessive release of it causes a “high” which the individual naturally craves to experience it more, forming an addictive behaviour in pursuit for that feeling (2).

Situation is so dire that some countries are or have implemented sugar taxes. Such as Canada, which will be hiking the prices of drinks with added sugar by 2022.

2. Increase risk of heart diseases

Studies and evidence have showed that high sugar diet that leads to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, increased blood sugar levels and blood pressure are all risk factors for heart disease. Consuming a high sugar diet in the long run encourages the formation of artery clogging fatty deposit.

A study concluded that out of 30,000 participants, those who consumed about 17 to 21% of calories from added sugar had a whopping 38% greater risks of dying from heart diseases as compared to those who only consume 8% of calories from added sugar.

3. Developing type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic condition where the regulatory mechanism for sugar in your body is faulty. In type 2 diabetes, due to consumption of foods that are high in sugar, in the long run, the insulin becomes ineffective or insufficient, resulting in excess sugar floating around in the blood stream (1).

Obesity can also cause type 2 diabetes as excessive fat tissues causes inflammation and release of a protein called cytokines that block insulin receptors of cells. This results in the cells being more insulin resistant in the long run. People who are obese are 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as compared to someone with a healthy BMI (3).

Based on statistics, by 2030, the number of Singapore residents above 40 with diabetes is projected to increase by another 200,000 from about 400,000 today. It is the 10th leading cause of death in Singapore.

4. Worsen your skin condition

A high intake of added sugar is may be associated with 2 skin conditions, one is acne and another is skin aging.

High blood sugar and insulin levels in the body is linked to androgen hormones, production of oil and increase in inflammation, which may all cause acne to develop. A study revealed that amongst 2300 teens, those who frequently consumed added sugar food and beverages were at a 30% greater risk of developing acne.

A consumption of high sugary food may also lead to skin aging. It is said that sugar interacts with protein in our body to form compounds that may lead to accelerated skin aging. These compounds destroy collagen and elastin which in turn results in skin sagging to occur. So in short, for wrinkle free skin, stay sugar free (1)!

5. Alters our mood

Firstly high amounts of sugar in our blood causes a heightened release of insulin into our blood to curb the sugar levels and attempt to help cells convert this sugar into energy. This sharp spike in sugar levels gives our body a sudden boost in energy, but this boost only lasts a very short span of time. After which the body experiences a sharp drop in sugar levels or a crash, leading to fatigue.

Consuming too much sugar may also lead to depression. This is because, with all the blood sugar swings which causes fatigue, inflammation and neurotransmitter dysregulation, sugar is fact a risk to mental health.

There are many studies that prove this theory of which one of them cited that out of 8000 individuals who were followed closely over the span of 22 years, showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar a day were 23% more likely to develop depression as compared to those who consumed less than 40 grams of sugar on a daily basis (1).


How much sugar in your favourite drinks?

5 rules to prevent diabetes

By : Alvin Ho

B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)



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