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Is Sugar Bad for You?

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

One of the prevailing diet theories in the health industry is that sugar is addictive and not good for your health. For any nutrient, the amount that we consume can make it good or bad for us. If you eat too little, you may suffer from health issues, and if you eat too much, you may suffer from different health problems. When it comes to food, moderation is the key. 

The reason sugar became Public Enemy No. 1 is because of the health problems it causes due to the daily intake of processed food and beverages. Processed foods contain more sugar content than you think, and it's one of the easiest ways to overeat the nutrients. You overeat because you don't feel full, which increases the sugar intake.

Why You Shouldn't Eat Too Much Sugar

Sugar doesn't contain healthy nutrients such as healthy fats and protein, and there are not enough nutrients to slow down the glucose levels from spiking. Blood vessels transport nutrients and oxygen to the various parts of the body, and high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels. Whenever there's a spike in blood sugar levels, the pancreas brings it down to normal. The pancreas produces insulin and controls blood sugar levels. This sudden crash can make you feel dizzy and tired, and it may not look like a big deal at that moment. But if the vicious cycle continues, the body may not be able to use insulin effectively and may lead to chronic inflammation. Excess consumption of sugar can cause heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

Different Types of Sugar

When carbohydrates break down into sugar, it is called glucose. Glucose fuels our organs, and you can find it in almost any food. However, you can find two types of sugars on food labels, naturally occurring and added sugar. Sugar occurs naturally in dairy, fruits, vegetables, and other carbohydrates. Naturally occurring sugars are fructose, lactose, and sucrose. Fruits, vegetables, and honey contain fructose. Dairy products contain lactose, and you can find sucrose in all types of carbohydrates. Wheat, brown rice, corn syrup, cookies, smoothies, sweetened dairy products, condiments, and BBQ sauce contain added sugar.

Eat Less Sugar

It's tricky to lessen the sugar consumption even if you know the difference between naturally occurring and added sugar. Fresh fruits, dates, dark chocolate, Greek yogurt, and baked fruit with cream are some of the alternatives to satiate your sugar cravings. Since it's not easy to avoid packaged foods, read labels to identify the product's main ingredient. The first ingredient listed is the main ingredient, and so on. Some manufacturers list them by order of weight.

Go slow on sugar consumption and eat it in moderation. Even if you're craving a dessert, be mindful of when to eat. A slice of cheesecake is not going to give you diabetes, but too much of a cheesecake is not good for your health. The key is to consume moderately.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in The Woodlands, Tex.

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