Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.
“Cut down sugar from your diet!” Having heard this a gazillion times from people, you’re still not ready. Why can’t people see you happy with your piece of cake? Well, that piece of cake is not such a piece of cake for your body to metabolize. There’s a lot that added sugars are doing to your body. Let’s find out about it.
Dessert doesn’t just go to the heart!
Auntie Naseem is at it again! She’s hosting a family dinner and insisting to force-feed you the halwashe made. And what’s her reasoning? Dessert doesn’t go to the stomach; it goes to the heart and makes you feel good. Well, it’s about time you burst her bubble with some facts:
To begin with: The Brain…
When you eat something sweet, there’s a heavy explosion of a neurotransmitter called dopamine inside your brain. This ultimate feel-good chemical is what gives you cravings. Once your brain is accustomed to this heavy firing every now and then, it keeps asking for more. And, then you finally have one sweet evil: Addiction.
A sweet-heart ain’t such a sweetheart!
When you are in the habit of eating a lot of sugar, as a counteracting mechanism your body starts producing more insulin to break it down. However, this insulin can also act on your blood vessels making their walls thick. These thick vessels are not efficient in carrying blood, thereby creating more pressure on the heart. The heart muscles now need to pump more effectively, and weaken with time.
The liver, pancreas and kidneys
Pancreas is responsible for releasing insulin. However, if there is a constant surge of sugars, the pancreas stops responding, and this is how blood sugar levels increase. This is a win-win situation for type 2 diabetes to develop.
Normally, the liver will respond to increased sugar and insulin levels by absorbing glucose, to release energy. This process can also lag behind with an overtime increased sugar intake. As a result, a person can have low energy levels.
All of this can also put a stress on kidneys, as they are responsible to filter out excess sugar. With time, they too can get overworked and stop filtering, resulting in an increased expulsion of sugars in urine.
Sweet tooth calling = CAVITIES!
Your mama was right when she cut down the candies you were allowed to consume each day. Increased sugars can stay on your teeth and produce cavities. Especially when you have those midnight cravings, think twice before gobbling that tempting dessert.
Let your joints join the no-sugar club
Sugar consumption is directly linked to inflammation in the body. Joints can be one of the victims if you are not careful enough. If you already have joint pain, there’s a chance of inflammation. This can aggravate with those ‘heavenly on the outside, and nasty on the inside’ sweets.
Sugar Sugar, how’d you get so dry?
Sugars take away your skin’s elasticity by harming collagen and elastin, the youth boosters of your skin. This makes your skin dry and wrinkly, and easy to sag. Cutting down the refined sugars, and replacing it with fruits and vegetables is the real deal.
Making the right choice
Cutting down sugar doesn’t always mean that you turn alien towards sweet. Of course, life would be too boring without sweets. The idea is to replace the refined sugars with natural alternatives. After all, you don’t want to choke yourself with sugars and weigh 200 pounds. Healthy living, happy living!
Guest Post: Dr. Faryal Zaidi