10 Harmful effects of sugar

Desserts, those deliciously tempting treats at the end of a meal, are very hard to resist, but they could be doing you a lot more harm than good. A piece of fruit won’t hurt, but if you are addicted to the sticky sweet, sugar laden kinds of dessert, then we have a few facts that we think you should read. There is no question that sugar tastes great and most people do crave it, but here are ten reasons why you might want to start skipping all those sweet desserts.

1. Sugar suppresses your immune system

There are quite a lot of hidden dangers associated with eating too much sugar that most people don’t even know about and one of those is the effect that sugar has on the immune system. If you consume too many sugary desserts, it will deactivate the T-cells in your blood and they are the cells that fight infection and disease. The sugar in a single can of soda is enough to suppress your immune system for more than an hour.

2. It makes you lethargic

Another one of harmful effects of sugar is that it can make you lethargic. Although sugar does give you a short term energy boost, too much of it, and you can start to experience sugar highs and lows. If you eat a very sweet dessert after lunch, for example, you will be bubbling with energy for half an hour or so, but then you will get the post-lunch slump in the afternoon.

3. Desserts don’t do you any good

They may taste great, but most sweet desserts contain very few useful nutrients, so you are eating purely for the pleasure of it. Sugar contains zero minerals and zero vitamins. It does contain calories, but they are just empty calories that provide no nutritional value whatsoever.

4. Sugar increases the risk of developing kidney stones

Another one of the lesser known harmful effects of sugar is the impact that it has on the kidneys. If you eat a sugary dessert after every meal, you are 50% more likely to develop kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Sugar interferes with the proper functioning of the kidneys, which could lead to any one of a number of unpleasant and painful bladder and urinary problems.

5. Sugar causes heart disease

Too much sugar in the diet causes an increase in the levels of lipids in the blood and that causes an increase in blood pressure, which results in a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. What a lot of people don’t realise is that overconsumption of sugar is now recognised as a major contributor to hypertension, even more so than salt.

6. Too many sweet desserts could make you insulin resistant

A western diet, which typically has far too much sugar in it, is very likely to cause the body to become insulin resistant. Insulin has two functions in the body; it moves glucose from the blood into cells in the body and it also controls the rate at which fat is absorbed. If you become insulin resistant, it can lead to obesity and diabetes.

7. Sugar attacks the liver

Another one of harmful effects of sugar is that it attacks your liver. Sugary foods make the liver work extra hard to process the extra glucose and that diverts it from its usual tasks and it will slowly damage the liver. Eventually, and overworked liver could result in gout, high blood pressure and liver disease. Ultimately, it could lead to organ failure.

8. Sugar is addictive

Sugar has the same effect on the body that some illegal drugs do and it can be highly addictive. When you eat sugar rich food, your body releases dopamine, which can give you a mild high. When that wears off, you crave more sugar to replace it. In other words, the more desserts you eat, the more desserts you will crave.

9. Sugar will rot your teeth

This is one of the well known harmful effects of sugar. Most of us stop overindulging in candy when we stop being kids, but we carry on eating sugary desserts. It’s still way more sugar than really needed and it will still be attacking our teeth. When you eat sugar, bacteria in your mouth turn the sugar into acid, which attacks and erodes your teeth.

10. It will make you put on weight

High levels of sugar, as we all know, will make you put on weight, but there is a lot more to it than just the empty calories that sugar contains. Sugar puts strain on the pancreas, causing it to produce more insulin and it suppresses the hormones that regulate appetite, digestion and the metabolism. That all results in more fat being stored and more weight being put on, especially around the abdomen.

Do you know other harmful effects of sugar?

Stay happy and healthy!

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