The 4 main disadvantages of a diet high in refined sugars

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Are you eating a diet high in refined sugar? If so, consider the many health costs it may have, since our body must work much more to be able to maintain the functions of the body at their normal levels, all this in a short and long period of time has its negative impact.

While you eat a sugary breakfast or snack, those empty calories could increase your waistline and lead to fatty liver disease, among many other ailments. Sugar is practically in all processed foods that are consumed these days, from peanut butter to a loaf of bread. What’s even worse, high fructose corn syrup has quickly replaced pure sugar, leading to more complications.

So could eliminating sugar from your life completely improve your health problems? It may not be the only change you need to make in your life, but it could certainly help.

Health problems from a diet high in refined sugars

Avoiding or significantly cutting back on refined sugar could do wonders for your lifestyle and health. Not only could it support your energy levels, it could also contribute to healthy aging. Here are just four reasons why you need to get sugar out of your life.

1. Refined sugar causes obesity

With the way many Americans drink sugary beverages, it’s no surprise that the latest report suggests that sugar is a factor in the obesity epidemic. The Obesity Society estimates that Americans consume between six and seven percent of their calories in sugary drinks (SSB). [2] These drinks are packed with empty calories, and cutting them out of your diet can only make one change for the better.

2. Sugar causes cardiovascular disease

However, it is not just weight gain that is a possible concern; sugar could even increase your risk of heart disease. In a recent study, sugar was linked to changes in blood pressure and body lipids. This latest finding only adds to the evidence that continues to suggest that there is no ‘safe sugar habit«.

3. Sugar is as addictive as a drug

The last investigation it even suggests that sugar could be as addictive as a drug. Sugar addiction could be a throwback to a distant time when food supplies were in short supply, and people weren’t worried about empty calories. They were only eating enough to survive.

At that time, our brains could have been wired to overload carbohydrates, primarily fruits and grains, in order to maintain energy storage in times of famine. In these times, however, finding food is not the concern: it is eating sugar without thinking.

4. Refined sugar affects memory

As noted in DovePress (open access to scientific and medical research) excessive sugar consumption among older adults showed a remarkable association with poor cognitive functions, but more longitudinal studies and clinical trials are needed to clarify the direction of causation and investigate the underlying mechanism.

Throughout the body, excess sugar is harmful. Even a single case of elevated glucose in the bloodstream can be harmful to the brain, resulting in slower cognitive function and deficits in memory and attention.

Some research they suggest that high sugar intake causes inflammation in the brain, which leads to memory difficulties. A 2016 study published in Behavioral Brain Research found that inflammatory markers were present in the hippocampus of rats fed a high-sugar diet, but not in those fed a standard diet

Sugar can be bad news for our bodies, but sugar substitutes aren’t really that much better. Artificial sweeteners are perceived by the brain as too sweet, and this perception can still lead to overeating, as we mentioned earlier. So we return to the starting point, it seems. With the growing sugar crisis, some have even suggested that sugary foods need a warning label.

The most advisable thing, in order to avoid the damage to health that a diet high in refined sugar can cause, is to learn to taste the natural flavor of food, with this we will begin to leave the added sugar and we will also learn the true taste of food and drink.

  1. Briggs AD, Mytton OT, Madden D, O’Shea D, Rayner M, Scarborough P. The potential impact on obesity of a 10% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Ireland, an effect assessment modelling study. BMC Public Health. 2013:860. [Enlace]
  2. Brownell KD, Farley T, Willett WC, Popkin BM, Chaloupka FJ, Thompson JW, et al. The Public Health and Economic Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. N. Engl. J. Med. 2009;361(16):1599-605. [Enlace]
  3. Wiss, D. A., Avena, N., & Rada, P. (2018). Sugar Addiction: From Evolution to Revolution. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 545.


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