Sugar has a bittersweet reputation when it comes to health. Sugar occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay. Plant foods also have high amounts of fiber, essential minerals, and antioxidants, and dairy foods contain protein and calcium.
There’s plenty of evidence that a high-sugar diet can come with some very damaging health risks. Too much added sugar has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, reduced “good” cholesterol, inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. But that doesn’t mean all sugar is bad or that you need to cut it all out.
Here are 5 reasons to know why sugar is bad for our health.
1. Increases Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years. Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.
Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes. What’s more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes. A population study comprising over 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about one can of soda, consumed per day.
2. A high-sugar diet can lead to chromium deficiency.
Chromium, a trace mineral, helps regulate blood sugar in the body. While it can be found in meats, seafood, and plant foods, 90% of…