Sugar – What is it?

Sugar is a sweet substance that occurs naturally in some foods & fruits, but can also be artificially produced & added to certain foods.

Found in a variety of forms, it may come naturally in white or brown colors, depending on the source & production process.

Chemically, sugars are carbohydrates. During digestion, food (carbohydrates (except fiber)) breaks down into sugars.

It not only sweetens food, it is also used as natural preservatives and thickeners, added to foods during processing and preparation.

Sadly, the human body cannot tell the difference between the “natural” & artificial forms because they act alike in the body.

When used in moderation, it is a lovely addition to food.

This article will be throw more light on 9 harmful effects of having a continuous sweet tooth.

Effects of excess Sugar consumption

1. Mood Swings

Have you experienced a high energy burst after eating some cookies or having an energy drink? This sugar rush fills your brain.

Giving you a feeling like someone on steroids but 3 hours later, when the sugar is burnt up, your body crashes due to low energy.

Taking you on a roller-coaster that messes with your moods, leaving  you depleted, grumpy and irritable.

2. Kidney damage

Constant high blood sugar levels not only affects urine filtration but also causes blood vessels in your kidneys to become clogged & narrow

Over time, this causes blood flow restriction to the kidney, without which, it cannot function, finally leading to kidney failure.

3. Joint pain

Inflammation is experienced when there is blood circulation and nerve damage caused by constant increase in your blood sugar.

Studies have shown that this increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis that affects the hands, wrists and knees.

4. Heart diseases

Due to continuous high blood sugar exposure, arteries and veins supplying blood to and from the heart become stiff and narrow, restricting blood flow to the heart.

Since the body runs on a particular quantity of blood, it applies pressure on the stiffened arteries trying to squeeze blood through.

This is what causes high blood pressure when this goes on unchecked for any length of time, leading to stroke and ultimately death.

5. Type 2 Diabetes

Resistance to insulin secretion in your blood occurs due to continuous long-term exposure to high blood glucose.

Overweight/ obesity plus an inactive lifestyle leads to this condition as the glucose from food is not utilized, causing fat storage.

Diabetes is one disease that sets in motion the downward spiral of lowered immunity, nerve-damage, loss of eye sight and fatigue.

Others are tingling sensation in hands and feet, kidney failure, fatty liver, hard-to-heal ulcers, wounds and so much more.

6. Brain addiction/ damage

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5), shares its 5 similarities out of the 11 criteria of substance abuse disorder.

Causing food cravings & bingeing, hazardous use of larger amounts, acute withdrawal symptoms among others.

Your brain gets a ‘feel good’ sensation which it starts craving, the arteries supplying blood to the brain become damaged, cutting off supply.

7. Weight gain

High insulin levels signals your body that there’s plenty of food available and that this bonus calories should be stored as fat.

This causes your body to build and grow reserves for future lean times, especially for people that eat infrequently.

It brings about low blood sugar, indicating low body fuel, your brain then triggers appetite, wanting more food, leading to weight gain.

8. Risk of cancer

Cancer cells love glucose so keeping the blood sugar within normal range “may reduce cancer risk”

9. Body and cellular aging

High blood sugar levels stiffen the arteries and veins thereby restricting enough blood flow to the different parts of your body and skin.

Lack of blood circulation, makes the skin shrink and look pale, damaging the cells. 

Sweetened Food effects

It is important to keep an eye on the number of grams of sugar in your food! and also become familiar with the “dumping syndrome”

“Dumping” is a way your body tells you that you ate something you shouldn’t have eaten & the effects may come in different forms.

Effects are – sudden fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or even diarrhea, indicating a rejection by your body.

Many things can cause dumping, examples are:- food containing too much grease, fats, carbs, SUGAR and SUGAR ALCOHOLS.

What are “Sugar Alcohols”?

These are artificial sweeteners or “anything that serves as a sweetener in food but cannot be labeled as a sugar since it isn’t pure sugar.”

Even without adding calories, they ACT like sugar, in the sense they will make a bariatric patient DUMP as if they took the real thing.

This is why it is essential to add up both the sugar AND the sugar alcohols that are on a food label in order to know the actual amount in the food.

When a food label says the product has 2 grams of sugar and 14 grams of sugar alcohols, does that mean it’s safe? the answer is No!

Since the sugar alcohols act just like sugar, you are consuming 16 grams of “sugar-action” since they react the same way in your body.

Some “diet” foods claim to be low in sugar – TRUE – but then they may contain 22 grams of sugar alcohols, which is as bad.

“Hidden” names of Sugar

Watch out for these names in disguise! Some are obvious while others are tricky:

  1. Brown sugar
  2. Corn sweetener
  3. Corn syrup
  4. Fructose
  5. Fruit juice concentrate
  6. Glucose (dextrose)
  7. High-fructose corn syrup
  8. Honey
  9. Invert sugar
  10. Lactose
  11. Maltose
  12. Molasses
  13. Raw sugar
  14. Table sugar (Sucrose)
  15. Syrup

Any food product is likely be high in sugars if one of the above-mentioned shows first or second in the ingredients list.

If several of these are listed, then the product most-definitively will be very high in “sugars”

Fruits contain “natural sugars” but unlike packaged foods, don’t have wrappers on them revealing the values within them.

This is where you have to “know” how much are in each fruit you eat. Pineapple is one of the highest natural-sugar fruits.

Grapes are pretty high too, although they are good for you, if taken in moderation. Lots of the “natural” sugars can also cause ill effects.

Knowing the effects of excess sugars helps you pay attention to labels & types of food, so you may eat anywhere with confidence.

You can also attend social events, knowing what is okay to eat and how much of the “party” food you can safely eat.


It is never too late to make changes. Most processed foods and drinks have lots of added sweeteners. These contain empty calories with stylish names.

Become creative with replacing added sweeteners to your food, swapping every food that comes in a can or packet with

Making conscious efforts to take part in physical activities is also a great idea and you will be glad you did.

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