What’s the deal with Sugar?

by Katie Bogusz on February 6, 2018

Sugar!  It’s in a lot of the foods we eat without us ever realizing it.  Sugar naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables, and dairy.  But there are also a number of foods with added sugar, which can negatively impact your body.  Products like sodas, processed foods, and candy contains added sugar to pro-long their shelf life as well as make the products taste better.  However, these products can cause a variety of health problems, especially when not eaten in moderation.  Read on to learn more about how sugar can affect your body.

 

Sugar and Your Body

Sugar can affect your body in a number of ways.  Sugar provides easily, digestible energy for bad bacteria in your mouth, contributing to cavities.  Sugar breaks down into glucose and fructose.  Glucose is an important energy source for our body, however we do not need fructose.  Fructose is converted to glycogen and stored in our liver, in large amounts it overloads the liver.  This turns the fructose into fat, which can lead to a fatty liver and eventually liver disease.

Large amounts of sugar can cause insulin resistance.  This can lead to an overproduction of glucose in the bloodstream, which can be highly toxic.  It can even lead to blindness.  Sugar affects hormones and the brain.  Consuming a lot of sugar can lead to addiction.  An addiction to sugar can impact a person’s ability to control food consumption, and potentially lead to obesity.  Large portions of sugar can raise your cholesterol and can contribute to heart disease.

So how much is too much?

The American Heart association states that women should not exceed 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day and men should not exceed 9 teaspoons of sugar a day.  This is not the recommended amount but the maximum amount.  A lot of people consume more sugar than they realize.  So it’s important to become familiarized with the different names of sugars (listed below).  Also read the labels of the foods you eat so you know what you are really putting into your body.

Want to learn more?

If you’d like to learn more about the amount of sugar you’re consuming, come to Outreach Education and the BSU Peer Educator’s SUGAR SHOCK table on Tuesday, February 13th from 10:30am-12:30pm in the Burnell Atrium.  Stop by the table and learn about how much sugar you’re actually consuming.  This event is part of Outreach Education and the BSU Peer Educator’s Love Your Body Week, a campaign that promotes self-care.  To learn more about the events offered this week like the BSUOutreach page on Facebook or and check out our calendar for upcoming events on the Involvement Network at https://bridgew.collegiatelink.net/ and search for the BSU Peer Educators

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