A nutritionist, Gurama A. Gurama, has warned that sugar can be harmful and advised the public on the negative effects of sugar on the body. He admonishes the populace to be careful with its consumption. He said sugar is the generic name for sweet, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food.

He took time to explain the explain the health problems caused by consuming sugary foods. Read below..

“There are various types of sugars derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include: glucose also known as dextrose), fructose and galactose. The “table sugar” or “granulated sugar” most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. It is used in prepared foods such as cookies and cakes, and it is added to some foods and beverages to add flavour such as coffee and tea,” he said. Gurama, who is also a PhD candidate and wrote from the School of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Microbiology, Bayero University Kano, said sucrose is hydrolysed into simple sugars, fructose and glucose in the body.

He said other disaccharides include: maltose; from malted grain, and lactose; from milk, adding that longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides or polysaccharides. According to him, some other chemical substances, such as glycerol may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars. Low-calorie food substitutes for sugar, described as artificial sweeteners, include: aspartame and sucralose; a chlorinated derivative of sucrose, he said.

He gave the following as reasons why sugar is considered harmful: –

1. Sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol. He said sugar does this by elevating serum insulin leading to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Refined sugar also trigger the liver to produce excess bad cholesterol leading to elevated blood triglycerides, atherosclerosis and peripheral vascular disease.

2. Sugar can impair your immune system especially if you eat 100 grams of simple carbohydrates (like cookies, a large piece of cake, or few doughnuts) can reduce the ability of white blood cells by 50% for a few hours. White blood cells are a component of blood that helps the body fight diseases. With impaired immune system, your are prone to all sorts of infections.

3. It is addictive: Persons who take sugary foods or sugar containing carbonated drinks get addicted and many develop high dependence. An element in the body called zinc which is responsible for enhancing taste is depleted by sugary foods. This decreases your appetite and when your taste perception is altered, you need more sugar to give you the same taste satisfaction and the vicious cycle continues.

4. It has linked to behavioral issues: When persons who consume a lot of sugary products cut down on their intake, they have been reported to be irritable, belligerent, grumpy, sad and even violent.

5. Sugar can lead to osteoporosis: It creates an acidic environment in your tissue, which causes your body to cry out for alkaline foods. If you don’t get enough calcium in your food, your body may pull it from your bones and teeth to rebalance your PH, and you may develop bone loss and eventually osteoporosis. With osteoporosis, your bones are softened and you are prone to bone fractures even with minimal trauma.

6. Sugar can make you fat: When you take it in excess, your body goes into fat-storage mode. That is why most diabetics gain weight when they begin taking insulin often as much as 20units or 30units. Sugar creates a cycle of demand for more sugar, which raises insulin levels. Insulin is a powerful hormone that signals the body to store fat. Insulin is a weight gaining hormone.

7. Sugar may contribute to infertility: Consuming sugar regularly may lead to infertility. It does this by accumulating on the nerves that supply male reproductive organ leading to weak erection, erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. The adverse effect of sugary diets on male fertility can make starting a family very difficult, thus only consume it in moderation to support reproductive health and overall health being.

It is sweet right? Watch it!
Credit: Loryngalardi

Gurama, a nutritionist, PhD candidate, wrote from School of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Microbiology, Bayero University Kano.

Culled with some modifications from: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/why-sugar-is-considered-harmful-expert.html


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