Consuming abundant or excess sugar can be very detrimental to one’s health. It causes empty calories and decline in nutritional value of diet.
Overcrowding the diet with sweet treats can leave little room for important, nutrient- dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables. The major sources of sugar are soft drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, pies, chocolate, fruitage and daily dessert such as ice cream.
Generally , the more processed the food, the higher the simple-sugar content. Sugar found in cakes, cookies and ice cream supply many extra calories that promote weight gain, unless an individual is physically active. Children and teenagers are at higher risk for over- consuming empty calories in the place of nutrients that are essential for growth.
Effect of Excess Sugar Consumption ( Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease)
Excess Sugar intake produce high glycemic index (GI) in the body. High glycemic index carbohydrates increases insulin output from the pancreas and this increase may lead to deleterious effect on the body (high blood triglycerides), which may lead to arteriosclerosis and thus cardiovascular disease over time.
This increase in insulin output causes the muscle to become resistant to action of insulin and eventually inducing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in some people.
Excess sugar consumption increases the risk of developing dental caries. Caries are formed when sugar and other carbohydrate are metabolized into acids by bacteria that live in the mouth.
Snacking regularly on sugary foods like cakes, sweet, chocolate, ice cream and sweet biscuits also causes caries because it gives bacteria on the teeth a steady source if carbohydrate from which to continually make acid. Fluoridated water and toothpaste are essential to prevent dental caries. In addition, rinsing the mouth after meals and snacks reduces dental caries.
Suggestion for reducing simple sugar intake
- Read ingredients labels. Identify all the added sugars in product and select items lower in total sugar.
- Buy fresh fruit and vegetables rather than those packed or canned in heavy syrup
- Buy fewer or small quantities of food high in sugar such as prepared baked goods, candies , cakes, ice cream, chocolate, sugared cereals, soft drinks and e.t.c
- Use spices such as nutmeg, ginger, cardamom to enhance the flavor of foods instead of sugar.
- Add less sugar to foods such as Coffee , tea, cereals, oat, custard, pap. e.t.c
- Cut down on the number of sugared soft drinks, fruit juice substitute than with water, diet soft drinks and whole fresh fruits.
- Use home prepared items ( with less sugar) instead of commercially prepared ones that are high in sugar.
- Try to use 2 to 3 cubes or 1 teaspoon of sugar per day to prevent health problems.