Updated: Apr 7
Sugar... The tasty ingredient that is used on a daily basis by millions of people each day. While it is fine to consume added sugar in small amounts on occasion, the risk of overconsumption is high because sugar can be addictive, and this consistent overconsumption causes many health issues.
So, whether you are just looking into cutting back on sugar, or have started and are looking for motivation to keep going, one important thing to do is learn why you should cut back. This starts with having a better understanding of what sugar is actually doing to your body. Here are some of the more common negative effects a lot of added sugar can have on your body.
It Exacerbates Female Reproductive Health Issues
The chain reaction of excess sugar consumption can have a negative effect on hormone balance essential for female reproductive health. When excess sugar is consumed the cascade of effects disrupts hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol, which in turn affect the production of progesterone. Progesterone is incredibly important, especially for women of childbearing age who want to become pregnant. Disrupted progesterone levels contribute to PMS, period problems, fibroid growth, trouble conceiving, worsened PCOS symptoms, and more.
It Can Overload Your Liver
This is probably one of the most common adverse side effects that added sugar has on your body. Your liver is put in jeopardy if you consume too many foods with added sugar since fructose can overload it. Sugar will be broken down into fructose and glucose, and your liver can only metabolize so much of it at one time. This may lead to issues later on with your liver. It is important to note that the amount of fructose needed to overload your liver is only possible with an excessive amount of added sugar, so fructose found in fruit is likely not nearly enough to cause this.
You May Gain Weight
Having too much sugar in your body can also trick your body into holding onto weight or gaining weight, making it very difficult to manage a healthy body. When you have too much fructose in your body, it doesn’t stimulate insulin properly. This ultimately causes your hunger hormone to work in overdrive, which is why you tend to eat more or feel hungrier after you have eaten foods with a lot of added sugar. When you keep feeling hungry, you eat more to be satiated and thus have a much higher risk of gaining weight.
It Can Increase Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
While sugar is not the only culprit for type 2 diabetes, it can definitely help it progress further. This is due to insulin resistance in your body when you consume high amounts of sugar. As mentioned previously, your body becomes resistant to insulin when it is trying to digest a lot of fructose, which can cause mismanaged levels of blood sugar. This, in turn, may increase your risk for diabetes, or accelerate it to where you notice its effects much sooner.