Sugar can be a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in some healthful foods. You’ll find sugar in milk, fruits, and vegetables. But added sugars are different. They are sweet, and have an addictive quality to them that keep us wanting more. But what’s more is they can be bad for us. Here’s 5 ways added sugars can be bad for us:
- Lack of Nutrition- Sugar adds calories which contribute to weight gain, but doesn’t add much more. There don’t have vitamins, minerals, or fiber. The average American adult consumes over 300 calories from sugar a day. That’s staggeringly more than the 100-150 calories from sugar that the American Heart Association recommends. Lap band patients, along with gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients, do not have the wiggle room in their post bariatric surgery diets to consume that many calories and still lose weight. Weight loss surgery patients need to focus more on protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats in order to maintain their health while they lose weight.
- Weight Gain- There is strong evidence that added dietary sugars contribute to weight gain. There is also some evidence that sugars can affect the biological pathways to hunger regulation. While there isn’t direct evidence that sugar itself causes weight gain or obesity, it is part of a complex set of interactions between diet, physical activity, environmental factors, and social and genetics.
- Diabetes- It is not true that consuming sugar will lead to type 2 diabetes. But if you consume a high calorie diet (which you can do by consuming a lot of sugars) you may be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. If you have prediabetes or diabetes, consuming sugars can quickly lead to high blood sugar levels that can have dire medical consequences, including death.
- Tooth Cavities- Tooth decay can be caused by sugar consumption. Tooth decay leads to tooth cavities, which can cause us pain and also lead to other health problems, including infections and cardiovascular conditions.
- Heart Disease- High sugar diets have been linked to heart disease. The nature of this relationship is not exactly clear, but evidence does show that people with diets high in added sugars are more likely to die of heart disease than those with diets low in added sugars. Thankfully, lap band patients are instructed to follow a low sugar diet, which helps with weight loss, diabetes, and heart disease.
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, you will need to reduce your added sugar intake to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Maintaining a normal blood sugar level is even more important if you are obese and have type 2 diabetes. Reducing your overall caloric intake and your intake of added sugars is crucial for weight loss, which can also help you achieve normal blood sugar levels. If you are overweight or obese and also have type 2 diabetes, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery. Call Dr. Shillingford, MD at (561) 483-8840 to learn if you are a candidate for gastric band, gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve surgery.