Facts, Benefits and Drawbacks of Sugar

Facts, Benefits and Drawbacks of Sugar

Sugar Benefits and Disadvantages

Do you think your sugar consumption is leading to your weight gain? Should you go on a sugar-free diet? Before you decide, you should first an effort to find out more about sugar and its benefits and disadvantages.

The Skinny On Sugar

Sugar is a natural ingredient that is found in several types of natural foods. Basically, there are two types of sugars, the good one and the bad one. Most foods that are rich in carbohydrates have sugar in them. In fact, several foods, like fruits, vegetables, breads, pastas, ice creams and desserts, have some form of sugar content in them. The regular table sugar that we use does not have any nutrients because it is artificially manufactured.

Artificial And Natural Sugars

It is a known fact artificial sugars are bad for health, while natural sugars offer quite a few health benefits.

Artificial sugars are the ones that you find in processed foods, desserts, white bread, cakes and just about anything that you buy off the shelf.

Natural sugars are found in honey, fruits, vegetables, natural nectar, cane juice and maple syrup.

Advantages Of Eating Sugar

Sugar has some important ingredients like glucose, sucrose and fructose. These ingredients give instant energy to our body. Usually, it takes a long time for the body to digest food. In such a case, sugar is immediately absorbed by the body for energy from the foods that we eat. While the food is getting digested, sugar fills the interim need for energy for the body.

Artificial sugars are made in laboratories but have their own benefits. For example, they do not cause cavities, they are low in calories and they do not affect the blood sugar levels. The biggest disadvantage is that they contain preservatives which can cause free radicals in the body over a period of usage.

Natural sugars are direct extracts from fruits and vegetables. Since they are not processed they contain more calories and nutrients. They also include several vitamins and minerals that are good for health. You get a lot of minerals like zinc, magnesium and iron from these sugars. They d not cause any side effects that can damage your health.

Sugar is an essential component for our body and should not be avoided completely. It aids in several intricate processes in the body. For example, it stores nutrients that aid in cell division in the body.

People with certain health condition like diabetes should be looking to consume natural sugar, which provides instant energy. The glucose derived from natural sugar increases the blood quality and also has a more positive level on blood sugar levels.

Disadvantages Of Eating Sugar

Consuming excessive sugar can lead to cancer and also obesity. These are the biggest disadvantages of eating sugar. Natural or manufactured sugar is not recommended in high quantities.

  • Cancer Risk: Research on lab rats indicate that there is a direct link between cancer and manufactured sugar
  • Laxative Effect: Sugars found in alcohol like, xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol act as a laxative and cause diarrhea. It also causes bloating and gastric troubles.
  • Elevated Blood Sugar: Excessive sugar causes the blood sugar levels to spike up and other undesired symptoms like giddiness as a result. Diabetics cannot have excessive sugars because of its effect on blood sugar.
  • Weight Gain: Sugars cause obesity and over weight in children and adults.

Daily Sugar Consumption

An adult requires at least 5 grams of sugar per day, while a child requires at least 12 grams of sugar in their daily diet. You can easily get your sugar needs by consuming a wide array of raw veggies and fresh fruits.

Understand that every ingredient, including sugar, has health benefits when consumed in moderation. Every person differs in their body mass index and they need to follow the ideal consumption rate of sugar and salt that will suit their body. Depending on your height and weight, you can check how much sugar is allowed for your body type on a daily basis.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad