Festive season is here, and this is the time when calorie-laden foods and sugary treats are enjoyed with minimal guilt and fitness plans are put on hold. While many people get back to their fitness journey post festivities and are able to shed kilos, the hidden consequences of overindulging in sweets and desserts often go unnoticed. Sugar is naturally present in foods with carbs, fruits, vegetables and dairy and provides steady supply of energy to the body as it gets slowly absorbed. However consuming high amounts of added sugar in mithais, cakes, cookies, soft drinks, can add unhealthy amounts of calories to our diet which can end up getting stored in the body. Excess sugar in your bloodstream can end up causing a lot of damage to liver, kidney, blood vessels – increasing risk of heart attack, eyes, nerves, and feet. (Also read: Fatty liver: 7 lifestyle changes to reverse the disease)
Having sweet tooth moments may be fine sometimes, but paying heed to your sweet craving all the time can land you in a precarious situation. Sugar can play not-so-sweet tricks on your health, says Nutritionist Karishma Shah in her recent Instagram post.
Shah says that from quietly challenging your liver’s well-being to stealthily affecting your memory, joints, skin, and hormones, sugar’s effects can be undercover.
Shah goes on to list all the health issues that high intake of sugar could be contributing to.
1. Fatty liver risk
Sugar can be no less damaging than alcohol when it comes to your liver health. Any excess sugar in the meal is saved up as fat in the body, mostly liver. When liver cells are replaced by fat cells, it may lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Those festive treats may taste heavenly, but they are also silently damaging your healthy liver cells, putting you at risk of liver damage.
“Excess sugar can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), causing liver inflammation and damage,” says Shah.
2. Cognitive decline
Too much sugar can find its way into your brain, killing the cells and causing memory problems and slowed cognitive function, especially in older adults. It can also lead to decline in mental capacity. If you have a sweet tooth and are not able to think clearly, you probably blame it on sugar.
“High sugar diet may impair memory and brain functions, increasing the risk of conditions like Alzheimer’s,” says Shah.
3. Joint pain
Sugar is a bad news for your joints too. As per several studies, processed sugar releases pro-inflammatory substances in the body and can worsen symptoms of joint inflammation like pain, stiffness, swelling etc.
“Sugar-induced inflammation can worsen conditions like arthritis, intensifying joint discomfort,” says Shah.
4. Skin woes
Excessive sugar intake can cause spikes in blood glucose and lead to inflammation in the body and this affects skin too. So you will experience redness in skin, itchy skin and a range of other skin issues.
“Sugar can spike insulin promoting skin inflammation and exacerbating acne and other skin issues,” as per Shah.
5. Hormonal disruption
Sugar can also throw your hormones out of balance and cause symptoms like mood swings, irritability and depression. High insulin levels in blood can lead to high oestrogen and testosterone levels in the body which can damage body’s natural hormone cycle.
“Sugar can disrupt hormonal balance, potentially contributing to conditions like PCOS in women.”
“By understanding these subtle consequences, you can make choices that prioritize your health. So, the next time you reach for something sweet, remember the secret struggles your body might be facing. Your health is worth the consideration! “says Shah.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com