The Sweet Way to Ruin Your Health

Sweetened drinks can be dangerous to your health. What did someone say about moderation?

Too much sugar can be harmful to your health and quality of life. We know that excessive sugar can lead to diabetes and weight gain. What else can happen when the brakes are not applied to sugary eating frenzies?

I have been a sugar eater as far back as I can remember. I think Coca-Cola was my sweet tooth of choice. I could down a whole bottle of coke, especially warm or hot cola, without taking a breath.
My parents kept a wooden case or two of cokes on the back porch. During the summers in Corpus Christi, Texas, I would grab one or two bottles, pop the caps, and let that luxurious liquid invade my stomach. Talk about true enjoyment!

I continued my sweet addiction at Pensacola, Florida, when the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School had my attention for sixteen weeks. Coca-Cola was not an option. Iced tea or water were staples. Yes, I did become a Naval Officer and Aviator.

The tea was unsweetened, and I could add a dozen or more spoons of sugar and watch it accumulate inside the glass of tea with ice until it almost reached the top (they were small glasses back then). I knew that the solubility coefficient for sugar in water was way over 100 grams of sugar for 100 grams of water from my college days working on my chemistry degree.

Regardless, I would bet the guys around me at the dinner table whether the sugar would totally dissolve in the glass of tea with ice. I won every time. Sweet tea is a Texas (and Southern) favorite. It was decades later before I acquired a dislike for sweetness.

Sugar and Health

https://www.rxlist.com/body_harms_diabetes_too_much_sugar/article.htm?fbclid=IwAR2TP7CxC_RxErw44zJCGsUuqiSz42xnCuWMgfLCJzaUtx9pO6W7b4PXc64 The American Heart Association tells us that six teaspoons (not tablespoons) of sugar is the daily maximum for women and nine teaspoons for men. Three teaspoons equal a tablespoon. The average American diet has a daily average of 22 teaspoons of sugar. The typical soda has around ten teaspoons of sugar.

Supersize your sweet drinks, and the risk of gaining weight and having heart disease increases dramatically. An extra can of soda can add over a dozen pounds in three years without cutting back calories.

Sugar and Heart Disease

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021 Our daily food choices provide plenty of sugar equivalents without resorting to sweetened drinks. The average American eats about ten percent of his calories from added sugars. One in ten Americans exceeds 25% of total calories from sugar.

The odds of dying from a heart attack double with a diet high in sugar regardless of sex, age, physical activity, weight, and other factors.

Sugar and High Blood Pressure

https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/foods-to-avoid#tomato-products Uric acid causes blood pressure to increase by inhibiting nitric oxide. Sugar elevates uric acid levels in the body. Nitric acid is a vasodilator and maintains healthy blood pressure.

Additionally, sugar increases blood sugar and blood glucose, which causes the walls of blood vessels to become less flexible and elastic, another contributor to high blood pressure. Your kidneys retain water and sodium from high blood glucose levels and similarly promote hypertension.

Sugar and Liver Disease

https://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-toxic-truth/#.YCxUIWhKiUk.
Liver disease can be prevented. Most of us equate liver problems to excessive alcohol consumption. However, the body cannot tolerate excessive sugar and becomes a health hazard.

NAFLD is a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fat builds up inside the liver, and inflammation can lead to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which will scar the liver and prevent healing. One in four patients with NASH needs a liver transplant.

Sugar and Cavities

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-sugar-destroys-teeth. Almost all of us have heard that sugar can destroy and rot our teeth. Bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar as a food source. The acid produced by sugar is powerful enough to wear away the enamel on a tooth. Rinse your mouth with water every time you drink or eat anything containing sugar, especially drinks.

Sugar and Sleeplessness (Not in Seattle!)

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/jan/12/the-alarming-truth-about-how-sugar-ruins-your-sleep#:~:text=But%20it%20also%20has%20another,display%20greater%20restlessness%20at%20night. Most of us have cravings after eating something sweet. The old commercial about not eating just ‘one’ Lays potato chip comes to mind. It is interesting how that second or third cookie or piece of cake or pie tastes better than the first one.

Many studies show that sleep is harder to achieve when the body is used to eating high sugar diets. Quality sleep is difficult to achieve in the presence of high blood sugar. This can be seen the next day when a person doses off and has difficulty staying awake.

Sugar and Aging

https://eminenceorganics.com/us/blog/2016/01/14/5-signs-sugar-aging-your-face We judge a lot of people on their age by their appearance. Sugar damages skin. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) accumulate in the body when we eat sugar (and foods containing sugar).

The proteins that provide the building blocks to healthy skin are invaded by AGEs, and collagen and elastin cannot maintain the natural ability of the skin to look fresh and vibrant. Stiffness, dryness, and a loss of that youthful complexion wane. The visible signs are wrinkles and sagging skin.

Your biological age deteriorates with sugary drinks and foods. Telomeres at the ends of your DNA are lost at a faster rate causing biological age to increase. Sugar directly affects the rate of loss of telomeres, which affects aging and, more importantly, increases the risk of age-related diseases.

Conclusion

Sugar causes many health issues. I listed a few. Look seriously at the foods you eat daily and decide which can be cut in half immediately. I switched from Coca-Cola to diet Coke in the mid-90s and never looked back. I lost my sense of enjoyment for sugary sweetness very quickly after that.

It took several years to wean myself off diet drinks and enjoy the unsweetened iced tea I drink daily. Incremental changes work for some. Cold turkey works for others. Regardless of your skill level in making changes in your life, seriously consider reducing the amount of sugar you consume daily.

Life Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 


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