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Our body on sweets: The alarming impact of added sugars




Sugar occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay.


It is important for people to include these foods in their diet, as they come with a range of other nutrients that provide valuable health benefits.


However, manufacturers tend to add sugar to foods such as cereals and cake and some drinks. It is these added sugars, or free sugars, that cause health problems.


Here are the alarming impact of added sugars for your body:


Can Cause Weight Gain


Rates of obesity are rising worldwide and added sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, is thought to be one of the main culprits. Sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar (source: healthline).


Sugar doubles your risk of dying from heart disease


People who get 25% or more of their calories from added sugar are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who eat less than 10%, according to a study in the of a Medical Association. One out of ten of us fall into that category.


High blood pressure


In a 2011 study, researchers found a link between sugar-sweetened beverages and high blood pressure, or hypertension. A review in Pharmacological Research states that hypertension is a risk factor for CVD. This may mean that sugar worsens both conditions.


Tooth decay


Sugar feeds bacteria that live in the mouth. When bacteria digest the sugar, they create acid as a waste product. This acid can erode tooth enamel, leading to holes or cavities in the teeth. People who frequently eat sugary foods, particularly in between mealtimes as snacks or in sweetened drinks, are more likely to develop tooth decay, according to experts.


How much sugar is too much?


According to the Dietary Guidelines for Filipino, on average, Filipino consume 17 teaspoons (tsp) of added sugar each day. This adds up to 270 calories. However, the guidelines advise that people limit added sugars to less than 10% of their daily calorie intake. For a daily intake of 2,000 calories, added sugar should account for fewer than 200 calories.

However, in 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised that people eat half this amount, with no more than 5% of their daily calories coming from added sugar. For a diet of 2,000 calories per day, this would amount to 100 calories, or 6 tsp, at the most.


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