Sugar is typically a general name for a sweet-tasting soluble carbohydrate used in food. In science, sugar is a form of sweet carbohydrate that the body converts to glucose which the body can readily use. It provides a form of energy to the body. It mainly features Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen elements. Several forms of sugars occur naturally in foods like fruit and dairy products. It is patent to note that sugar has little or no nutrients apart from calories.
Pros of sugar
1. It’s a quick energy source: Sugar is a macronutrient for the body to give energy. The body breaks it down then digests it quickly, making it available as energy almost immediately. It contrasts with other forms of carbohydrates that take a long time to be digested and used by the body. Sugar is especially useful for athletes who depend on this energy to keep them going through long, tiresome exercises or competitions.
2. It can be stored in the body to be used later as energy: Sugar is usually converted to glucose through the glycogenesis process and stored for later use. Therefore, you can stay longer without eating thus is beneficial to some extent.
3. Natural sugar is a source of many other useful nutrients to the body: Fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are sources of natural sugars. The nutrients in these sources usually boost the body’s immune system, making you resistant to diseases.
4. Sugar intake helps individuals with low blood pressure levels: Individuals who suffer from low blood pressure levels are usually advised to carry packets of sugar cubes with them most of the time. Sugar raises blood pressure. It prevents blackouts caused by the condition.
5. It is useful to people with diabetes: Diabetes causes fluctuating sugar levels in the body. Diabetic individuals can stay without eating for long hours, which is an effect of using insulin supplements. Sugar is therefore essential in this case to give diabetic individuals energy.
6. It provides an instant immune boost: It doesn’t come as a surprise that sugar makes us happy. The two sweet-receptor genes have been discovered that predict how strong your sweet tooth will be. Sugar activates the pleasure center of the brain. It causes a rush of dopamine which will, in turn, produce a euphoric feeling.
7. Chocolate can improve your thinking skills: Chocolate is a source of natural sugars. It contains numerous health benefits. Research has found that intake of chocolate improves thinking skills regardless of whether the individual has cognitive impairment. Cocoa flavanols are a component in chocolate that protects the brain cells against damage and helps create connections within the brain. Therefore, it is important to stick to minimally processed dark chocolate that contains the highest levels of cocoa flavanols.
8. High-calorie content: Sugar has a high-calorie content that gives the body higher energy levels. This is especially useful to people with low blood pressure levels. Alternatively, it is important for individuals who do heavy loads of work. However, it has to be taken in moderation as too much sugar means too many calories, harming the body.
9. It contributes to healthy skin: Brown sugar is especially used as a scrub for exfoliating skin because it is a source of glycolic acid. Since it is small in size in terms of particles, The molecules penetrate deep into the skin and loosen bonds of skin cells, promoting the growth of new skin cells.
10. It moisturizes the skin: Sugar draws moisture from the environment and transfers it to the skin. It serves as a natural moisturizer hence keeping the skin soft and hydrated. Sugar has also been proven to prevent and alleviate problems of tanned skin.
Cons of Sugar
1. It aids in excessive weight gain: One teaspoon of sugar contains 15 calories. Therefore, it adds extra calories to your diet. These calories can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Calories are usually in plenty in soft drinks like soda. Consumption of soda plays a major role in the ‘obesity pandemic.’ Sugary foods also hardly fill you up since they don’t supply the body with healthy amounts of protein and fiber. Therefore, you are likely to overeat, hence increasing your calorie intake and leading to weight gain.
2. It causes tooth decay: Sugary foods don’t supply the body with vitamins and minerals that teeth require for strength and good health. In contrast, they negatively impact your oral health. Plaque bacteria are naturally present in your mouth reacts with sugars to produce acids. These acids destroy the enamel on teeth leading to cavities and decay. The more sugar you consume, the more likely you will get dental decay.
3. Raises the risk of getting diabetes: Diabetes occurs when the body can no longer regulate the sugar levels effectively. The pancreas stops producing insulin which is useful in managing increased blood sugar levels. Excessive sugar intake makes the body stop responding appropriately to insulin, making the pancreas pump more. The pancreas is overworked and breaks down, causing type 2 diabetes.
4. It has slow poison characteristics: Sugar contains harmful effects on overall health. It causes damage to various organs, which can collapse or fail to function properly with time.
5. Increases the risk of heart attack and stroke: Sugar spikes up blood sugar levels, raising the chance of an individual getting stroke and a heart attack.
6. Raises the risk of bloating and ingestion: Sugar sets fire to the stomach which prevents mechanical breaking down of food. Food thus stays in the stomach longer than it is supposed to, causing bloating and ingestion. Poor digestion can also cause diarrhea.
7. Excessive sugar intake leads to liver problems: Too much sugar causes lipogenesis that leads to a fatty liver. It causes fatigue and abdominal pains in patients.
8. Can impair cognitive skills: Excessive sugar intake produces the same rewarding feeling that drugs have to the body. It leads to cognitive impairment as well as a lack of self-control.
9. Cause glycation: Excessive sugar intake causes a chemical reaction when sugar levels in the bloodstream spike beyond what the insulin can handle. The skin loses elasticity leading to wrinkles.
10. It is addictive: Excessive intake of sugar is addictive. It affects the brain, making you feel pleasurable when taking sugar. Repeating this behavior makes it addictive, increasing the bodily risk associated with excessive sugar intake.