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The Disadvantages of Sugar

author image Sharon Therien
Sharon Therien has been writing professionally since 2007. She specializes in health writing and copywriting for websites, blogs and businesses. She is a Certified Yoga Teacher and a Reiki Master with a Certificate in Fitness and Nutrition. Therien has a Master of Arts in sociology from Florida Atlantic University.
The Disadvantages of Sugar
Choose complex sugars like that in fruit, instead of simple sugar like that in table sugar. Photo Credit bchiku/iStock/Getty Images

Two different types of sugar exist: simple and complex. Complex sugar takes longer for your body to break down and is healthier for your body. This type is found in natural carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruit. On the other hand, simple sugar is broken down by your body quickly and causes energy ups and downs. This type of sugar includes refined and processed sugar found in table sugar and added to many sweets. Consuming an excess of simple sugar comes with numerous health problems.

Immune System Health

The Disadvantages of Sugar
Too much sugar can have a negative effect on your immune system. Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Eating too much simple sugar can negatively affect your immune system for up to 5 hours after you eat it, according to AskDrSears.com. An excess of sugar blocks your immune system from functioning properly and diminishes the ability of white blood cells to fight bacteria. In contrast, complex carbohydrates do not have these effects. Dr. Sears reports that just eight tablespoons of sugar, or 2 1/2, 12-ounce cans of soda, reduces your immune system's ability to fight germs by 40 percent.


The Disadvantages of Sugar
Simple sugars can cause sugar highs and lows. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Almost everyone has experienced energy surges and dips after eating simple sugars as they are broken down quickly in your body. While not everyone has the same reaction to sugar, sugar-sensitive people have drastic “sugar highs” from adrenaline surges after eating sugar and “sugar lows” associated with low blood sugar. These effects can lead to behavior problems, difficulty paying attention and trouble learning.

Blood Pressure

The Disadvantages of Sugar
An excess of sugar can lead to high blood pressure. Photo Credit nyul/iStock/Getty Images

Similar to consuming too much salt, an excess of sugar can lead to high blood pressure in men, according to the American Heart Association. These results are associated with fructose, the type of sugar found in table sugar and added to many products, and are not related to another type of sugar: glucose. However, high blood pressure from sugar occurred in men consuming much more fructose than the amount found in the typical American diet.

Dental Health

The Disadvantages of Sugar
Sugar negatively affects your dental health. Photo Credit Hongqi Zhang/iStock/Getty Images

It’s no surprise that sugar negatively affects your dental health. When the sugar you eat mixes with plaque, it creates an acid that can cause tooth decay over time, according to the American Dental Association. The ADA recommends eating fewer foods with added sugar, such as desserts, to brush your teeth twice a day and to floss regularly.


The Disadvantages of Sugar
Excessive sugar can indirectly lead to diabetes. Photo Credit Christopher Pattberg/iStock/Getty Images

Contrary to popular belief, sugar does not directly cause diabetes, says the American Dietetic Association. However, excessive sugar, similar to other unhealthy eating habits, can indirectly lead to diabetes. Eating an excess of foods high in calories, which includes many foods that are also high in sugar, can cause you to gain weight. This weight gain can increase your chances of developing diabetes.

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