Sweets can be pleasurable to eat, but too much of them can negatively impact your health. Sweets tend to be lacking beneficial nutrients and are full of detrimental ones, including saturated fat, sugars and artificial sugars. Not all sweets have the same nutritional composition, so effects may differ from product to product.
Increased Diabetes Risk
Consuming sweets may increase your risk of diabetes, a condition in which your body has abnormally high levels of blood sugar. A number of dietary factors can promote this condition. According to research from the June 2007 issue of "The Journal of Nutrition," a high intake of added sugars is a primary risk factor for diabetes. It is these added sugars in sweets that makes them palatable, but also does the physical damage.
Consuming sweets can also be detrimental to your dental health. As the 2002 "Journal of the American Dental Association" explains, sugars produce a harmful acid when they come in contact with plaque on your teeth, and this encourages tooth decay. Sodas that contain citric or phosphoric acid can also promote erosion, which causes permanent damage to your teeth.
Reduced HDL Cholesterol
The two types of cholesterol in your body are low-density lipoprotein, or bad, cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein, or good, cholesterol. Lifestyle choices such as exercise can affect cholesterol levels, and diet may play a significant role as well. According to a study in the April 2010 issue of "The Journal of the American Medical Association," increased consumption of sugary foods can lower your levels of high-density lipoproteins, which is detrimental for your cardiovascular health. High-density lipoproteins are helpful because they remove excess cholesterol from your blood. Having lower levels of high-density lipoproteins makes it easier for cholesterol to accumulate in your blood vessels and inhibit blood flow or block it, a condition known as coronary artery disease.
If you're trying to lose weight, eating sweets can inhibit your efforts to shed pounds. Sweets tend to be calorie-dense, so small portions deliver large amounts of calories. Sweets also tend to lack fiber, a nutrient that promotes satiety, so even with high calorie contents, these snacks are not filling. Additionally, sweets are high-glycemic, meaning they have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels. This can also inhibit weight loss; a study from the June 2011 issue of "The Journal of Nutrition" found that eating foods lower on the glycemic index improved weight-loss success.
Increased Crohn's Disease Risk
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, meaning that the condition promotes continuous intestinal tract inflammation. The disease causes several serious effects, including abdominal pain, fever, persistent diarrhea and loss of appetite. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a diet rich in sugar and saturated fat -- two key ingredients of sweets -- is a major risk factor for Crohn's disease.
Reduced Bone Strength
Eating sweets frequently may also adversely affect your bone health. Research published in the June 2008 issue of "Nutrition Reviews" found that consumption of a diet rich in sugar reduced bone strength, which can make you more likely to suffer bone fractures, thus limiting your activity.
- The Journal of Nutrition: Consumption of Sweetened Beverages and Intakes of Fructose and Glucose Predict Type 2 Diabetes Occurrence
- The Journal of the American Medical Association: Caloric Sweetener Consumption and Dyslipidemia Among US Adults
- The Journal of Nutriiton: Decreases in Dietary Glycemic Index Are Related to Weight Loss among Individuals following Therapeutic Diets for Type 2 Diabetes
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Crohn's Disease
- Nutrition Reviews: Effect of Consuming Different Caloric Sweeteners on Bone Health and Possible Mechanisms