Why Sugar is Bad for your Teeth and Health
Although sugar may seem harmless, it can have far-reaching health implications for people who eat it. These health issues can be especially problematic for people who eat diets that are high in sugar. Some results of high-sugar diets can manifest quickly as blood glucose levels soar and then dive. Other issues may fester over time, resulting in serious illnesses such as coronary artery disease and diabetes. By focusing their diet on whole foods that are naturally low in sugar, people can enjoy many health benefits.
Unstable Blood Glucose
- Simple sugars cause blood glucose levels to spike sharply and then fall.
- Excessive swings in blood glucose levels can make people feel tired and unwell. People may also feel emotional mood swings and blood glucose highs and lows.
- As blood sugar goes up and then plummets, many people crave more sugar.
- Eating more sugar is a temporary solution because the blood glucose levels will never stabilize.
Obesity, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Diabetes
- Eating sugar increases a person’s risk of developing issues with obesity.
- Excessive sugar consumption elevates the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- Heart disease is another health issue connected with diets high in sugar.
- Some types of cancer have a connection with high-glycemic diets.
- The higher insulin levels that accompany diets high in sugar may have a connection with the speed of cancer cell growth.
- Research has suggested that sugar interferes with healthy immune function.
- Sugar may suppress the active immune response in the body.
- Bacteria and yeast that naturally occur in the body react to sugars. These reactions may cause an imbalance.
- Reducing sugar intake may enable the body to balance yeast levels to a healthier level.
- A diet high in sugar often translates into eating foods that do not provide enough chromium.
- The mineral chromium helps the body regulate blood glucose levels.
- The refining of processed foods depletes these foods of chromium.
- Chromium is naturally present in whole grains, nuts, vegetable oils, and mushrooms.
- Excessive sugar consumption may contribute to sagging and wrinkling skin.
- After sugar enters the bloodstream, it attaches to proteins. This process is called glycation.
- Glycation is connected to loss of elasticity, which occurs as body tissues age.
- Elevated blood glucose levels have a direct correlation with the glycation rate.
- Sugar has a direct connection to tooth decay.
- After eating foods that contain sugar, these molecules combine with saliva and bacteria present in the mouth. This combination leads to plaque on teeth.
- Left on teeth, plaque can dissolve enamel, which leads to cavities.
- To control bacteria and plaque on teeth, brush as soon as possible after eating.
- Sugar can lead to gum disease in the mouth. Once gum disease starts, it may advance if untreated.
- Gum disease can advance to periodontitis, which involves both gum tissues and the bones beneath the gums.
- The bacteria associated with periodontitis can travel throughout the body, invading joints, connective tissue, and organs such as the kidneys, liver, and lungs.
- Gum disease can lead to coronary artery disease. Bacteria that accumulates from periodontitis can cause blood clots that clog arteries.
- Marietta oral surgery may be necessary to treat advanced gum disease.
- A Marietta periodontist is available to assist with advanced periodontitis.
- Marietta cosmetic dentists assist patients with the appearance of teeth to resolve issues.
Children’s Behavior and Cognition
- After eating foods high in sugar, blood glucose levels often rise sharply. This rise could lead to hyperactivity for some people.
- Kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may have a sensitivity to sugar, making them more likely to experience hyperactivity after eating sugar.
- Diets high in carbohydrates could be linked to mild cognitive impairments due to issues with blood glucose levels and the way the body metabolizes insulin.
- Proper nutrition has a connection to the way the brain functions, which can impact how kids learn.
Stress and Anxiety
- External stress causes the body’s stress hormone levels to rise. These hormones enable the body to respond to emergencies.
- Stress hormones also surge in response to low blood sugar levels. This could occur after the spike and dip of blood glucose levels that occurs after eating sugar.
- The body reacts to a surge in stress hormones by feeling irritable and anxious. Some people may even notice their hands shaking.
- Reducing sugar intake can alleviate anxiety for some people.
Replacing Important Nutrients
- Eating excess sugar gives the body many calories, but the calories do not contain nutrients.
- People who consume diets high in sugar often don’t get enough of important nutrients such as vitamins A and C.
- Children and adolescents may be at the highest risk for nutritional deficiencies due to over-consumption of sugar.
- The recommended intake of sugar should be 10 percent or less than the total intake of food.