Is Sugar Really Bad? effects of sugar on your health

You might have been told that there are several effects of sugar on your health and some even eliminate it for good health and fitness goals. Is that really true? The truth is, it all depends and varies from individuals. Sugar is not necessarily ‘bad’ for your health and fitness goals. 

Is Sugar Really Bad For Your Health

In fact, new science shows that your body actually needs the sweet stuff. Sugar doesn’t actually mean table sugar. There are different types of sugars are there. I’ll also explain some effects of sugar on your health.

The Different Types Of Sugar

1. Glucose

Glucose is the simplest form of sugar – monosaccharide, a subcategory of carbohydrates. Glucose is mainly made by plants during photosynthesis from where it is used to make cellulose in cell walls, which is the most abundant carbohydrate.

This kind of sugar is found in many kinds of foods, like pasta and bread, Nut butter as well as fruits. Rather than being metabolized in another organ, Glucose directly goes to your bloodstream making it the best option to add in pre and post-workout foods.

2. Fructose

Fructose, simply fruit sugar, is a simple ketonic monosaccharide, found in many plants. Fructose is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, the others being glucose and galactose. Fructose is found in fruit, fruit juice, banana, honey, and in some starchy vegetables. 

The difference from glucose is that the liver breaks it down before it moves through your blood and then to your muscles. Consumption of excess amount of Fructose is directly related to weight gain because while processing fructose in the liver, it releases free radicals and triglycerides (a type of fat), form as by-products.

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To avoid this, try to stick to limit fructose-containing foods, limit juices, and don’t overdo the honey toppings. It is also the best option for pre and post-workout. A small banana or handful of raisins can go a long way if taken in pre Workouts.

3. Sucrose

Sucrose is table sugar. It is a disaccharide, a molecule composed of two monosaccharides (glucose + fructose). Sucrose is produced naturally in plants like sugarcane, from which table sugar is refined. Sucrose is more commonly found in dried cane syrup, cookies, and other artificial eatables like sweets. 

In the small intestine, it breaks down into two monosaccharides i.e., glucose and fructose, where these simple sugars are eventually absorbed through the intestinal wall. Then these simple sugars get into the bloodstream, where a protein takes the glucose to muscle cells to use for energy or store for later use. 

4. Maltose

Maltose, simply maltobiose or malt sugar, is a disaccharide, formed from two units of glucose (glucose + glucose). Maltose does not occur naturally in many foods. It is found in molasses, a viscous product resulting from refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. 

It takes some time for the glucose to get to the muscles and hence, it is not a better option for pre and post-workout.

5. Lactose

You might know this one because of its presence in dairy products like milk….. It is also a disaccharide (glucose + galactose) and also broken down in the small intestine and travels to the bloodstream to power up your muscles like other disaccharides.

Effects of sugar on your health

Some people may be lactic intolerant and do have trouble digesting this one, so skip it before spin class if you’re prone to stomach issues.

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All these sugars are not bad for your health. Your body actually needs sugar, especially if you’re active and particularly from whole foods. It may be unhealthy, you get your sugar from the wrong source.

Natural Vs Added Sugars

When talking about sugar and health, more specifically muscle growth, all types of sugars shouldn’t be viewed or treated equally. When you read food labels with the intent of reducing sugar consumption, you may be omitting healthy foods for the wrong reasons. Let me tell you how! 

Sugars such as glucose, fructose, and lactose are naturally present in healthy foods and hence, they are considered natural sugars. If you are into the supermarket to get a carton of milk, when you see its nutrition facts label showing 13 grams of sugar, but this sugar comes with nutrients for good health, including potassium, calcium, and protein. 

And carbohydrates in fruits come from sugar is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that improve bowel function and protect you from chronic disease.

On the other hand, added sugars are just that sugar that’s been added to food by you or by food manufacturers for taste or flavor. Added sugars may include the table sugar you stir into your morning tea or coffee. Now, there are a couple issues with added sugar. 

The biggest thing is that there’s no nutritional value and they don’t provide the satiety that you get from other more healthful foods. Consumption of added sugars maybe even harmful if you stop working out. Ingredients that may indicate added sugar include:

  • Sucrose
  • Maltose
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Fruit juice, concentrated
  • High-fructose corn syrup
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Why Too Much Added Sugar Is Bad For You?

Effects of sugar on your health

Sugars are not completely bad. However, there are some effects of sugar on your health. It doesn’t matter what type of diet you follow or how much you work out, you should limit your added sugar intake. Here are just a few reasons why you should limit your consumption of added sugars.

  • According to Harvard Health Publishing, Too much added sugar may make it harder for you to maintain a healthy weight and may increase your risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
  • Too much added sugar can cause weight gain.
  • Too much added sugar has been linked to acne.
  • Overconsumption may accelerate the skin aging process.

How Much Sugar Is Ok?

Added sugars are not good for your health. It doesn’t mean you’ve to cut added sugars completely from your diet. According to The American Heart Association, women eat no more than six teaspoons of added sugar i.e., no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day, and men no more than nine teaspoons i.e., no more than 150 calories of added sugar per day.

I hope this article(effects of sugar on your health) is helpful for you.

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Mujja Saikumar, founder of The Muscly Advisor is an Aeronautical engineering graduate formed an obsession with fitness and helping people to clear all the health and fitness-related doubts through Blogs, videos, and social media. Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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