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Why Is Too Much Sugar Bad for You?
Each week, MyHealthNewsDaily asks theِ experts toِ answer questions aboutِ your health.
This week, weِ asked nutritionists andِ diabetes specialists: Why isِ excess sugar bad forِ you.
Here’s whatِ theyِ said.
Zachary Bloomgarden, professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City:
Sugar isِ bad forِ you a becauseِ it hasِ calories, andِ because ifِ you haveِ diabetes orِ a diabetes-related condition — lets sayِ high blood fat levels — thenِ havingِ sugar willِ increase yourِ blood sugar andِ your triglycerides, whichِ isِ a risk factor forِ heart disease.
(Triglycerides areِ a type ofِ fat inِ the blood.) If youِ haveِ someone whoِ hasِ diabetes, theirِ problem isِ that eitherِ they aren’t producing insulin, orِ areِ resistant toِ it.
But, essentially, diabetes isِ not justِ aboutِ blood sugar.
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Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont in Burlington:
It eitherِ displaces moreِ nutritious foods inِ your diet, whichِ means you’reِ screening outِ nutritious-dense foods, orِ itِ adds calories toِ your diet.
So ifِ you’re adding calories onِ top ofِ anِ alreadyِ nutritious diet thatِ puts youِ atِ risk forِ weight gain.
There’s beenِ a lot ofِ research inِ recent years lookingِ atِ the impact ofِ added sugars — notِ the sugar naturally occurring inِ fruits andِ dairy products.
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Marisa Moore, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
There areِ several problems withِ excess sugar.
The moreِ often you’reِ eating sugary foods, thenِ theِ moreِ often youِ give thatِ bacteria inِ your mouth time toِ goِ to work onِ the sugar.
When weِ lookِ atِ the types ofِ foods thatِ areِ high inِ added sugar, theyِ oftenِ areِ not high inِ nutrition.
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Stephanie Dunbar, director of nutrition and medical affairs at the American Diabetes Association
There’s a couple issues withِ sugar.
Foods thatِ tend toِ haveِ a lot ofِ sugar added, theyِ don’tِ provide theِ satiety thatِ you getِ fromِ other moreِ healthful foods, soِ people tend toِ consume moreِ calories whenِ theyِ eat foods withِ moreِ sugar inِ it.
What weِ recommend forِ diabetics, isِ ifِ someone’s goingِ to haveِ a small piece ofِ cake, orِ a small piece ofِ pie, thenِ you wouldِ cut backِ on theِ otherِ carbohydrates inِ the meal.
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Mary Ellen DiPaola, dietitian at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center
Glucose isِ the body’s major fuel andِ is broken downِ from carbohydrates, a combination ofِ sugar molecules, inِ the foods weِ eat.
Simple sugars suchِ asِ sucrose (table sugar) andِ juice (fructose) areِ composed ofِ only oneِ or twoِ sugar molecules andِ are converted toِ blood glucose faster thanِ moreِ complex carbohydrates likeِ whole grains andِ vegetables.
Sweet foods andِ beverages suchِ asِ baked goods, frozen desserts, candy, juice, soft drinks andِ other sweet liquids alsoِ contain carbohydrates inِ the form ofِ simple sugar.