Sugar is sweet and most people enjoy the taste.
In fact, some people can’t seem to stop enjoying it and it’s one of the most common ingredients in the nutrition world.
However, it is devoid of beneficial nutrients and the huge amounts of it we consume contribute to poor health across the world.
These guides look at some of the problems with sugar. In addition, they examine how to deal with sugar cravings – an issue that many people suffer from.
A Brief History of Sugar
While sugar is in almost everything these days, at one point in the Western world, it was something only the wealthy could afford.
Apparently first discovered by Indians in the 4th century, sugar slowly spread around the globe as people migrated to new lands and trade routes were established.
More than a millennium later, the popularity of sugar took off in Europe, particularly in Britain.
Midway through the 18th century, sugar was the most valuable trading items in the whole of Europe. This boom was predated by the growing interest in snacks and condiments such as cakes, candy, and various jams.
Originally, due to the price, these goods were solely available due to the wealthier classes of society.
However, by the 1700s sugar was on the menu for all people regardless of social class.
Sugar in the Americas
Sugar first appeared in America in the 1600s, but it wasn’t until the 19th century when sugar really took off. Much like in 18th century Britain, this was also driven by an increasing interest in confectionary items.
Much like in 18th century Britain, this was also driven by an increasing interest in confectionary items.
However, never in history have we consumed as much sugar as people are doing today in the modern world.
We are no longer solely eating it either, and almost all drink products contain sugar – especially soda and canned drinks.
Problems With Sugar Consumption
The major problems with sugar are as below;
- Sugar provides no vitamins, minerals or nutrients of note.
- The ingredient is highly refined and causes rapid rises in blood sugar levels.
- Some people find sugar to be addictive and experience intense cravings for it.
- It is in almost all packaged foods – reading labels is essential if people wish to avoid it.
- Sugar appears to play a leading role in causing medical conditions like high blood pressure and insulin resistance.
- The vast majority of studies show that people with higher sugar consumption have a shorter life and a bigger risk of chronic disease.
Should We Avoid Sugar?
For those interested in optimal health, then sugar doesn’t really deserve a place on the menu.
However, if you enjoy sugary food and don’t feel ready to give it up, then it’s still better to restrict it as much as possible.
Most people will agree that chocolate, candy, cookies, and cakes taste great, but there are side effects of eating these foods.
There are the obvious ones which we can see, such as damaged teeth and poor oral health.
Then there are the conditions we can’t see, which occur inside the body.
All in all, we’d be much healthier as a society if sugar was out of our diet.
The resources at the top of this page explore the health effects of sugar in greater detail, supported by scientific studies on the topic.