Sugar and Your Health

Sugar spelled out in sugar over candy and donuts
Caption: While sugar is fine in moderation, there are many consequences if eaten too often.

When the holidays approach, most people focus on family get-togethers and cozy evenings, making treats for neighbors, and forget all about their health. Unfortunately, sugar is exceptionally prevalent in the American diet. Most US citizens consuming a staggering 22 teaspoons a day of the sweet stuff. At no time is that more true than during a major holiday.

Although harmless to the teeth on its own, sugar is the main food source of oral bacteria. Bacteria produce acid as it multiplies. Over time, this acid erodes patches of your enamel, exposing the sensitive innermost portions of your tooth to decay and extreme sensitivity. And the damage doesn’t stop there. Here are three other ways that sugar affects your health, and what you can do to avoid sugar-related issues.

1. Interferes with Feelings of Fullness

When you eat sugar, your body responds by releasing insulin. Insulin helps the cells of your body turn sugar into energy. Unfortunately, if you eat too much sugar, the body can become overrun with insulin, which can actually block a hormone called leptin. Leptin tells your brain that you’re full. Eating too much sugar on a regular basis could cause you to overeat, leading to weight gain and obesity.

2. Accelerates Aging

Most people don’t realize it, but enjoying a few extra-sugary sweets every day could make you look a lot older. When you flood your body with extra sugar, some of those sugar molecules attach themselves to protein, which causes those proteins to become less elastic. This contributes to sagging skin and tenser blood vessels.

3. Adds to Stress

When you eat more sugar, it increases the hormones in the body that make you feel stressed. Blood sugar spikes can also cause your body to feel naturally stressed since your tissues and organs try to maintain constant sugar levels.

Curbing Your Sugar Addiction

Because research has shown that people can become dependent on sugar, curbing your sugar addiction can be difficult at first. To ward off sugar cravings, start slowly by eliminating the obvious offenders like soda, candy, and sweets. Next, move on to avoiding foods with loads of added sugar, like barbecue sauces, sugary cereals, and even flavored yogurts. Before you know it, you will be consuming a fraction of the amount of sugar you used to, enjoying a healthier body, and preventing serious medical ailments.

The Dental Partners of Boston are known as some of the best dentists in Boston because of our approach to dental health and preventive care. For more information on keeping your body and teeth healthy, contact our Boston dentists today.

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