Sugar side effects have been synonymous with a number of present day diseases including diabetes, blood pressure, hypertension, tooth decay among others. Sugar is a short-chain, soluble carbohydrates composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, which are mainly found on tissues of most plants but are sufficient in concentrations in sugarcane plants. Sugar comes in various types, ranging from simple sugars (Monosaccharides) such as glucose, fructose, and galactose.
Granulated/ table sugar (disaccharides) such as sucrose, maltose and lactose and longer chains of sugars (oligosaccharides). Sugar as a food component is one of the most utilized commodity in the world, with an average person consuming 150 pounds of sugar per year in this 21st century, as compared to seven and a half pounds consumed averagely in the year 1700. Sugar which is highly concentrated in sugarcane and most beats plants usually undergoes a technical process of milling and refining in order to extract the sweet syrup that constitutes the sugar content.
But despite its consumption by a majority of human beings, sugar side effects are more than its benefits, which impacts negatively on the growth and development of human beings. Therefore, consumers should minimize the consumption of sugar in order to reduce the environmental, social and health-related impacts, associated with sugar intake.
Sugar side effects
Sugar dietary consumption has been identified as having major health effects in the growth and development of human beings. Sugar side effects include raising of the blood glucose levels more quickly in a human body because of its simpler chemical structure, as compared to starch diets. This is because; sugar intake into the body to produce energy is faster, therefore exposing a person to a quicker rise in the blood glucose levels, which can affect a person health. Due to this, carbohydrate counting has been utilized by major dietary experts to enhance a healthy and balanced diet in planning meals for their clients.
Sugar-sweetened beverages also are attributed to another sugar side effects where they increase body weight and fat, which is responsible for the increased cases of obesity among human population in the world today. This is because, simple sugar tend to be more concentrated in foods, meaning that one consumes more calories per mouth. A group of leading medical and nutritional experts have advocated for a 20-30% reduction in sugar added to packaged and processed foods, which is estimated that this would result in a reduction of roughly 100 calories over the next 3-5 years per person, which is believed to reverse the obesity menace.
Moreover, sugar-sweetened beverages are considered to be the causes of a major sugar side effects in the form of type 2 diabetes due to increased dietary glycemic load which leads to insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction and inflammation. Refined sugar consumption contributes to metabolic and cardiovascular dysfunction risks, as well as it has risks on teeth’s, as it leads to tooth decay, as sugar particles accumulate on teeth’s, exposing the teeth’s to pathogenic germs responsible for teeth decay. Excessive sugar consumption has been seen to cause mental health problems, such as depression, addiction, anxiety and also it may have an effect on a person’s cognitive abilities. These effects subjected to the excessive consumption of sugar have proved vital for the need to advocate for reduction or absolute abstinence to sugar consumption in order to guarantee a healthy living style.
The sugar milling, extraction, and production has severe environmental impacts, with the rampant pollution and discharges from the various milling industries, has exposed the environment to serious pollution effects. This pollution which range from air, water, and land pollution has affected the fauna and flora found within the earth’s atmosphere. Sugarcane as a plant is a water-intensive crop that takes long to reach maturity.
The plant requires enough silt and nutrients from applied fertilizers, which is often toxic to fauna and flora found in the soil and in water bodies once eroded through soil erosion. More so, the harvesting of sugarcane from the large and expansive fields exposes the microorganism in the soil to extreme heat which destroys their existence. The industrial wastes from sugar mills deposited in water bodies, which include plant matters and sludge decompose in water bodies absorbing all the oxygen in water leading to the destruction of the organisms found in the waters.
Socially, sugar trade is believed to be the major cause of international relations throughout history. Sugar trade has led to issues pertaining human rights, economics, slavery, environmental issues, consumerism issues just to name but a few. Sugar trade was considered a lucrative trade in the 15th and 16th century. Although its impact brought about major industrial growth among countries, it is believed to be the major cause of early slave trade, which is considered as the major factor for the expansion of the sugar industry. It is estimated that over one million slaves were subjected to working in the sugar industries in the early years.
In conclusion, in order to effectively minimize environmental, societal and health hazards which are brought about by excessive consumption of sugar, it is empirical that measures be taken to advocate for the reduction and zero tolerant to sugar intake in order to enhance sustainability to the future generations. Sugar intake has increased in these modern days with majority of the processed foods and beverages having high quantity of sugar additives, which poses serious risks in their consumers. Human bodies can function normally without sugar intake. Therefore, it is recommended that human beings become watchful on the dietary in order to limit sugar intake, so as to live a healthy life. More so, companies producing sugar should be called upon to watch on their environmental pollution through the sugarcane by-products which affect the environment.
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