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High Sugar Diet by Baljinnyam Batnasan

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When we hear the word “sugar”, it brings smiles to our faces and we think of all the sweetness and yumminess. The only taste that humans are born with a natural desire is sweet.  Because of this, it is no wonder that the average American diet ingests so much of it.  The objective of this paper is to inform the reader of the harmful effects of a high-sugar diet on an individual’s body and health.

First let me explain what sugar is and where it comes from and its importance to living organisms.  Sugar is a sweet, crystalline substance that exists in various plants.   Sugar is essential to living organisms as it provides a source of energy that the body can easily metabolize.

Sugar is not harmful in itself.  People’s natural desire for sugar causes humans to consume an unnatural amount.  This is largely due to adding sugar to make foods more palatable.  It is hard to find any processed foods that do not contain added sugars.  As a comparison over time, in the 1700s, people used only 4 pounds of sugar in a year, and that changed in the 1800s to 18 pounds. In nineteen hundreds, it raised to the amount of 90 pounds.  Today we use 180 pounds of sugar per year.  Over the last 30 years, added sugars in our diets have increased the caloric intake of the average American by 150 to 300 more calories per day roughly half of which come from sodas.  The physical activity levels of the consumers have not changed.  This is thought to be a contributing factor in the increasing rates of obesity.

On average, adults consume 22 teaspoons daily and teenagers consume 34 teaspoons of sugar in their daily routine, which leads us to the harmful effects of sugar.

When I think of the harmful effects of sugar, the first thing that comes to my mind are cavities or diabetes.  Though, a high-sugar diet over a prolonged time can result in many more complications than just a dirty mouth.  Much research has been done to study the effects of a high sugar diet and while the results may not be conclusive, research has shown the following to be associated with a high sugar diet: sugar suppresses the immune system, can cause a mineral imbalance, contributes to cardiovascular disease, can cause kidney damage, result in premature aging, increases risk for certain intestinal and digestive disease, contributes to diabetes and has been linked to many more complications to health.

However, we can take control of our sugar intake.  Simply reducing the amount of sodas that you drink can dramatically reduce your sugar intake.  A single can of soda contains as many as 39 grams for a 12-ounce can or 65 grams of sugar for a 20-ounce bottle.  It is suggested that no more than 10% of your caloric intake should be from sugars.  A 20 ounce bottle of soda would put most Americans over their recommended daily caloric intake of sugars.  Sugars are what are described as empty calories. They provide no nutrition and are not filling (no fiber).  Sugars are not a bad thing but we consume them in unnatural amounts and need to be aware of the potential consequences.

Is too much of a good thing bad?  Not necessarily, but this may be the case when it comes to sugar.  The most dangerous harm sugar can do to human body is heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Nevertheless, it doesn’t just stop there, it affects how we feel or appearance, changing our moods and damaging our skins.  Be aware of what you consume, because in the end we are a product of what we eat.



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