Why sugar is considered harmful to health- Expert

A nutritionist, Gurama A. Gurama, has warned that sugar can be harmful and advised the public to be careful of the way they consume it.

He said sugar is the generic name for sweet, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food.

“There are various types of sugars derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include: glucose also known as dextrose), fructose and galactose. The “table sugar” or “granulated sugar” most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose.

Sugar is used in prepared foods such as cookies and cakes, and it is added to some foods and beverages to add flavour such as coffee and tea,” he said. Gurama,  who is also a PhD candidate and wrote from the School of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Microbiology, Bayero University Kano, said sucrose is hydrolysed into simple sugars, fructose and glucose in the body.

He said other disaccharides include: maltose; from malted grain, and lactose; from milk, adding that longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides or polysaccharides.

According to him, some other chemical substances, such as glycerol may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars. Low-calorie  food substitutes for sugar, described as artificial sweeteners, include: aspartame and sucralose; a chlorinated derivative of sucrose, he said.

He gave the following as reasons why sugar is considered harmful: – Sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes and elevate cholesterol Most people understand how sugar excess can lead to diabetes by elevating insulin levels; eventually cells become resistant to insulin, levels also trigger the liver to produce more cholesterol and triglycerides. -Sugar can impair your immune system Eating 100grams of simple carbohydrates (like cookies, a large piece of cake, or few doughnuts) can reduce the ability of white blood cells by 50% for a few hours. -Sugar is addictive Many people find it nearly impossible to stop eating sugar.

In fact eating lots of sugar may deplete the zinc in your body, which can dull your sense of taste, and when your taste perception is altered, you need more sugar to give you the same taste satisfaction.

Thus it becomes a vicious cycle. -Sugar is linked to behavioral issues It is believed that when individuals (come down) from a sugar “high”, they become grumpy, irritable, and may even become violent. -Sugar can lead to osteoporosis Sugar creates an acidic environment in your tissue, which causes your body to cry out for alkaline foods. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body may pull it from your bones and teeth to rebalance your PH, and you may develop bone loss and eventually osteoporosis. – Sugar can make you fat When you take sugar in excess, your body goes into fat-storage mode.

That is why most diabetics gain weight when they begin taking insulin often as much as 20$ or 30$. Sugar creates a cycle of demand for more sugar, which raises insulin levels. Insulin is a powerful hormone that signals the body to store fat. – Sugar may contribute to infertility Consuming sugar regularly may lead to infertility.

And the adverse effect of sugar on male fertility can make starting a family very difficult, thus only consume sugar in moderation to support reproductive health and overall health being. Gurama, a nutritionist, PhD candidate, wrote from School of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Microbiology, Bayero University Kano