Added sugar does not have any nutritional value, and consuming too much added sugar can have serious consequences, including high triglycerides, heart disease, obesity and tooth decay, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).
Also, filling up on food and drinks that have added sugar can keep you from eating and drinking things that will have a positive effect on your health, according to the AAFP.
People who drink a lot of sugar-filled drinks, for example, drink less milk, which provides calcium, protein and vitamins that the body needs to function properly, according to the AAFP.
Your brain suffers
Fructose—the sugar that naturally occurs in fruit and is a component, with glucose, of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar—lights up the brain’s reward center, says pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, MD, of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. But over time, a diet packed with fructose (especially from HFCS) can make it tougher to learn and remember, animal research suggests. To stay in peak mental shape, try sticking with savory snacks.
You want to eat more
By revving the brain’s reward and appetite center, fructose can interfere with feelings of satiety, research reveals. Translation: That extra cookie may not curb your craving after all.
Skin ages faster
Too much sugar can hinder the repair of collagen, the buzzed-about protein that keeps skin looking plump, studies show. A steady diet of sugary treats can result in reduced elasticity and premature wrinkles. Indulge your sweet tooth with fruit instead. Experts say it’s A-OK to eat two to four servings of the natural sugar source each day.
The instant something sweet touches your tongue, your taste buds direct-message your brain: deee-lish. Your noggin’s reward system ignites, unleashing dopamine. Meanwhile, the sugar you swallowed lands in your stomach, where it’s diluted by digestive juices and shuttled into your small intestine. Enzymes begin breaking down every bit of it into two types of molecules: glucose and fructose. Most added sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets and is equal parts glucose and fructose; lab-concocted high-fructose corn syrup, however, often has more processed fructose than glucose. Eaten repeatedly, these molecules can hit your body hard.