6 ways eating too much sugar messes with your body

It’s no secret that people love sugar. It’s everywhere, and even in places you wouldn’t expect – everything from bread to granola bars are packed with the sweet stuff.

We’re not talking about the natural sugars you’d find in fruit or milk. If you read your packaged food labels, you may notice words like maltose, sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, and more on your box – these are all sugars that are added to your food as it’s processed, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Men should consume no more than 36g of added sugar a day, the equivalent of nine teaspoons and 628 kilojoules, the AHA recommends.

According to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the top 20% of adult sugar-lovers eat an average of 3 017kJ of added a sugar every day, the researchers found. That’s eating about nine chocolate frosted caked donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts every single day.

Let’s be clear: Eating some sugar isn’t going to kill you – but consuming too much added sugar puts your body at risk for deadly diseases.

Read more: The science behind your sugar cravings – and how to beat them

Read on for six ways your sweet tooth can get you into trouble.

1. Too much sugar doubles your risk of heart disease

Consuming too many added sugars can hurt your heart – even if you’re not overweight, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found. In the 15-year study of more than 10 000 people, researchers found that those who ate 25% of their daily kilojoules from added sugars – typically in the form of processed foods like soda, cereals, breads, dairy desserts and fruit drinks – were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease than those who at less than 10% of their kilojoules from added sugars.

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