Sugar vs Cigarettes: Which is Worse For You?
What kills more people: sugar or cigarettes? You may want to hold off before you answer this question. A closer look at the statistics behind what kills people could show a sweeter killer.
Initially, people didn’t know that cigarettes could cause bad health. Media, doctors, and societies didn’t associate cigarettes with bad lungs and cancer. It had taken years before people understood that cigarettes caused damage to our bodies. This was because people didn’t feel pain and were not sick right after smoking one cigarette. Instead, a cigarette helped to take people’s stress and anxiety away.
A cigarette made a person feel calm and gave them a burst of energy. One cigarette didn’t show any immediate harm. So why stop smoking if nothing instantly bad happens? The damage that happens from smoking cigarettes is not noticeable at first. You won’t see the damages that smoking causes until you wake up one morning with a cough.
Over time, a smoker will face an increased risk of countless health problems. But it wasn’t until anti-smoking advertisements were released that people changed their opinion. More research on the health benefits of smoking was done, and experts concluded that smoking kills. Now everyone knows only too well the harm smoking can do.
Cigarettes have been known to cause:
- Severe Genetic Damage Within Minutes
- Throat Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Increased Stillbirth Risk
- Heart Attacks
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Cigarettes are bad for you, but people still smoke them around the world. This might be because it contains an addictive substance, nicotine. Nicotine stimulates dopamine in the brain, which is responsible for the pleasurable sensations that smokers feel. However, the more you smoke, the more your nerve cells become immune to the enjoyable emotions brought on by smoking. As a result, smokers usually increase their intake of nicotine to get that desired feeling.
Can sugar be as poisonous as cigarettes? The answer is yes.
It’s hard to avoid sugar because sugar is everywhere. Whereas it is easier to prevent a cigarette and nicotine. There are the obvious items that contain sugar, like coca cola, chocolate, candy, biscuits, cake, pudding, jello, and cereals. But did you know that there are hidden sugars in your food too? Sugar can also be found in your bread, yogurt, smoothies, ketchup and even in baked beans. Even foods that are masquerading as ‘skinny’ are packed with sugar too. Avoiding sugar is difficult.
There are Two Types of Sugar: Naturally-Occurring Sugar and Added Sugar
Added sugars are sugars that are contributed during the processing of foods and beverages. It is the ingredients, such as honey, high fructose corn syrup, and agave that are used in foods to provide added sweetness. Natural-occurring sugar is never added to the processing of foods and beverages. Instead, the food item already came with sugar. For example, fructose in fruit and lactose in milk.
Sugar found in fruit and dairy are not bad for you. The protein found in dairy and the fiber in fruit helps your body absorb the natural sugar slowly. Slowing down the digestion of sugar prevents the spike of insulin response and harm to your liver.
Eating added sugar can quickly decrease your health. The editors at ‘Eat This, Not That!’ did an enormous amount of research and concluded that added sugar makes eating healthy almost impossible. The more added sugar you consume, the less healthy food choices you’ll make and eat. This is because sugar can mess with our taste buds and bodily systems.
Many of us overindulge with sweets. The average adult consumes approximately 63 grams of sugar each day. That is twice of the recommended daily amount. By eating more sugar than our bodies need we are storing the excess as fat. This leads to an increase in obesity and diabetes.
What Sugar Does To Your Body
When you digest sugar, it immediately goes to your stomach where digestive juices dilute it. Then enzymes begin to break it down into glucose. This glucose is released into the bloodstream, where it is converted into energy. Insulin is then released and absorbs the excess glucose in the blood to stabilize sugar levels. When you eat too much sugar, an overflow of insulin goes into your system to try to manage the toxic substance. The result is a sugar rush.
The more sugar that is in the bloodstream, the more insulin released. If your body releases too much insulin, your blood sugar will drop below normal levels. This is called hypoglycemia, better known as a sugar crash. This is a way of our bodies telling us that it wants more sugar. The sugar that we continue to eat that is not used for energy is converted into fat. The more frequent this process is, the more insulin that is required. This means our body will stop using sugar as energy and convert it to fat straight away instead. This can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Feeling sluggish all the time or always being thirsty and hungry could be signs that you have been on a sugar binge. If this continues and you are not eating sugar in moderation, you will notice that you have put on weight. High sugar diets are a big part of why 68.8% of Americans are obese.
When you are obese, your cells can become resistant to the usual effects of insulin and will struggle to absorb glucose from the blood to use for energy. This will cause your pancreas to go into overdrive to produce more insulin. But despite your pancreas’s hard work, your cells still won’t accept the glucose. The result is excess sugar floating around in your bloodstream with nowhere to go.
You could damage virtually every organ in your body if your blood is saturated with sugar. Pumping sugary blood through your blood vessels would be like pumping thick sludge through a tiny pipe. This can lead to high blood pressure, kidney failure or kidney disease, and can affect other parts of your body, such as your heart, brain, and eyes.
Can You Get Addicted To Sugar
Can sugar be as addictive as cigarettes? The answer is yes. According to a study by the University of Florida, sugary foods can be as addictive as nicotine and cocaine. During their study they found that people with obesity were drawn to images of junk food, in the same way, cocaine addicts were drawn to images of white powder.
You won’t know the damage sugar can cause right away because it happens over time. Just in the same way that one cigarette won’t cause you any harm instantly. Instead, eating an increased amount of sugar over time will add up to bad health. What you eat and do to your body every day has a long-term impact on your health. If you eat sugar in moderation, then you can continue to stay healthy.
Article shared from Diabetes Daily