There is no better time to adopt a healthier lifestyle and abandon bad habits than the turn of the year, after all, the first day of January marks a new beginning for all of us. It is no wonder that most people make promises to keep during the year that will begin. But if you still don't know what changes you will adopt in 2021 to make your life healthier, a good strategy is to bet on reducing the excessive consumption of sweets, as well as carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, since these are converted into sugar by the body . That's because these foods can cause a lot of damage.
Of course, reducing your sugar intake can seem challenging, especially for those who don't go a day without consuming a sweetie after lunch, right? But to motivate you to adopt this care during 2021 - and for the rest of your life - we have assembled a team of experts to point out the main damages that excessive sugar consumption can cause. Check out:
Favors the appearance of cancer
In addition to problems like obesity and diabetes, sugar can also favor the onset of cancer. “Cancer cells, like all other cells in the body, need energy sources to survive. While some cells withdraw this energy from oxygen, others, such as neoplastic cells, use sugar fermentation as an energy source. In this way, sugar, more specifically glucose, can boost the development of cancer, since it feeds cancer cells, which grow and spread throughout the body ”, emphasizes Dr. Marcella Garcez, nutritionist and director of the Brazilian Association of Nutrology . "Sugar is an even bigger villain if cancer is already developing, because during periods of rapid tumor growth, cancer cells digest sugar up to 200 times faster than normal cells."
Ages the skin and causes hair loss
Excess sugar can lead to premature skin aging due to a process known as glycation. “Glycation is the relationship between excessive consumption of refined sugar (carbohydrates) and accelerated skin aging. In this process, the glucose that gets loose in the blood binds to proteins, thus forming AGEs (advanced glycation end products). These AGEs cause a tissue disorder, degrading the collagen and elastin fibers and leading to loss of skin elasticity, formation of wrinkles and aging of the tissue. Thus, it is necessary to use anti-glycolic supplements such as Glycoxil to reverse the damage ”, explains nutritionist Luisa Wolpe Simas, integrated nutrition consultant at Biotec Dermocosméticos. And some people are more likely than others to suffer from this process. “Genetics is capable of significantly altering the way the organism fights glycation. For example, carriers of the AGER and GLO1 genes are related to a lesser fight against the glycation phenomenon ”, says geneticist Dr. Marcelo Sady, Post-Doctor in Genetics and Multigene general director. In addition to affecting the skin, excessive sugar consumption can also harm hair health. "This is because the increase in insulin caused by the ingestion of sugar causes the release of hormones that inhibit the cell division of the capillary root, in addition to causing an inflammatory process that affects the scalp, favoring the thinning of the hair and hair loss" emphasizes the trichologist Dr. Lucas Fustinoni, an international reference in Trichology and a member of the World Trichology Society.
Disrupts the results of aesthetic procedures
According to plastic surgeon Dr. Beatriz Lassance, a member of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery, in addition to the glycation process, the organism also requires unusual enzymes to fight glucose, which increases the production of free radicals, causing oxidative stress in the body. which further worsens the glycation of collagen fibers, accelerating their degradation. “And, as the key to aesthetic procedures is the stimulation of collagen, patients with high markers of oxidative stress tend to achieve less expressive results when undergoing plastic surgery, in addition to being more at risk of suffering with healing problems and thrombosis in the postoperative ”, Highlights the plastic surgeon.
Increases predisposition to circulatory problems
Vascular surgeon Dr. Aline Lamaita, a member of the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, explains that sugar is related to obesity and diabetes mellitus, in addition to being identified as a major villain for the increase in cholesterol. “In addition, sugar can favor the appearance of cardiovascular problems, causing, for example, the thickening and accumulation of fatty plaques within the artery wall, with consequent obstruction of these vessels. Depending on the affected artery, this condition can also lead to the incidence of infarction, stroke and lameness problems, which is when you are going to walk and have difficulty walking because there is no blood in your legs ”, says the doctor.
Increases susceptibility to vaginal infections
Excess sweets and carbohydrates can also favor the appearance and worsening of discharge and candidiasis in women. “These foods become glucose in the body, making the vaginal pH more acidic. As a result, there is a deregulation of local bacteria, with an increase in the production of fungi and pathogenic bacteria, causing candidiasis and discharge, ”explains Dr. Eloisa Pinho, gynecologist and obstetrician at the GRU Clinic. “In addition, excessive consumption of these foods can also damage the immune system, which favors the appearance of urinary tract infection, which happens when bacteria enter the urinary tract and multiply, causing pain, burning, discomfort in the bladder, cloudy urine and even a fever. ”
Impairs oral health
Sugar is one of the great villains of oral health. “One of the main problems in this regard is the formation of caries, which occurs when the bacteria in the mouth metabolize the sugar we consume, making the pH of the mouth acidic and, consequently, causing demineralization of tooth enamel and the appearance of cavities. What is worse is that the onset of this action occurs a few hours after ingesting the sugar. In addition, sugar also favors the accumulation of bacterial plaque, which, when not properly removed, can also cause gingivitis and bad breath ”, warns Dr. Hugo Lewgoy, dental surgeon and doctor of dentistry at USP.
Interferes with fertility
In addition to favoring obesity, which impairs the quality and quantity of sperm and the ovulation process, sugar intake alone reduces the chances of a couple becoming pregnant. “Excessive sugar consumption can lead to an inflammatory process with a consequent risk of oxidative stress, which can damage the germ cell DNA, increase the frequency of harmful mutations and unbalance the expression of genes that act in reproduction, thus compromising the process reproductive, ”says Dr Marcelo Sady.
Therefore, the secret to not harm health is to bet on moderation, reducing sugar consumption to a maximum of one tablespoon of the ingredient per day. The problem is that it can be very difficult to reduce sugar intake in such a way, because most foods contain some form of the substance in its composition. But the good news is that there are measures that can be taken to reduce the damage done by sugar. “For example, there are nutrients such as fiber, good fats and proteins that, if ingested together with refined carbohydrates, sweets and sugars, reduce the speed of digestion and absorption of blood sugar, decreasing the glycemic index and preventing the levels of circulating glucose and insulin don't rise so fast, ”says Dr. Marcella.
According to the pharmaceutical company Mika Yamaguchi, scientific director of Biotec Dermocosméticos, specifically to combat the damage of sugar in the skin, it is possible to bet on the use of active ingredients that act as a topical anti-gland and antioxidant reinforcement, such as Alistin and SuperOX-C. "In addition, oral supplements with antioxidants and anti-glycans are also interesting, such as Glycoxil and Vitamin C", adds the expert. With regard to cosmetics, a good option to prevent and treat the changes caused by excess sugar is the Solar Hidra Active, from Buona Vita, a sunscreen with SPF 30, which brings in the formula an anti-gluing peptide of last generation, which protects the proteins and DNA against glycation and the consequent formation of AGEs.
Finally, to combat the action of sugar on the teeth and prevent the appearance of cavities and other oral diseases, the most important thing is to invest in brushing, which should be done with an ultra-soft bristle brush, as hard bristles can hurt the gums and cause gingival retraction, and with a large amount of bristle. “But, remember that the quantity must be combined with the quality of the bristles. A good example in this case is the CS 5460 ultrasoft brush, from CURAPROX, which has 5460 Curen® bristles, a type of thinner and ultra-soft fiber capable of totally disorganizing the bacterial plaque without causing injuries or trauma to the teeth and gums ”, explains Dr Hugo Lewgoy. In addition to brushing, another key tip to avoid sugar damage to your teeth is to use an interdental brush daily to remove the substance buildup in interdental spaces, such as CURAPROX CS Prime. “This special toothbrush is responsible for the disorganization of the dental plaque or oral biofilm that is located in the region between the teeth, having greater effectiveness than the dental floss or tape, since many teeth, especially the posterior ones, have a depression in this area that only the brush interdental is able to reach and sanitize properly ”, concludes the dental surgeon.