How much Sugar is too much for your Digestive Health?


Just like eating too oily and processed foods can be bad for your gut health, having too much-added sugar in the form of sweets, pastries, confectioneries, packaged juices, soft drinks etc. loaded with added sugar in your daily diet can also harm your gut health.

We all know that high sugar diet leads to weight gain which then leads to other health issues like diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc. but that may be an outcome of what happens when excess sugar reaches and passes through your digestive system directly or indirectly. Apart from the major health problems sugar may cause, it can be one of the reasons for health issues which may not even correlate to sugar at all. Let’s find out about them.

What happens when a lot of sugar enters your digestive system?

Excess sugar that cannot be absorbed by the body will be left to ferment. Sugar moves slowly through the large intestine, feeding bad bacteria and yeast, and causing a build-up of gas causing cramping, spasms and pain.

What happens to your Gut microbiota?

Studies show that high dietary sugar was found to change microbiota composition, specifically decreasing bacterial diversity and the abundance of good bacteria and increasing the abundance of pathogenic or disease-causing ones. Microbial dysbiosis or imbalance is associated with metabolic disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and other gastrointestinal disorders.

What happens to the healthy intestinal wall?

Walls of the small intestine are lined with dense mucosa with many glands that both secrete enzymes and absorb nutrients from the food we eat, this wall or lining is also responsible for preventing harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. Too much sugar affects the integrity of this lining due to inflammatory changes resulting in a leaky gut where harmful substances such as toxins, undigested food particles, and bacteria can leak out and enter the bloodstream. This triggers several health issues ranging from skin problems, reduced immunity, food sensitivities etc even if there is no weight gain due to high sugar consumption.

Many recent international recommendations have expressed concerns about a diet rich in various types of sugar. We also have to watch out for food labels which have different names for sugars. It is essential to limit sugar intake, as per ICMR guidelines men and women with a sedentary lifestyle should consume no more than 20 g/day (about 5 teaspoons) of sugar. And for men and women with moderate physical activity should consume no more than 30 g/day (about 6 teaspoons). A balanced and varied diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics with whole grains, regional and seasonal fruits and vegetables, fermented food etc is crucial for gut health and overall well-being.

You can also consider adding Actifiber Natural Gut Strength to your daily diet. It is an ideal blend of probiotics and prebiotics and is clinically proven to improve overall digestive health.
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