Sugar is vital to our body, but not the one that many are used to. Fructose contained in fruits and vegetables and lactose in dairy products are natural healthy sugars. But added sugars, which are often found in processed foods, are something that has a bad effect on weight, appearance, and health.
How to understand that you eat too much sweet.
Without protein, fiber and healthy fats, which are lacking in most processed snacks and sweets, the body quickly burns sugar and increases hunger, which can lead to compulsive overeating. It seems like you just ate something and want to eat again.
According to the review and meta-analysis, the consumption of sugar-containing beverages contributes to weight gain in adults and children. Moreover, sugar can damage our fat hormones, including leptin, which suppresses hunger.
If you feel moody, irritable or nervous, it may be a sign that you are eating too much sugar.
A study published in January 2022 in the journal Medical Hypotheses suggests that eating added sugars can cause inflammation, worsen mood and lead to symptoms of depression.
Fatigue and low energy
«Sugar is a very fast source of energy, so no matter how much you eat, after 30 minutes you will be hungry again, you will have little energy,» experts say.
In addition, strong fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels can also cause a sharp drop in energy levels and affect overall well-being.
The desire to sweeten any food
If you notice that foods don’t taste as sweet as they used to, or if you need to add something sweet to your food to make it delicious, this is a wake-up call. So, you are used to high sugar levels in foods.
Craving for sweets
Sugar targets the brain’s pleasure center (the «mesocorticolimbic pathway»), causing an increase in the level of the so-called «happiness hormone» dopamine.
This pathway in the brain plays an important role in food selection, including influencing sugar cravings. Thus, sugar consumption increases dopamine levels, and the very increase in dopamine levels further increases sugar cravings — such a vicious circle.
High blood pressure.
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, too much sugar in your diet could contribute to this.
Scientists say that high glucose levels can damage the lining of blood vessels, making it easier for lipids, such as cholesterol, to adhere to the walls of blood vessels. «When this happens, the blood vessels harden and your blood pressure rises,» experts say.
Acne and wrinkles.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association believes that if you’re struggling with acne, it’s worth thinking about how much added sugar you’re eating.
Wrinkles can be another important sign. End products with improved glycation, which are products with excess sugar, accelerate skin aging, according to an article published in March 2022 in the journal Nutrients.
Consuming too much sugar can lead to systemic inflammation and joint pain. In addition, studies show that regular consumption of sugary soda is associated with an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
According to a study of 300 university students published in August 2019 in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, poor sleep quality is largely associated with higher intake of added sugars.
Sleep cycles and quality are regulated not only by light and temperature in the room, but also by glycemic control.
Abdominal pain, cramps or diarrhea can be caused by the fact that you eat too much sugar, because it affects the intestines badly. In addition, for people with concomitant diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, as well as for those who have undergone gastric surgery, sugar can exacerbate symptoms.
Problems with concentration
Problems with mental clarity, attention, and memory may be the result of consuming too many added sugars. Although glucose is the main source of «fuel» for the brain, its excess can cause hyperglycemia and provoke an inflammatory effect in the brain. This has a negative effect on cognitive functions and mood.
Bacteria in the mouth like to eat simple sugar. Therefore, if you have tooth decay or gum disease, you may be eating too much added sugar.
«If you are going to eat food with a high sugar content, then immediately rinse your mouth with water,» experts advise. In addition, according to research, some products can help prevent tooth decay. These are milk and dairy products, apples, cranberries, tea, peanuts and foods with a high fiber content.