Eating too much sugar is linked to a variety of health complications including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, acne, fatty liver disease, premature ageing, and depression. Sugar here does not just refer to what you add to your tea or coffee but also sugar that’s in snacks, processed foods, caffeinated drinks, and even in foods you would never expect to have added sugar in them. Here are some signs you’re eating too much sugar.
Tiredness and lack of energy
One of the best signs you’re eating too much sugar is a constant feeling of tiredness or fatigue. High sugar foods may give you an immediate energy boost but it’s only temporary and will soon lead to a crash. One study found that 1 hour after sugar consumption, participants felt tired and less alert than the control group.
You know you’re eating too much sugar if you’re constantly hungry. This is because high-sugar foods produce a greater feeling of satiety than carbohydrates. The problem is this satiety is short-term and so you feel hungry shortly thereafter.
Some research suggests that eating too much sugar might decrease the diversity of healthy bacteria in your gut. Foods naturally high in fibre have a positive effect on gut bacteria and help bulk up stool, preventing constipation. One study found that certain types of sugar may cause bloating and gas in people who have digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
Sugar causes a spike in the feel-good hormone serotonin, but it passes quickly and leaves the person feeling cranky and tired. Some studies have linked sugars to mood disorders like depression. Eating too much sugar messes with the neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate moods. A 2017 study found that higher sugar intake increased rates of depression and mood disorders in males.
The feel-goof hormone serotonin makes sugar addictive. As with other addictive substances like drugs, eating too much sugar can lead to increased sugar tolerance. You may find that you need more sugar than before to get enjoy something. Your tastebuds need more and more sugar to feel like something is the right sweetness. It’s a vicious cycle, the more sugar you eat, the more your brain wants it and it can be a tough habit or addiction to break.
Acne and breakouts
Eating too much sugar can have a negative effect on your skin. Sugar has an inflammatory effect on the body and can exacerbate or cause inflammatory skin problems like acne and eczema. Premature ageing of the skin may also indicate too much sugar consumption. This is because it creates molecules that damage the skin’s collagen and elastin thus causing your skin to age faster and develop premature wrinkles.
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Cavities can be caused by a variety of factors including ageing but by far the most common cause is a sweet tooth. One study found that eating too much sugar was the biggest cause of tooth decay. Sugar erodes the protective tooth enamel leaving the teeth with holes or cavities that cause painful dental problems.
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Weight gain and obesity
Eating too much sugar has undeniably been linked to weight gain. Sugar is a carbohydrate and when you consume too much of it, it turns into fat in the body. The weight gain may also be because high sugar foods leave you feeling hungry which can lead to eating more between meals.
Certain illnesses are linked to eating too much sugar. Sugar-related illnesses include heart disease, high blood pressure, gout, and kidney disease.
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