I know that even though you already know that eating too much sugar isn’t good for you, you’re probably still overdoing it.
We love our sweets here in the U.S…we average about 20 TABLESPOONS of added sugars every single day.
Compare that to the recommended 6 tablespoons for women and 9 tablespoons for men…(And that doesn’t include sugars found naturally in foods like fruits and milk).
So here we are, talking about sugar again…
- Sugary drinks
- Baked goods
But even foods, like bread, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have sugar, making it all too easy to overdo it.
And then there are the “added sugars” so hard to spot on nutrition labels because of the fancy names they hide behind.
I mean, really, what could possibly be so bad with names like agave nectar, palm sugar…they sound so innocent and even natural.
If you really want to see all the clever disguises under which we’re fed sugar, read my article on the 21 Hidden Sugars In Your Diet by clicking on this link.
No matter what it’s called, it is hurting your body from head to toe. Take a closer look:
Eating sugar gives your brain a huge surge of a “feel-good” chemical called dopamine, which explains why you’re more likely to crave a candy bar at 3 p.m. than an apple or a carrot.
- Because your brain doesn’t release as much dopamine when you eat whole foods like fruits and vegetables, it starts to need more and more sugar to get that same feeling of pleasure.
This causes those “gotta-have-it” cravings for something sweet that is so hard to tame. Your brain is hooked on sugar.
A piece of candy or a cookie can give you a quick burst of energy (or “sugar high”) by raising your blood sugar levels quickly.
However, as your cells absorb the sugar, your levels start dropping. At this point, you may feel jittery, anxious, even angry.
It’s called the “sugar crash.” And it gets worse.
If you’re reaching into the candy jar too often, sugar starts to have an effect on your mood beyond that 3 p.m. slump
Do you know that studies have actually linked a high sugar intake to a greater risk of depression in adults?
Sugar causes inflammation in your body, and some studies are linking it to increased risks of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
If you have any sort of joint pain, cut back on your sugar intake (and don’t forget those “hidden sugars.”)
Another side effect of the inflammation caused by sugar is making your skin age faster.
Sugar attaches to proteins in your bloodstream and creates harmful molecules called “AGEs,” (advanced glycation end products).
These molecules do exactly what they sound like they do: age your skin. They’ve been shown to damage collagen and elastin in your skin which are protein fibers that keep your skin firm and youthful.
The result? Wrinkles and saggy skin.
Too much sugar may cause your liver to become resistant to insulin, that important hormone that turns the sugar in your bloodstream into energy.
This means your body isn’t able to control your blood sugar levels as well, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
When you eat excess sugar, the extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries, part of your body’s circulatory system.
It causes their walls to grow faster than normal and get tense, which adds stress to your heart and damages it over time.
This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Research also suggests that eating less sugar can help lower blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.
And a stark reality check:
People whose sugar intake is at least 25% of their calories are twice as likely to die of heart disease as those whose diets include less than 10% of total calories from added sugar.
When you eat, your pancreas pumps out insulin.
But if you’re eating way too much sugar and your body stops responding properly to insulin, your pancreas starts pumping out even more insulin.
Eventually, your overworked pancreas will break down and your blood sugar levels will rise, setting you up for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
If you have diabetes, too much sugar can lead to kidney damage.
The kidneys play an important role in filtering your blood sugar. Once blood sugar levels reach a certain amount, the kidneys start to allow excess sugar into your urine.
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can damage the kidneys, preventing them from doing their job of filtering out waste in your blood.
This can lead to kidney failure. Read About It Here:
Your Sexual Health
You may want to skip the dessert on date night.
Sugar may impact the chain of events needed for an erection because it affects your circulatory system, which controls the blood flow through your body. Poor circulation interferes with getting and keeping an erection.
We all love our sweets, me included, but really…the short-lived pleasure of overindulging is not worth the risks of the damage to every major organ of our bodies.