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Sugar is the little magic inside all the foods we eat that give it the extra sweetness. Whether it’s the sugar we pour into our coffee every morning, or the ingredient that makes our secret chocolate stash so delicious, it’s all sugar when it comes down to it. But it begs the question, is sugar really good for us? I mean it’s in so many foods we eat all the time. From syrups, to soft drinks, to candy to even many cereals, sugar-rich foods are what we consume on a daily basis.
Well as it turns out there is a limitation to the amount of sugar we should be consuming on a daily basis. The American Heart Association released the maximum amount of sugar we should be consuming each day. For women, that amount is 100 calories or 25 grams per day. For men, this is slightly more at 150 calories or 37.5 grams. If that seems like a large number, don’t look at the side of the Coke can you’re drinking right now. According to MyFitnessPal just one 12oz can of regular coke soda is more than the maximum amount of sugar a man or woman can consume.
If you’re like, you’ve probably consumed far more than the maximum amount of sugar per day the American Heart Association recommends so what happens when we consume too much sugar? Well, the news is far from great. Below is a list of 8 signs that mean you’re consuming far too much sugar.
A Constant Craving For More Sugar
Similar to how we think of illegal drugs, the more sugar you consume the more you’ll crave and desire. This makes sugar highly addictive. Like children, even as adults we get a small temporary high from sugar followed by a crash when the energy finally winds down. While the high isn’t very much, the crash will trigger the body to want more. Thus you will find yourself having another sugar craving. That secret candy bar stash in your desk is doing you no favors.
Perhaps even more scary is the fact that your taste buds will also adjust to the amount of sugar you’re consuming on a daily basis. So not only will you need more sugar to fill the cravings, but you will also need more sugar to get the same taste you love!
Constantly Feeling Sluggish
While we all have our off days where we just seem to lack energy, it isn’t normal for you to constantly feel tired and lack energy to do most things. While there are certainly many factors that can contribute to this, there’s a decent chance it has to do with your sugar intake. You see the energy stability has a lot to do with your blood sugar levels. Energy drinks are notorious for having a large amount of sugar in them which will give you the big boost of energy you’ll need, followed shortly by a hard crash. It’s exactly what sugar does to you body’s energy level.
As you can imagine, it’s very important to maintain stable blood sugar levels that are not too high nor too low so that you can lose weight, deplete your natural energy and avoid the dreaded feeling of sluggishness.
Your Skin Is Breaking Out
If you find yourself having horrible flashbacks to your high school days and finding a zit on your face constantly, then you may be consuming too much sugar. Acne and rosacea (red swelling areas) can be caused by a spike in insulin when you consume large doses of sugar. Consuming too much sugar can quickly show up on your face in just a matter of days.
If your skin continues to break out and no treatments seem to help, it may be in your best interest to look at your diet and see how much sugar you’re consuming. Many things we consume on a daily basis have way more sugar than we think.
Sugar may taste great, but its actual nutritional value isn’t so good. Sugar by itself is devoid of protein and fiber, meaning that sugar doesn’t fill you up much like other types of food, like say bread which can be high in fiber. This means if you eat a candy bar instead of an apple as a snack you likely won’t actually feel full. Sugar just ends up being empty calories.
If that was all sugar did, it wouldn’t be so bad. However when you consume sugar your body releases a hormone called insulin. This hormone will contribute to weight gain. Insulin is usually used to turn the food we consume into energy, but sugar doesn’t have any other nutritional benefit. Over time, your body will grow resistant to insulin. Not only can this lead to weight gain, but it can also lead to diabetes.
A Bad Attitude
Sugar not only affects our physical body and the chemical reactions inside of it, but also our brain. If you consume too much sugar, people around you (or perhaps even you) will notice mood changes in your behavior. You’re more likely to be a bit ‘moody.’
This change in your mood is likely due to the roller coaster like path that your blood sugar is taking. The sudden peaks where you feel high and great to the sudden crashes deep down below that leave you exhausted and sad. It’s no surprise that going through that will leave you a bit on the moody side. The extreme changes can also cause problems for those who suffer from anxiety.
Perhaps most well known is that sugar can cause cavities. In fact, near the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia they have a term called “mountain dew mouth.” When a person consumes too much Mountain Dew their teeth begin to rot out and slowly whither away. This is due mostly to the amount of sugar in the soft drink.
Why does sugar seem to have this effect on our teeth? Well the good bacteria that lives in your mouth will actually consume the sugar. When the bacteria ingests the sugar it will produce an acid that will cause your tooth to decay. It isn’t that the sugar itself is bad, but the reaction caused by ingesting sugar will eventually cause tooth decay and eventually cavities.
If you ever find yourself having a hard time thinking of things that you should absolutely know and indeed do, it may actually be linked to your diet. One of the most common symptoms of low blood sugar is what we call “brain fog.” Which is basically when your mind feels cloudy and you cannot think clearly.
While low blood sugar may seem like it’s caused by not enough sugar, it’s actually caused by the consumption of too much sugar. For every peak in your blood sugar level, your body will compensate by using up that energy which will lead to the crash when your blood sugar is low. Prolonged effects of this can increase the risk of cognitive issues and impairment.
Nothing Satisfies Your Sweet Tooth
Too much sugar will dull your taste buds to its taste. You’ll soon need more and more of the sweet, sweet sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth. In fact, you may find that it’s far too much.
Craving more and more sugar for the same taste you love will lead to many health problems as we listed the effects of having too much sugar above. However the solution is simple. If you cut back on your sugar intake, your taste buds will eventually lower their tolerance and soon enough they’ll be back to normal.
If you find that you fit too many of these signs we recommend looking at your diet and seeing how much sugar you are consuming and look into limiting it if you can.