Consuming too much sugar leads to more insulin in the bloodstream that has a bad effect on the arteries. This leads to inflammation and extra stress on the heart leading to cardiovascular diseases and other issues like heart strokes and failure.
Sugar is one of the unavoidable ingredients of our daily diet. But have you ever thought about how much sugar you are consuming each day? Everyone has a sweet tooth. This sweet ingredient, if consumed in high quantities, has bitter outcomes.
You must have already heard that eating too much sugar leads to a lot of health-related issues. Your body shows some signs that you are consuming too much sugar. These signs are a warning to you to be cautious of sugar.
Potential signs that you are eating too much sugar
Below are 15 such signs that tell that your intake of sugar is high and that you have to be watchful. Let us know what they are.
If you have a skin condition, it might be because of sugar. People consuming high sugar will experience acne. High intake of high sugar leads to androgen secretion, resulting in acne. It also leads to the production of excess oil and inflammation.
Diets that are high in refined carbohydrates and have a high glycaemic index, like processed sweets, sugary drinks, and foods, shoot up the levels of sugar in the blood and develop acne.
High blood pressure
Just like salt, sugar can also be a cause of your blood pressure spike. Various studies suggest that high sugar intake increases the risk of high blood pressure. Constant high blood pressure leads to cardiovascular diseases.
Weight gain and belly fat
Sugar has a substance called fructose which increases your hunger and food cravings. Additionally, it causes leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that controls your hunger. Sugar sweetened drinks are loaded with fructose. So, having them will urge you to eat more, resulting in a very high calorie intake. Consuming excess sugar has been observed PubMed: Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy to cause accumulation of visceral fat (belly fat) that further results in weight gain.
Sugary foods lack nutrients. Due to this, hunger returns very soon urging you to eat more. This leads to only weight gain, with no control on food cravings.
Frequent urination and increased thirst
Frequent urination and increased thirst are also a common symptom of high sugar in blood. Because of high sugar content in the blood, excess glucose builds up. Your kidneys are at constant work in the absorption and filtration of excess glucose. This leads to excess thirst and frequent urination.
Blurred vision can be a symptom of high blood sugar levels. This condition develops very quickly. The lens of your eyeballs swell causing blurred vision, because of high blood sugar. You will have difficulty in focusing, as you will have to strain your eyes to see things clearly.
High sugar consumption irritates your gut leading to stomach cramps, pain, and diarrhoea. Excess sugar can also increase gastrointestinal problems. Your digestion is either too fast or too slow. You would feel that your stomach is full, and the next moment, you would want something to eat. This would be a frequent feeling during most part of the day.
Pain in your joints might not be just because of age. There are very high chances that it is because of your high sugar consumption. Having more sugar leads to inflammation. Constant inflammation leads to joint pains. Moreover, according to a study 24% of rheumatoid arthritis patients were those who consumed high amounts of sugary diets.
Injuries are common in daily life. But if you have had an injury which is taking a longer time to heal, it might be because of high sugar in your blood. Because of high blood sugar, your blood circulates slower than usual. So, delivery of nutrients to the wound or an injury is slow. Your wound will take a lot of time to heal. Sometimes, the wound or the injury might not heal at all.
If you carry a frequent irritable mood, it can be because of your high sugar intake. According to a study, eating foods that have added sugars cause inflammation and worsen one’s moods. If you are feeling irritable at the same time everyday, it is certainly because of high sugar intake.
If you are experiencing low energy levels, it might be because of your high sugar intake. When you take high sugary foods, your energy levels shoot up but fall abruptly. Your energy levels do not last long. An increased level of sugars ultimately will leave you low on energy. You will have difficulty in doing everyday chores and will end up with a tired feeling. This is because most foods that are high in sugar have negligible nutrition levels.
Not able to sleep properly? Well, this can probably be because of your high sugar intake. According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, poor sleep quality is linked to having foods with added sugar. One of the factors that regulates sleep is glycemic control. You will have a hard time getting sleep if you have high sugar because sugar dilutes glycemic percentage.
Foods don’t taste as sweet as they were
If you find that the foods you eat now are not tasting as sweet as they used to before, it might be because of your high sugar consumption.
Wanting more sweet
The Mes corticolimbic pathway (Pleasure center) of your brain is dominated by sugar which triggers your want for sugar repeatedly. In simple terms, sugar intake increases dopamine. Dopamine increases sugar cravings. This cycle goes on.
Cavities and gum diseases? Very high possibility that your food has added sugars. Bacteria in the mouth thrives on sugar. The sugar in the food reacts with the bacteria in the mouth to create acid. This acid damages tooth enamel and forms cavities.
How much sugar should you eat per day?
According to a study Harvard T.H. CHAN: The Nutrition Source, “On an average, every American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. This constitutes more than 250 calories. The amount of recommended sugar per day is:
- MEN – 36 grams/9 teaspoons – 150 calories
- WOMEN – 24 grams/6 teaspoons – 100 calories
How to reduce sugar intake?
Cutting down sugar intake suddenly is challenging but there are some tips through which it can be achieved. Below are 5 simple tips on how to cut down your sugar intake.
The most effective solution is to bring a change in your daily diet. Try making obvious changes during the initial stages. Cut down on the biggest source of sugar you eat like baked foods, candies, muffins, and sugary beverages.
Make this change in diet a gradual one.
Packaged snacks are a high source of sugar and processed carbohydrates. You can replace them with fresh fruits, unsalted nuts, or home made popcorn.
If it is difficult to stop them, start by cutting them down and gradually stop them.
Replace simple carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar in your body, which leads to spike in sugar levels of the blood.
Eliminate simple carbs by replacing them with better nutrient foods. You can replace white rice and white flour with brown rice and whole grain flour.
Say NO to artificial sugars
Artificial sugars are much sweeter than sugar and don’t carry any nutritional value. Having artificial sugars can intensify your sugar cravings and make it more difficult for you to go sugar free.
Focus on whole foods
Stop eating processed foods completely as they have added sugars and other refined ingredients. Instead, go for whole foods like
- Fruits and vegetables
- Unprocessed grains
- Poultry and Lean meat
- Seeds and Nuts
If you want dairy as a part of your diet, choose simple cheese, toned milk and plain yoghurt.
Consuming high sugar leads to health conditions like fatty liver, Alzheimer’s, depression, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, weight gain, belly fat and sleep issues. In addition, you become a sugar addict and you do not have control on your appetite. You will also have high cholesterol levels and your teeth health is destroyed. Now that you know why sugar is bad for you, alternate your diet plan by removing high sugary foods.
Remember, stopping sugar is not an overnight thing. It takes determination and patience. Take one step at a time. Choose any one tip on reducing sugar initially. Stick to it for 15 days. If you think that you can go further with the next one, adopt two at a time. Trying to achieve a no-sugar diet suddenly can land you into other problems like fatigue, dehydration and many more.
|↑1||PubMed: Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy|
|↑2||Harvard T.H. CHAN: The Nutrition Source|