Are you a sweet tooth?
Do your eyes widen when you see desserts?
Does your heart skip a beat when you see chocolates, cakes, and confectionery?
Are you in love with a sweet section in the supermarket?
Do you eat packaged and canned foods often?
Do you add more than 2 teaspoons of sugar for your tea/ coffee or milk?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it definitely means you will have to be mindful of what you eat. Who doesn’t love a chocolate mousse or a piece of cake?
It will not have any harmful effect on your body if you have them occasionally. But you will have to watch what you eat if you see any of the following signs.
1. Fatigue and Lack Of Energy
The constant feeling of fatigue is one of the most straight forward signs telling you that you eat too much sugar. Sugary foods provide a powerful surge of energy shortly after the eating, but right after that, the energy suddenly collapses.
These sugar spikes are the main culprit for this feeling of fatigue and helplessness. If you’re constantly tired and feel exhaustion after a meal, it’s a reason for you to rethink your diet and how much sweets you eat.
2. Aging too quickly
Sugar has a negative effect on the skin, including reducing collagen, elastic and skin proteins. If you eat too much sugar, it is likely that you are seeing premature aging, wrinkles and facial folds appearing in the mirror. It also causes an imbalance in your menstrual hormones.
Sugar also takes up a lot of water from your body rendering your skin dry and peaky. If you notice that excessive moisturizers are ineffective on your skin sometimes, then this is likely because of your sugar intake.
Eating too much sugar could cause an imbalance of your flora, inflammation throughout the body and difficult skin conditions, including eczema.
3. Anxiety and Depression
Not only that excessive sugar intake can physically weaken your body, but it also negatively affects the mental health of the individual. When the feeling of exhilaration stops, the physical collapse follows, which is often accompanied by emotional fall and a sense of fatigue.
This is sometimes associated with depression, lethargy, sadness, and social withdrawal. Feelings of anxiety and nervousness can also be a sign of excessive intake of sweets.
4. Craving and Addiction for Sweet Foods
If you experience lots of sugar cravings, it’s a sign that you’re eating too much sugar because the more sugar you eat, the more you crave. It’s an addictive cycle, as sugar gives you that short term high followed by a crash, just like a drug.
The addiction is not just in the fact that it tastes good, it causes a burst of dopamine in a similar way to highly addictive drugs, including heroin. It creates a chain reaction of sugar cravings as it’s so sweetly addictive. Then, that high sugar diet results in a hormonal response that brings you up, and when you crash, that triggers the body to want more and more.
5. Unusual and Unexpected Bloating
The yeast and gas associated with eating sugar cause fermentation inside of your colon. When you continually eat sugar, the bad bacteria are going to build up in the area and produce gas. That is why you often experience a problem with flatulence after eating too much sugar along with that uncomfortable bloating feeling that lasts for quite some time.
6. Weight Gain
The human body is able to digest a limited amount of sugar. Everything on top of that is converted into fat and stored in the form of fatty deposits. This leads to weight problems and obesity, which further can cause a variety of other problems, such as increased cholesterol levels, heart problems, sleep apnea and the like.
7. Reduced Immune System
Your digestive tract is responsible for the majority of your immune system. It is supported by the bacteria in your gut which is why it is so important to maintain it at a healthy balance. Eating too much sugar on a regular basis reduces the flora and fauna in the digestive tract, reducing your immune system along with it.
8. Teeth Problems
Sugary foods have a negative impact on the health of the teeth. Therefore, if you have frequent problems with your teeth, you should cut down on sweets. Sugar is often a culprit for tooth decay and a series of other painful conditions in the mouth.
9. Frequent Urination
If the blood sugar is too high, the kidneys cannot reabsorb fluid. Therefore, the body, trying to equalize the glucose concentration in the blood and in the cells, dissolves blood with intracellular fluid, thus bringing the concentration of glucose to normal. This results in frequent urination.
Sugar is directly responsible for increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Even people who are not diagnosed with the disease can face the so-called pre-diabetes state. If you often feel hunger and thirst, despite what you eat and drink, and if you feel sick whenever you miss a meal, be sure to see your doctor and do a blood test.
11. Dry Mouth and Excessive Thirst
A dry mouth and strong thirst are responses to severe fluid loss. The hypothalamus, which assesses the level of dehydration and causes thirst, sends a corresponding signal to the brain. Of course, you cannot refuse to drink, but it’s better if you choose water or tea without sugar.
12. Concentrating Difficulties
Your brain needs a steady supply of blood glucose to function properly. But you don’t want a quick rise in blood sugar and then a sharp decline, which is what happens when you consume high quantities of sugar. High sugar levels prevent glucose from entering the brain cells, so the brain experiences difficulties obtaining energy. This adversely affects the speed of thinking and decision-making.
13. Mood swings
When you eat sugar, you’ll have a short-lived burst of energy. And then you’ll crash, making you low on energy. And that means you’ll be grouchy and crabby. Sure, junk foods can satisfy your taste buds and make you happy for the short term. But, they won’t do your long-term mood any good.
14. Heart Problems
A diet high in sugar can lead to significant negative effects on the heart muscle. Studies show that it increases the risk of heart problems and cardiovascular diseases.
15. Blurred Vision
Blurred vision is also the result of a dehydrating effect due to high blood sugar — it also affects the cells of the eye. As a result, they deform and the eye loses its ability to focus properly.
16. Sleeping Disorders
Eating sugary foods late at night could lead to a rush in energy at a time when we should be focusing on slowing down and preparing the body to rest.
Our ‘happy hormone’, serotonin is largely produced in the gut and is essential for melatonin production – the ‘relaxation’ hormone – necessary to aid a good night’s sleep. If you’re someone who has trouble sleeping, then it might help to reduce the sugar in your diet and be kinder to your gut.
Sugars are an essential part of our lives as we use it in just about everything – teas, coffees, juices, sweet dishes, etc. But excessive sugar intake or uncontrolled sugar intake can be extremely harmful to our bodies.
When it comes to obesity and other serious health issues like heart disease, most people tend to blame dietary fat, but while inflammatory fats like trans-fats do contribute to those problems, it’s actually sugar that’s to blame.
Today, we know that ingesting a lot of sugar significantly raises the risk of early death from heart disease – a 38 percent higher risk when 17 to 21 percent of your calories come from added sugar, and more than double that for those who consume even more.
Important Steps to Cutting down Sugar:
1. Don’t drink your sugars
If you drink soda, sports drinks, fruit juices, sweetened coffees and so on, you’re getting lots of empty calories and sugar, making this step one of the most important. Instead of sweet drinks, opt for water. You can add a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange for flavor.
2. Avoid fat-free or reduced-fat advertised foods
These products are almost always filled with sugar, as that’s often what’s used to replace the fat.
3. Read ingredient lists
When you pick up that packaged food, read the ingredient list for added sugars – many are hidden in names like high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, maltose, barley malt, etc.
4. Choose whole foods over processed foods
Most processed foods contain added sugar. The more you choose whole foods over processed, the less sugar you’ll naturally consume.
5. Lead a healthier, less-stressed lifestyle
By reducing your stress levels (through exercise, meditation or deep-breathing, for example) and getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, cravings for sweets are naturally reduced.
6. Swap sugar for healthier alternatives
Finding natural alternatives to refined sugar will still let you enjoy the sweeter things in life. Satisfy your sweet tooth by swapping sugar for things like bananas, dates and monk fruit in recipes.