Ah sugar… we love you but we think it might be time to go our separate ways. Although sugar can be delicious and at times therapeutic when going through emotional events and situations, there’s no doubt that too much sugar is bad for our health and overall wellbeing. Have you ever wondered what really happens to your body when you eat too much sugar? Well we did so we decided to dive in and get the answers.
This probably will come as no surprise but eating too much sugar will lead to weight gain. For example sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda, juice and sweet teas are jam packed with fructose, a type of simple sugar. Fructose increases your hunger and causes resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger and notifies your body to stop eating. Instead of grabbing sugary drinks, opt for some ice-cold water with fresh slices of fruit or a delicious green smoothie.
Sugar also impacts your brain as after eating it, it releases a large amount of a feel-good chemical called dopamine. Whole foods like fruits and vegetables don’t cause the brain to release as much dopamine as sugar does, therefore your brain ends up craving more and more sugar to obtain the same feeling of pleasure.
Your teeth will also fall victim to sugar, which you probably already knew. We all used to roll our eyes at our parents when they told us candy would rot our teeth but did we listen… no! But yet again our parents were right. Bacteria that cause cavities love to eat sugar lingering in your mouth after eating something sweet.
Wanting to reverse the signs of ageing? Then you need to limit your sugar intake. Consuming too much sugar causes the sugar to attach to proteins within your bloodstream, which creates harmful molecules called “AGEs”. Want to take a wild guess at what they do? Ding, ding, ding we have a winner! They age your skin through the break down of collagen and elastin as its protein fibers that keep your skin youthful and firm.
Excessive amounts of sugar can also lead to liver disease. As we all know most packaged foods, snacks and drinks are sweetened with fructose, which your liver turns into fat. If you are regularly putting fructose into your body then tiny drops of fat will begin to build up in your liver, which is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. By changing your diet early you can reverse this condition except overtime the swelling and scarring can damage your liver. They don’t put that information on candy bar wrappers!
Do you feel like you’ve been experiencing mood problems lately? Well your sugar intake could be to blame. A study showed that men who ate 66 grams of sugar per day (almost double the recommended amount) were 23% more likely to develop anxiety and/or depression than men who ate less. By consuming too much sugar you could be fueling depression due to the swelling and inflammation around your brain, which is common in those with depression.