Nowadays, it’s common for sugar to be in literally everything you eat. And, yes, that even includes salty snacks. Our body needs sugar in limited amounts, but eating it as much as we all do nowadays is significantly harming our health.
Sugar has been related to obesity, diabetes and even some types of cancer, so it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most dangerous ingredients for our health.
Even the foods that don’t have sugar in their list of ingredients still contain some type of sugar in them, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, diglycerides, fructose, maltose, disaccharide or sucrose.
Nowadays it’s really hard to detect how much sugar you’re actually consuming, as there are so many products full of sugar. This is the reason why you should pay more attention to the early signs of excessive sugar consumption, and we have the biggest ones listed for you below.
8 Signs of Excessive Sugar Consumption:
1. Sugar and carbohydrate cravings
If you’re frequently cravings sugar and carbs, you have become a sugar addict. Too much sugar can make the brain produce dopamine, also known as the pleasure hormone. This is the same hormone the brain overproduces in cases when you’re doing drugs and results in a high. This is why experts link sugar addiction with heroin addiction, and consider it just as harmful.
Fatigue is one of the overlooked symptoms of sugar addiction. There are neuropeptides known as orexins in our body which are highly sensitive to sugar, and too much of it can bring us into a sleep state and cause fatigue. Sugar might raise your energy levels temporarily after a candy bar, but you will definitely crash back down to earth later.
3. Weight gain
Weight gain is one of the most unpleasant symptoms of too much sugar. Sugar is essentially empty calories – the body uses glucose for fuel, but too much of it and it will store it in our fat cells for later use. Furthermore, sugar will also suppress the action of the leptin hormone, also known as the hunger hormone. High sugar intake will make you feel tired an gain weight, and the constant glucose intake can also cause insulin resistance which might progress to diabetes.
4. Recurrent infections
If you’re suffering from flu and colds often and you don’t know why, it might be because of your high sugar intake. Sugar has the ability to weaken your immune system and make you more prone to these infections
5. Dull taste
If everything tastes dull and not as sweet as before, you’re definitely consuming too much sugar. According to a British study, sugar can dull your taste, which can be fixed by getting off it.
6. Brain fog
A recent study has found out that consuming far too much sugar can lower your brain function and cause brain fog after meals.
7. Skin disorders
Too much sugar can harm the collagen production in your skin and make it stiffer, which will result in various skin disorders. Sugar can also cause inflammation in the skin cells and make it more susceptible to acne, blemishes and other skin problems.
8. Raises the risk of cancer
Finally, too much sugar can increase your risk of cancer, as cancer cell feed on it to survive. Once you lower the sugar intake, the healthy cells will be able to function normally, resulting in reduced risk of cancer.
How much sugar is too much?
The amount of sugar we need depends on our physical activity, size and age. According to the American Heart Association, women need about 30 gr. of sugar per day, which equals 6 teaspoons.
Men need no more than 45 gr., which equals 9 teaspoons. You shouldn’t consume less than 5 gr. of sugar per day, while anything more than 23 gr. a day is too much. For best results, check the label of sugar on the foods you’re buying.
Are artificial sweeteners a good alternative?
In short, no. Artificial sweeteners are the worst alternative to sugar there is, and have been linked to a variety of serious disorders. The most popular artificial sweeteners which should be avoided are aspartame, sucralose and high-fructose corn syrup. The best and safest sugar alternatives are honey, fruit and maple or agave syrup.
Recovery from sugar addiction
Recovering your health from sugar addiction is definitely not easy. When getting off sugar you might experience dizziness, appetite changes, headaches, migraines, weight loss and fatigue as well.
The best way to recover from sugar addiction is to go slow. Start by removing sugary snacks from your diet and eating healthy. Introduce fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, and make sure to eat fermented foods as well. You can keep your glucose levels stable by consuming grapes, garlic, shellfish, beef and broccoli. Lower the amount of sugar you eat day by day, and you should recover well soon.