Do you really know how much sugar you consume on a daily basis? Chances are you probably don't know. f you consume packaged foods, you are likely eating much more than you realize. Sugar appears in so many products you wouldn't expect to find it in. How about canned soup or salad dressing? It's in condiments, sauces, snack foods, packaged mixes and just about anything you find in a box or can.
The average American eats about 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day. The recommendations are not to exceed six teaspoons for women and nine for men. These are added amounts of sugar, not what is found naturally in fruit and dairy products.
It can be difficult to find the added sugar on a nutrition label because there are 256 different names for sugar so it's possible to have sugar on the label with several different names. Regardless of the name being used, sugar is sugar and can impact your body many different ways.
Brain - when you eat sugar, your brain releases a rush of dopamine, the 'feel good' hormone. Initially, it feels good to you but eventually that sugar high will wear off and you will crash leaving you jittery and wanting more sugar. In order to get that feeling again, you will need to consume more and more sugar. This is why it's so hard to kick the sugar habit.
Mood - as noted above, the sudden rush of the sugar high can be a temporary mood elevator but consistent use of sugar has been connected to depression.
Teeth - your mom was right, candy can rot your teeth. The bacteria that causes tooth decay thrive on sugar and love to eat the sugar left in your mouth from eating sweets.
Joints - eating sweets causes inflammation which leads to joint pain. If your joints hurt, leave the sugar behind and notice the reduction in pain. Also, over-consumption of sugar has been linked to increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Skin - another unpleasant side effect of consuming too much sugar is how it ages your skin. Sugar attaches to proteins in your bloodstream creating harmful molecules of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and they do just what you would think they do...they age your skin. They damage the collagen and elastin in the skin which is what is needed to maintain youthful suppleness and firmness. It leaves skin wrinkled and sagging.
Liver - having too much sugar passing through the liver can cause insulin resistance which often will lead to type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Heart - eating too much sugar causing an overproduction of insulin which can affect the arteries and over time can stress the heart and cause damage. This can lead to stroke or heart attack. On the flip side, people who keep their sugar consumption to less than 10% of total calories, can lower blood pressure which is a major contributor to heart disease.
Pancreas - when you eat, the pancreas produces insulin but when too much sugar is consumed over time, the pancreas begins to break down and the body becomes insulin resistant, leading to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Kidneys - kidney failure is a big risk for diabetics. When too much sugar is consumed, the kidneys are unable to keep up with the load and do their job of filtering the blood sugar, leading to kidney failure.
Of course, consuming too much sugar causes unwanted weight gain along with the problems outlined here. If you feel like you cannot control your sugar cravings, I can help with that. Feel free to connect through the link below.
In case you missed my post on June 30th, I am using this 31 day challenge to hold myself accountable for walking my talk. Several years ago, I was able to take off 135 pounds and essentially save my own life. I have regained much of that weight so I am working my way back down.
If you choose to join me on this journey, I hope I am able to impart some nutritional and lifestyle wisdom. Even though I may have gone off the rails temporarily I can still share some of my first hand experience as well as my acquired knowledge and training to help you make the right changes for your best life.
As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.