We all have sugar cravings occasionally, simply because we stuff ourselves with it. Sugar is present in any food we eat – there’s no escaping it even if you’d like to. Like with any other food or drink, there’s a limit to consuming sugar – too much of it, and it will destroy your body from the inside out.
Refined sugar has been found as the main culprit for a whole range of health problems. It’s not just diabetes – you can add obesity and heart disease to the list. Yes, it’s that serious. Many food companies are trying to cover up the amount of sugar in their products by simply renaming it – it’s the oldest trick in the book to get you to think what you’re eating is healthy. Instead of sugar, they specify things such as malt syrup, hydrolyzed starch, dextrose, dextrin, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, sucrose, sorbitol, rice syrup, fructose or glucose on the label, and this isn’t even the whole list. There are probably half a hundred terms the industry uses to cover up the incredibly high presence of sugar in the food we eat, which is slowly, but surely, destroying our health.
How Much Sugar is Too Much?
The biggest problem of all is that our body needs sugar, but only in limited amounts. This begs the question – how much sugar is too much? Well, experts can’t seem to agree on the right amount – in general, you should eat 225-325 gr. of carbs on a daily diet of 2000 calories. You can figure out the right amount of carbs and sugar you eat by reading the labels on the foods you buy.
Sugar overload can cause a variety of symptoms – recognize any from the list, and it’s time to start consuming less sugar.
The first and most obvious sign of excessive sugar consumption are sugar cravings. Sugar is super-addictive and makes the brain release dopamine, just like cocaine does. When you stop getting it into your system, you’ll start craving sweet things until you get a “fix”. Over time, you’ll eventually build resistance to it, so you’ll want more and more sugar, eating it even when you don’t really need it.
According to one study, too much sugar can have opioid, cholinergic, and dopaminergic effects on the body, resulting in well-defined dependency and a host of health problems. So, if you’re often craving sugar, you’ve probably become a sugar addict.
Do you know what orexins are? Orexins are amino acid chains known as neuropeptides which are responsible for the sleep/wake cycle besides other things. Orexins are highly sensitive to sugar, and even small increments in blood glucose levels will prevent them from transmitting neural signals, making you feel tired and sleepy.
They are also responsible for the famed sugar crash, which comes after the sugar high right after eating something sweet.
It’s simple – the more sugar you eat, the closer you are to being overweight or obese. The body burns sugar for energy, but in cases of too much sugar in the cells, it stores the rest for later in the form of fat. Additionally, too much sugar will suppress the hunger hormone leptin which controls your cravings, allowing you to overeat all the time. Which, you know, leads to even more weight gain.
Here’s one you probably couldn’t connect – eating too much sugar makes us far more prone to colds and the flu. Why? Well, sugar slows down the activity of white blood cells which are our immune system’s primary line of defense. When their actions are slowed down, viruses and bacteria will overrun the body quickly, resulting in infections.
Dull Taste Buds
Sweet is pleasant, right? Our tongue gets used to a whole lot of flavors including sugar. However, according to a recent British study, overweight and sugar-addicted people have dull taste buds, which drives them to eat even more sugar just in order to feel something sweet.
Another study showed that cutting down on sugar for a month can restore the sugar sensitivity which will let you know when you’ve had enough sweets.
A recent study showed a link between excessive sugar consumption and brain fog in mice. Sugar has a negative effect on the proteins and neurotransmitters in the body responsible for memory and learning, which means that high levels of sugar actually make you more stupid.
Collagen is a protein our skin needs to stay flexible. Its levels deteriorate as we age, which is normal, but sugar can destroy collagen in our bodies much earlier, resulting in a host of skin problems.
Too much sugar also causes inflammation, which is the mother of all problems. Acne, dermatitis, and wrinkles are just some of the skin problems you might experience when you eat too much sugar, but you could develop some serious infections such as candida as well. As you can see, you need to stop eating sugar if you want your skin to be radiant.
Last, but not least, excessive sugar consumption increases the risk of cancer. Cancer cells feed on sugar in order to grow and spread, which should be reason enough to ditch the sugar. One Swiss-study related the globally increased sugar consumption to the high cancer rates, and where there’s smoke, you can bet there’s fire as well.
All our cells consume glucose for fuel, but cancer cells just love it. The more sugar you eat, the bigger the risk of developing cancer, so ditch the habit now to stay cancer-free.