These 7 warning signs will tell you if you’re consuming too much sugar. I’d never expected No. 3!
Jam on your bread for breakfast, a candy bar at the office, a piece of cake in the afternoon, yogurt with fruit for dessert in front of the TV. That's not that bad, right...?
Well, it can be. It's not just obviously sweet foods that contain a lot of sugar. There's also sugar in places we'd never expect it. Processed foods, for instance, like sausage, canned fruits or veggies, potato chips and others have surprising high quantities of added sugar. And what's the effect of elevated sugar consumption on our bodies?
When it's more than our bodies need to burn at the moment, it turns into fat — and not just the kind of fat we so dislike noticing in the mirror...
It fills our organs with fat, which makes it ever harder for them to function properly, starting with our livers. Plus, as nutritionists start to recognize the benefits of fat, they're also acknowledging that sugar (and salt), more than fat, was the bad guy all along.
These seven symptoms could be signs that you're eating too much of it and it might be time to reduce your sugar intake.
While sugar arrives in your bloodstream quickly and gives you an energy boost, you shouldn't necessarily be using Sweets & Co. to wake up like that. After the infamous sugar high, comes the perhaps more infamous sugar low, which makes you even more tired than before. So at work, you'd do better to replace the chocolate bar with an apple, which provides the sugar together with enough fiber to slow the sugar digestion down and put it to better use.
More energy long-term, and of course better for the figure!
2. Difficulty concentrating
If you have a hard time concentrating after a meal and your brain feels a little foggy, it could be that there was too much sugar in your meal. Extreme ups and downs in our blood sugar level can lead to cognitive impairment and even depression.
3. Sugar addiction
Does sugar not taste sweet enough anymore? Then you might be suffering from sugar addiction. Long-term, elevated sugar consumption also raises your palate's glucose tolerance level. So over time you need more and more sugar to satisfy your craving.
It's not for nothing that scientists have started calling sugar an addictive drug!
4. Weight gain
Your favorite jeans don't fit anymore and you're feeling increasingly worse about your body? It could be that the sugar in your diet is causing weight gain. It contains a lot of calories — and they're the opposite of good calories. Sugar only sates your hunger momentarily and actually in a way that leaves you hungrier afterward.
So for instance, when people consume processed foods, they often get hungry much sooner than when they eat more natural, home-cooked, sugar-free foods. And of course, end up eating more overall as a result.
5. The munchies
When you eat a lot of sugar, it's normal to get the munchies more often. It's part of sugar's addictive quality: it's stronger than cocaine! You can read about it in this study by the Icahn School of Medicine at the University of Michigan, but watch out — you won't want to eat those chips or cookies afterward.
6. More colds and flu
If you find yourself getting colds or the flu more often, it could be related to your sugar intake. Too much sugar weakens your immune system, making you more susceptible to sickness. (Cocaine aside, this alone is a good enough reason to reduce: constant colds are the worst.)
7. Skin problems
Too much sugar is, like other poisons, hard for our bodies to process. Our skin is often the organ of last resort, the place our body sends toxins to get rid of them — though it's not the most efficient way. Our skin then struggles with acne, eczema, or rosacea, or gets much too oily or too dry.
Rather than spending all that money on skin products, wouldn't it be easier just to eat less sugar?!
Of course, sweet things make life better. There's nothing wrong with indulging now and then on special occasions in a chocolate bar, piece of cake, or some processed food we love. But most of what we ingest into our bodies should really be natural: vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. And of course dairy and meat in moderation.
Giving up sugar can be very challenging, but it's a great way to rediscover all the other flavors out there: nature was kind enough to provide us with lots of spices, herbs, and other seasonings to keep things interesting. Try adding a little lemon juice, seeds like black pepper or ground cumin, roots like ginger and turmeric, herbs such as parsley, marjoram, and cilantro, and of course hot chili powder (delicious in chocolate!).
It won't just be good for your figure, it'll be great for your physical and mental health!