Hunger and weight gain
If you’re consuming more calories than added sugar, one of the first signs is increased hunger. “[Sugar] provides taste, but it doesn’t fill our stomachs or fill us up,” says Keri Stoner-Davis, RDN, who works at Lemond Nutrition in Plano, Texas.
Without the protein, fiber, and healthy fats found in most processed snacks and sugary treats, the body burns sugar quickly and increases hunger, which can lead to mindless and even compulsive snacking, Cording says.
According to reviews and meta-analyses, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increases weight gain in adults and children.
However, it’s not the extra calories that cause weight gain.
According to an article published in the journal Cell in May 2016, the gut microbiome, an ecosystem of 39 trillion microorganisms, is the body’s self-defense system. A healthy gut helps our metabolism regulate blood glucose and insulin levels and, in part, allows our body to use fat and control cholesterol. “When you add sugar, it damages the ecosystem,” Dr. Lee said.
The number of good bacteria decreases and the bad bacteria increase, leading to dysbacteriosis (imbalance between these bacteria) and inability to properly process lipids and cholesterol.
In addition, sugar can damage fat hormones like leptin, which suppress hunger, Li said. “Elevated sugar disrupts metabolism, and in part affects leptin,” says Lee. “When you eat sugar, you crave more sugar, which makes you hungrier.”
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If you’re feeling lethargic, irritable or anxious, stress isn’t the only cause, it could be a sign that you’re eating too much sugar.
A study published in January 2020 in Health Predictions shows that eating added sugar can increase inflammation, worsen mood, and lead to symptoms of depression.
Cording says that eating a high-sugar meal or snacking on protein and fat-free foods quickly raises blood sugar levels, but as your body rushes to process everything, your energy levels drop, leaving you feeling sleepy and irritable.
Also, if blood glucose is low due to increased insulin levels after eating a large amount of sugar, blood sugar levels in the brain decrease. “Our brains are completely dependent on normal blood sugar levels,” Lee said.
It’s important to pay attention when you feel like an outsider. For example, if you start feeling jittery an hour after eating a snack or at the same time every day, it could be because you’re eating too much sugar. “If this happens to you regularly, it’s a good opportunity to watch what you’re eating,” says Cording.
Fatigue and low energy
Sugar is easily digested and absorbed, so if you feel tired, it may be due to the amount of sugar you are getting from your food.
“Sugar is a very quick source of energy, so no matter how much you eat, within 30 minutes you’ll either be hungry again, run out of energy, or need more energy,” says Stoner-Davies.
Large fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels can cause energy levels to drop and affect overall energy levels, Lee said.
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The food is not sweet enough
If you find that foods don’t taste as sweet as they used to, or if you need to add sugar to make them sweeter (sprinkling brown sugar on your cereal), you may be getting too much sugar.
If you try to create a healthy lifestyle, for example, if you switch from flavored yogurt to plain yogurt, the difference will be more noticeable.
“You train your brain to expect a high level of sweetness, and once you’re used to it, it’s hard to be satisfied with a low-sugar meal,” Cording says.
If you are replacing sugar in your diet with artificial sweeteners, you should also consider this. “Many of these sugar substitutes are much sweeter than real sugar, so our brain is tricked into thinking there’s a lot of sweetness,” Cording says. This will increase sugar cravings in general.
Love for sweets
If you have a sweet tooth, you may be addicted to the pleasurable effects of sugar on your brain. According to Cording, sugar has an effect
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High blood pressure
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, adding too much sugar to your diet may be the cause.
Studies have shown that consumption of sugary drinks is significantly associated with high blood pressure and high blood pressure
the pressure will increase,” Lee said.
Acne and wrinkles
If you’re struggling with acne, watch how much sugar you eat, advises the American Academy of Dermatology. “Glycemic control plays an important role in skin health and acne,” says Cording. For example, one study suggests that insulin resistance plays a role in acne.
Wrinkles can be another sign of too much sugar. Advanced glycation end products, the products of excess sugar, contribute to skin aging, according to a March 2020 article in the journal Nutrients.
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If you notice joint pain, it may not just be due to age.
A December 2017 study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research found that 24 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) said food contributed to their symptoms, most commonly citing soft drinks and sweets.
Studies show that regular consumption of sugary soft drinks increases the risk of RA in some women, including those with late-stage RA.
According to Cording, too much sugar can lead to systemic inflammation, which can lead to joint pain. However, she adds that since there are several causes of joint pain, improving your diet by cutting back on sweets is not a magic bullet.
If you feel drowsy or can’t sleep, you can review what you eat.
A study of 300 college students published in the August 2019 American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that poor sleep quality was associated with increased sugar consumption.
Our sleep cycle and sleep quality are regulated by light and room temperature, as well as glycemic control. “For people who consume too much sugar on a regular basis, it can completely disrupt their sleep cycle and sleep quality,” says Cording.
If you’re experiencing abdominal pain, cramping, or diarrhea, it could have many causes, and your doctor can help you relieve the symptoms. According to Cording, one possible culprit is too much sugar, which irritates the gut.
In addition, people with co-morbidities such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or those who have undergone gastric surgery may find sugar can worsen gastrointestinal symptoms, says Stoner-Davis.
If fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich grains replace sugary foods, constipation can also become a problem.
Problems with mental clarity, focus, and memory are caused by added sugar.
Although glucose is the brain’s main fuel source, excess glucose can cause hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, as well as inflammation in the brain, which can negatively affect cognition and mood, Cording said.
Research shows that people with type 2 diabetes who have hyperglycemia have impaired processing speed, memory, and attention.
Studies show that the same is true for non-diabetics. Studies have shown that high blood sugar can negatively affect cognitive function, including memory loss, learning, and memory consolidation.
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Oral bacteria love to feed on simple sugars, says Stoner-Davis, so if your dentist finds more cavities or you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, you may be adding too much sugar.
Even if you plan to use the label, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of added sugar. focus on whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible; make healthy food choices. “Companies will make food taste good — that’s part of their business — but we can become more health conscious and decide how much of this stuff we put into our bodies,” Lee said.
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