In the past few decades, carbs intake in the form of refined sugar, refined flour, and flavoured drinks has increased tremendously. No wonder why the ratio of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes has also increased over the past few decades.
The body needs glucose to function, which comes from the breakdown of carbs. Sugar found in natural foods comes with fibre and minerals. Lactose found in milk or fructose found in fruits is healthy for the body but in very small amounts
The real culprit is "added sugar"; table sugar. Table sugar is an instant energy source as it quickly dissolves in the blood from GIT (gastrointestinal tract). Excess sugar in your daily diet can make you gain weight like crazy, make you sick, destabilize your emotional/mental state, and cause other life-threatening problems. Knowing this situation, we have brought you this article to overview your daily sugar intake and look for signs that could be the "red flags" for eating too much sugar.
You will be shocked to know the amount of sugar you consume daily without even knowing. An average European eats 100grs of sugar each day. The breakfast cereals labeled as "health and energetic" most of the time contain added sugar. Your breakfast should not taste that sweet, and stop adding that maple syrup already. Sugar comes under different names in food packaging, such as "maple syrup, fructose syrup, corn syrup, sucrose, sucralose, table sugar, cane sugar, sugarcane extract, glucose."
Here are the 7 most important signs that you are eating too much sugar:
1. Fat Around the waistline:
If your clothes are getting tighter day by day, it might be a sign that you are consuming a high sugar diet. When you eat high amounts of sugar, excess of this converts into fat and is stored around the abdomen.
Excess fat causes insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition when your body does produce insulin, but your cells don’t respond to that insulin. Insulin also plays a role in fat storage. So it’s a vicious cycle that starts when eating sugar.
2. Constant Hunger and Tiredness:
Do you feel hungry all the time? You are thinking about the next meal while having one, and you don’t have any energy after having a meal. Does eating make you sleepy? These are all the signs of a high sugar diet. These are the red flags of consuming too much sugar you need to stop before something bad happens.
High-sugar foods are usually empty calories. They do not bring any nutritional value to the body. Your body needs high-quality fats, protein, and vitamins for optimum nourishment.
Sugary foods make you energy-deprived and hungry all the time. The body does not get the energy it really needs, and you feel tired all the time. After a binge eating session of sweets, pizzas, and colas, you get sleepy and often sleep on the couch. The best thing to do is to limit sugar in your diet and include more fibre-rich veggies, lean protein, and fat in your diet.
3. Face and Body Acne:
Face and body acne happens due to bacteria, clogged pores, inflammation, but sugar consumption can also lead to acne. Sugar causes hormonal imbalance in the body, producing excess androgens. Androgens can lead to clogging of pores, more sweat production, and excess hair growth.
If you are struggling from years-long acne or just saw a recent breakout that is unusual, we advise you to run some tests to check your blood sugar levels. Excessive sugar intake can also cause wrinkles and other signs of early raging. This happens because of “advanced end glycated products” produced in the body when there is excessive sugar in the blood.
4. Decreased Mental Clarity:
You must have heard people saying, “we have become dumb compared to the past years”. What happened was they had massive changes in their diet where sugary foods replaced nutritious ones.
Colas, pastries, burgers, pizzas, cookies, cakes, ultra-processed snacks affect your health not only physically but also mentally. As seen in hyperglycaemic patients, excess glucose causes inflammation in the brain and affects cognitive function.
People with hyperglycemia often suffer from decreased mental clarity, confusion, decreased attention span, inability to recall information, and behavioural changes.
5. Sugar Cravings:
We all have a sweet little tooth, and that’s fine. Thankfully, there are sugar-free options that are healthy for your body and satisfy these cravings. If you see your sugar cravings steadily increasing, it may be a sign of sugar overdose.
Eating sugar creates satisfaction, and your brain releases happy hormones, a.k.a “dopamine”. After the release of dopamine, your body craves more “sugar”. This process becomes a vicious cycle, and you are trapped in the sugar cycle.
You can break this chain by cutting your sugar cravings and replacing them with a better option. It can be intimidating at first but eating a balanced diet with all the food groups, fiber, and protein will help you curb sugar cravings.
6. Joint pain:
Joint pain is common in older adults because of bone degeneration and hormonal changes with age. If you are young and healthy but facing joint pain and stiffness, your body needs to tell you something alarming. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that aggravates high blood sugar.
When you consume loads of sugary foods, this sugar triggers inflammation in your joint lining, causing pain and stiffness. If you want to move freely and get rid of medicines, indulge in a balanced eating plan.
Add anti-inflammatory foods rich in omega-3 to your diet. Try including olive oil, tomatoes, green tea, walnuts, and salmon in your meals. These foods are anti-inflammatory and help you combat knee and joint pain.
7. High Blood pressure:
There can be many reasons for a high BP, but hyperglycemia tops all these reasons. Most diabetic patients also have high blood pressure. Eating sugar damages your blood vessels in the long run.
Products containing sugar can cause injury to vessels that trigger inflammation. It even forms plaques in the blood vessels, making the blood flow hard, thus raising the blood pressure.
To get rid of high BP, limit your sugar intake to not more than 6 tsp a day. Adopt a healthy lifestyle with a daily jog and balanced meals.
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