We have all heard of the saying “you are what you eat,” and typically, we think of it in terms of weight. But did you know that the foods you eat not only affect your body but, also your mind? Nowhere is this truer than how sugar intake affects your body. By simply reducing the amount of sugar you consume you are actually able to improve not just the health of your body, but your mind.
If you have been on the fence about whether it is worth it to cut back on sugar, or you are looking for ways to feel better in general, then you will want to read on.
How Sugar Affects Your Brain
It is common knowledge that eating too much sugar can have negative effects on your physical body. However, what many people do not realize is how sugar consumption can affect the brain as well. It is not something to worry about when consumed in moderation, but, in general, most people eat too much of it.
Many consumers think they are making wise decisions in the supermarket by grabbing those low fat options, or checking the labels to ensure that “sugar” is low on the list. The problem is that sugar is sneaky because it also goes by other names like fructose, corn syrup, honey, and glucose. Each of these count toward a person’s daily consumption of sugar.
Did you know that the average American consumes roughly 5 times the recommended level of sugar intake? This high consumption of sugar can cause an array of health problems. For starters, it creates cravings. Once you start with sugar, your body craves it more and more. It becomes addictive in a sense and difficult to give up.
Other ways in which large quantities of sugar can affect you include:
● It can cause anxiety.
● It can cause sudden mood changes.
● It can worsen symptoms of depression.
● It impedes a person’s ability to learn properly.
● It can negatively affect a person’s memory.
● It can leave a person feeling tired and sluggish after the initial sugar rush hits.
Clearly, these are some very negative side effects. The great news is that you can eliminate all of these issues by reducing the amount of sugar you consume.
How Much Sugar Can You Have?
So how much sugar is too much? The experts suggest that only 5% of your total caloric intake should be made up of sugar. This means that, on average, an adult should make sure they do not consume more than seven teaspoons of sugar per day. When you think about it, that is still a fair amount of sugar, so it would not hurt to stay below the seven teaspoons.
How Sugar Affects Your Body
The way that sugar affects your body is more transparent. Excess sugar can be extremely hard on your joints. If you happen to suffer from joint pain, large amounts of sugar tend to make the inflammation worse. Sugar can also affect your liver, which can become resistant to insulin if you eat too much sugar. If you have been wondering why your skin appears to be aging rapidly and losing its elasticity, sugar may be the culprit.
Other major organs will also take a beating from sugar. Your kidneys can actually suffer from permanent damage thanks to being overworked as they filter high levels of blood sugar. The pancreas is working hard to pump out insulin, which can go into overdrive if you eat too much sugar. Your heart will also need to work harder thanks to the fact that all that extra insulin starts to do a number on your circulatory system and your arteries.
Lastly, there are your teeth. Sugar will also affect the health of your teeth. Sugar leads to an increase in cavities and some rather expensive dental bills.
The Evidence Stacks Up
As one takes a closer look at sugar and its effects on the body and mind, it becomes very clear just how damaging large amounts of it can be. It can be very interesting to challenge yourself to drastically reduce your sugar intake for even one week and keep track of how you feel during that week. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results, which will motivate you to keep up with it.
About the Author
John Anderson is a father of three and is an advocate for teaching future generations to be healthy and happy. He writes for Daddynutrition and loves to educate those around him on the importance of health. He loves playing golf and walking the dogs with his family each weekend and after work.