How much sugar is too much sugar?
Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. Added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of names, such as corn syrup, agave nectar, palm sugar, cane juice, or sucrose.
No matter what it’s called, sugar is sugar, and it can negatively affect your body in many ways.
Here’s a closer look at how sugar can mess with your health, from head to toe.
Eating too much sugar can slow down the production and release of various “feel good” brain chemicals, such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. A lack of these important neurotransmitters diminishes our body’s built-in defense mechanisms for a stable mood.
Sugar gives your brain a huge surge of a feel-good chemical “dopamine”, which explains why you’re more likely to crave a candy bar at 3 p.m. than an apple or a carrot.
Because whole foods like fruits and veggies don’t cause the brain to release as much dopamine, your brain starts to need more and more sugar to get that same feeling of pleasure.
This causes those “got to-have-it” feelings for your after-dinner ice cream that are so hard to tame.
Your Body Weight
This probably isn’t news to you, but the more sugar you eat, the more you’ll weigh. Sugar is a carbohydrate. Too many carbs can lead to weight gain mainly due to extra calories in the diet.
Watch your sugar intake whether it comes from sweets, candy, potatoes, breads and rice. Sugars in any form especially forms without fiber can lead to blood sugar fluctuations and cause cravings for more carbohydrates.
When you eat, your pancreas pumps out insulin. But if you’re eating way too much sugar and your body stops responding properly to insulin, your pancreas starts pumping out even more insulin.
Eventually, your overworked pancreas will break down and your blood sugar levels will rise, setting you up for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The occasional candy or cookie can give you a quick burst of energy (or “sugar high”) by raising your blood sugar levels fast. When your levels drop as your cells absorb the sugar, you may feel jittery and anxious (a.k.a. the dreaded “sugar crash”).
But if you’re reaching into the candy jar too often, sugar starts to have an effect on your mood beyond that 3 p.m. slump. Studies have linked a high sugar intake to a greater risk of depression in adults.
If you have joint pain, here’s more reason to lay off the candy. Eating lots of sweets has been shown to worsen joint pain because of the inflammation they cause in the body.
Plus, studies show that sugar consumption can increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Another side effect of inflammation , It may make your skin age faster. Sugar attaches to proteins in your bloodstream and creates harmful molecules called “AGEs,” or advanced glycation end products.
These molecules do exactly what they sound like they do age your skin.
They have been shown to damage collagen and elastin in your skin protein fibers that keep your skin firm and youthful.
Plus, the more sugar you eat, the more likely it is you’ll develop insulin resistance, which can manifest as excess hair growth (hirsutism) and dark patches on the neck and in body creases.
Your liver can be damaged by something other than drinking too much alcohol – too much sugar!
An abundance of added sugar may cause your liver to become resistant to insulin, an important hormone that helps turn sugar in your bloodstream into energy.
This means your body isn’t able to control your blood sugar levels as well, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
You probably rolled your eyes at age 12, but your mother was right. Candy can rot your teeth. Bacteria that cause cavities love to eat sugar lingering in your mouth after you eat something sweet.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth using sugar from foods and drinks to produce acids that dissolve and damage the teeth.
If you have diabetes, too much sugar can lead to kidney damage. The kidneys play an important role in filtering your blood sugar. Once blood sugar levels reach a certain amount, the kidneys start to let excess sugar into your urine.
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can damage the kidneys, which prevents them from doing their job in filtering out waste in your blood. This can lead to kidney failure.
Your Sexual Health
You may want to skip the dessert on date night.Sugar may impact the chain of events needed for an erection.
One common side effect of chronically high levels of sugar in the bloodstream is that it can make men impotent. This is because it affects your circulatory system, which controls the blood flow throughout your body and needs to be working properly to get and keep an erection.
Doctors don’t all agree the “food addiction” you read about in diet books is a real thing. But there’s recently been some research indicating that the disorder might be possible in humans. And there is evidence that rats can become dependent on sugar, further supporting the idea that similar behavior might be present in humans.
“In some circumstances, intermittent access to sugar can lead to behavior and neurochemical changes that resemble the effects of a substance of abuse,” noted one study that found sugar-addled rats displayed bingeing, craving, and withdrawal behaviors.