7 Signs You're Eating too Much Sugar
Is there any way to tell if you’re consuming too much sugar? Believe it or not, the answer is yes.
Even if you don’t realize it, your body is sending you signals that your diet is not healthy for it. However, many people aren’t aware that the body or psychological problems they experience can be due to too much sugar in the body.
That’s why today we’d like to present 7 signs that you’re consuming too much sugar to help you to learn how to detect this problem.
Let’s get started!
Signs that you’re consuming too much sugar
Excessive sugar consumption is one of the habits that, over time, can significantly affect your health. However, first of all, it’s important to clarify that when we talk about sugar, we’re referring to refined sugar and not a natural sugar, (which is found in fruit, for example).
The latter is also known as “intrinsic sugar” and, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), there’s no evidence that it’s harmful to our health. In fact, this type of sugar is actually necessary for our diet.
On the other hand, the so-called “free” sugars can be harmful to health in large quantities. Therefore, today we’d like to present 7 signs that warn you that you’re consuming too much sugar.
1. Constant hunger
According to a study published in the magazine Hospital Nutrition, sugar produces a greater feeling of satiety than carbohydrates.
However, this satiety is short-term. Therefore, it’s very likely that soon after you feel hungry again and go back to snacking. This, coupled with lack of exercise and poor diet, can lead to you becoming overweight or obese.
So if you feel hungry all the time despite eating, it may be because you are consuming too much sugar and no real nutrients.
2. Feeling tired because you’re consuming too much sugar
It is true that, in general, glucose drinks are usually provided precisely to provide energy and prevent tiredness and fatigue. In fact, many sports drinks contain sugars.
However, the long-term consequences of too much sugar are less clear. In fact, an experiment conducted by researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University showed that individuals who reduced their intake of refined sugars improved their fatigue levels and overall mood.
Although the study itself opened the door to further research on the subject, it’s very interesting and enlightening. So, if you constantly feel tired for no apparent reason, it may be because your diet is too rich in artificial sugar.
3. Weak teeth
We’re sure your mother always told you when you were little that if you ate too much candy, your teeth would fall out.
Well, she was right.
Research shows that too much sugar combined with poor dental hygiene weakens your enamel.
How does this happen?
Well, first of all, you should know that your mouth is full of bacteria, some good and some bad. What sugar does is it serves as food for harmful bacteria that end up eroding your enamel and weakening your teeth.
This, if left unchecked, can lead to constant cavities or teeth that break easily when you eat something hard, for example.
4. Aging skin: Another sign that you’re consuming too much
According to a study published in the journal Clinics in Dermatology, aging skin may be another sign that you’re consuming too much sugar.
This is because it creates molecules known as AGES (advanced glycation end products), which damage the skin’s collagen and elastin. As a result, your skin ages faster.
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5. Joint pain
Although this is a rarer symptom, excessive consumption of this sweet ingredient may even lead to joint pain. In fact, some research associates excessive intake of carbonated beverages (high in sugars) with an increased likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women.
This is again due to the AGES molecules we’ve been talking about. These cause inflammation, which can degenerate into long-term joint pain.
6. Weight gain
You probably won’t be surprised to read this one, but if you’re consuming too much sugar, you’re very likely to gain weight, especially if you don’t exercise.
In fact, we’ve already seen that it creates a temporary feeling of fullness, which leads you to eat more and therefore put on weight. We’ve also told you that it is related to overweight and obesity.
7. Concentration problems
The effects of the accumulation of sugar in the blood are also perceived in cognitive abilities and the ability to concentrate.
When you consume too much sugar, it’s common that you to need more and more. This can lead to your brain not functioning properly when your blood sugar level drops because it needs it to provide energy to work.
So, there may be periods when you suddenly feel like your mind is foggy and you’re unable to concentrate. In fact, several studies associate excessive sugar consumption with certain cognitive dysfunctions.
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Why you should stop consuming too much sugar
Do you identify with these symptoms? Are you consuming too many sugary foods?
If so, you’d better start taking action. Although it’s easy to overlook at first, if left unchecked, eating too much sugar can lead to the development of more serious diseases than those mentioned here, such as cardiovascular problems.
That’s why you should pay attention and start reducing your intake of artificial sugar.
Also, keep in mind that sugar is addictive: the more you consume, the more you need it. According to experts, this is because it releases dopamine (a hormone linked to well-being and pleasure), which generates addiction. So, if this is your case, make sure that you act as soon as possible.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Avena, N. M., Rada, P., & Hoebel, B. G. (2008). Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 32(1), 20–39. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2007.04.019. Accessed 22/04/2020.
- Danby, F. W. (2010). Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clinics in Dermatology, 28(4), 409–411. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.018. Accessed 22/04/2020.
- Hu, Y., Costenbader, K. H., Gao, X., Al-Daabil, M., Sparks, J. A., Solomon, D. H., … Lu, B. (2014). Sugar-sweetened soda consumption and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(3), 959–967. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.114.086918. Accessed 22/04/2020.
- Kendig, M. D. (2014). Cognitive and behavioural effects of sugar consumption in rodents. A review. Appetite, 80, 41–54. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.04.028. Accessed 22/04/2020.
- Lisbona Catalán, A., Palma Milla, S., Parra Ramírez, P., & Gómez Candela, C. (2013). Obesidad y azúcar: aliados o enemigos. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 28, 81-87. Available at: http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0212-16112013001000010. Accessed 22/04/2020.
- Major, O. (2015). The effect of a low refined and added sugar diet on mood and fatigue levels (Doctoral dissertation, Cardiff Metropolitan University). Available at: https://repository.cardiffmet.ac.uk/handle/10369/7021. Accessed 22/04/2020.
- Organización Mundial de la Salud (2015). Nota informativa sobre la ingesta de azúcares recomendada en la directriz de la OMS para adultos y niños. Available at: https://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/guidelines/sugar_intake_information_note_es.pdf?ua=1. Accessed 22/04/2020.
- Sheiham, A., & James, W. P. T. (2015). Diet and Dental Caries. Journal of Dental Research, 94(10), 1341–1347. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022034515590377. Accessed 22/04/2020.