Youll Feel Lighter Brighter And Happier
Sure, eating your favorite cake or ice cream may make you feel better in the short term, but over the long haul, your mental health can take a beating. Did you know that eating too much sugar is linked to depression? The underlying chronic inflammation that happens when we eat a high-sugar diet negatively impacts our brain function one of the reasons we get blue with too many sweets.
A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate sugary foods with a high glycemic index increased their risk for depression. Another study published in 2017 in the journal Scientific Reports found that men who consumed more than 67 grams of sugar every day increased their risk for depression when compared to men who ate less than 40 grams each day. Just consider a small child after eating their Halloween or Easter stash. They often turn from little angels to pesky devils! If you want to eat to beat the blues, youll want to stop eating sugar especially if youre prone to depressive states.
Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad For You:
So what exactly happens to your body when you overdo it with these sugary foods? Since they don’t have a ton of nutrients like healthy fats and protein, there is not a lot that can slow your glucose levels from spiking in your bloodstream. High blood sugar can do some serious damage to your blood vessels, which carry fuel and oxygen to all of your organs, so your pancreas then quickly pumps out insulin to get everything back down to normal. This sudden crash can cause you to feel a bit tired and cranky, which may not seem like a big deal in the moment.
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But if this becomes a vicious cycle, your body may lose it’s ability to effectively use insulin and it may develop chronic inflammation . This is why consistently consuming excess added sugar can lead to heart disease, diabetes, lifestyle-related cancers, and even cognitive decline.
FYI: One teaspoon of sugar is about equal to 4 grams.
Can Lead To Fatty Liver
A high intake of fructose has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver.
Unlike glucose and other types of sugar, which are taken up by many cells throughout the body, fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver.
In the liver, fructose is converted into energy or stored as glycogen.
However, the liver can only store so much glycogen before excess amounts are turned into fat.
Large amounts of added sugar in the form of fructose overload your liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease , a condition characterized by excessive fat buildup in the liver .
A study in over 5,900 adults showed that people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily had a 56% higher risk of developing NAFLD, compared to people who did not .
Eating too much sugar may lead to NAFLD, a condition in which excessive fat builds up in the liver.
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So Sugar Is Not A Bad Rotten Evil Poison After All
Sugar is sugar is sugar empty calories that arent necessary.
For those who are eating a diverse and nutrient dense diet, occasionally drizzling your favorite whole wheat pancakes in a little syrup is probably okay and does not pose any clear or well-established risk to your health.
However, routinely drenching pancakes made from refined white flour in agave nectar and washing it down with a 2-liter bottle of Coke is clearly not going to do your health any favors.
How Much Sugar Should I Be Eating Per Day
Recommendations from the World Health Organisation and the UK’s official nutrition advisors are that only 5% of your daily calorie intake should consist of added, or ‘free’ sugars. This means:
- Adults should have no more than 30g a day .
- Children aged 4-6 years old should have no more than 19g a day .
- Children aged 7-10 years old should have no more than 24g a day .
Find out more about your recommended daily sugar allowance in our guide on how much sugar should I eat. Looking for a sweet alternative or want to know your fructose from your sucrose? Find out more in our sugar hub.
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Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Dangerous
Yes, low blood sugar symptoms can cause problems such as hunger, nervousness, perspiration, dizziness and even confusion if untreated, low blood sugar may result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma, or death. Low blood sugar levels begin at 70 mg/dL or less. People with diabetes who take too much medication or take their usual amount but then eat less or exercise more than usual can develop hypoglycemia. Although much rarer, hypoglycemia may develop in some people without diabetes when they take someone elses medication, have excessive alcohol consumption, develop severe hepatitis, or develop a rare tumor of the pancreas . The treatment for hypoglycemia is oral glucose intake (15. 0 grams of sugar, for example, 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, corn syrup, or IV fluids containing glucose. Recheck your blood sugar levels in about 15 minutes after treatment is advised.
Does Eating Sugar Make You Fat
YES if it leads to a consistent caloric surplus.
NO if it doesnt.
You know, just like with every other food, food group, or nutrient in existence.
Sugar is no different.
Like I mentioned earlier, the one and only thing that makes us fat is eating too many calories. Whether those calories come from good foods or bad foods doesnt matter. Its the caloric surplus itself that makes it happen, not the specific food sources that supplied those calories.
Details here: Do Carbs, Sugar, or Bad Foods Make You Fat?
As I also mentioned earlier, the fact that sugar tastes really good, isnt filling, and is often found in higher calorie foods certainly makes it easier for us to overeat those calories than say, for example, calories from protein or vegetables which are significantly more filling and usually much lower in calories.
And the fact that calories from sugar are also available in an even easier-to-consume drinkable form definitely makes matters worse.
But regardless, it still comes down to calories in vs calories out.
Consume too much of anything, and you get fat.
Simple as that.
The Opposite Is True, Too
On the other hand, if you create a consistent caloric deficit, you can get your daily calories from whatever the hell you want and youd STILL lose fat just fine.
Yes, even if a significant amount of your daily calories come from sugar.
Dont believe me?
While there are plenty of studies that confirm this , my favorite bit of proof is The Twinkie Diet.
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Natural Vs Added Sugar: Whats The Difference
Natural sugars are the ones found in whole, unprocessed foods such as the fructose in bananas or berries, or lactose in a glass of skim milk, says Vanessa Voltolina, RDN, a clinical dietitian in Westchester, New York.
Foods with natural sugars tend to be low in calories and sodium, and high in water content and many important vitamins and minerals, she explains. The fiber in fruits slows down how quickly your body digests it, so you dont get the same sugar spike you get after eating a doughnut, Voltolina says. And the lactose in milk comes with a healthy serving of protein that provides sustained energy, so you feel full longer than after a sugar-packed soda.
Added sugars, like the ones in doughnuts and soda, are the ones to be more concerned about. Put simply, added sugar is any sugar that gets added to a food either by you, a chef, or a food manufacturer before it goes in your mouth, notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture .
You’ll Decrease Your Diabetes Risk
Studies have shown that high sugar consumption especially of sweetened beveragescan increase the odds of developing the disease. Scientists explain this in large part by the weight that people gain when they consume lots of calories in the form of nutritionally empty sugar. Being overweight or obese is often accompanied by problems with blood sugar control and reduced sensitivity to insulin that leads to type 2 diabetes.
Cutting added sugars makes it easier to manage weight and to keep blood glucose levels within healthy parameters, both of which lower your diabetes risk. This stems from the fact that added sugars help to fuel a cyclical cascade of effects that cause metabolic and hormonal changes to increase risk of diabetes. Added sugars contribute excess calories excess calorie intake leads to weight gain weight gain, along with higher blood glucose levels from consuming added sugars, leads to insulin resistance insulin resistance leads to more weight gain.
But the reverse is also true. In three large prospective observational studies of almost 200,000 American men and women published in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers found that people who replaced one daily sugary beverage or fruit juice with water or another type of unsweetened drink had up to a 10% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. So, cutting added sugars is a key factor in stopping this cycle and slashing your risk.
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Symptoms Signs Causes Of Levels Of High Blood Sugar In The Blood
High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is an abnormally high blood sugar level in the blood. Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes and prediabetes.
Signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia include blurred vision, headaches, hunger, and …
The normal ranges for blood sugar levels in adults who do not have diabetes before eating or fasting the range begins at 72-99mg/dL while fasting ranges for those being treated for type 1 or type 2 diabetes range from 80 -130 mg/dL. According to the American Diabetes Association normal blood sugar levels before and after eating should be 80-130 mg/dL before eating a meal , and less than 180 mg/dL about 1-2 hours after eating a meal
Is Sugar Really Bad For You
Sugar has been in the headlines of popular media sites, the tagline of diet books, and the sole focus of many blogs over the last decade.
Despite recent interest from mainstream media and the health industry, sugar has been in the spotlight of nutrition research for the last 60 years, and in that time, we have learned a lot about how sugar affects the human body.
This article separates fact from fiction, evidence from hyperbole, and gives you the most informed answer on sugars true place in our lives.
READ MORE: about sugar intake, other nutrition tips, and wellness techniques, be sure to check out the NASM nutrition specialist program and see the scope of the course.
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Foods Dont Taste Sweet Enough
If youve noticed that foods dont taste as sweet as they used to, or if you need to add sugar to foods to make them taste good , it could be that youre getting too much sugar to begin with.
If youre trying to make healthier choices, say by switching from flavored yogurt to plain yogurt, the difference will be more noticeable.
You train your brain to expect a very high level of sweetness, and when youre used to that, it can be harder to feel satisfied with foods that are less sweet because youre primed to expect the high sweet levels, Cording says.
If youre replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners in your diet, you may also want to give it a second thought. A lot of these sugar substitutes are so much sweeter than actual sugar so it tricks our brains into expecting this insanely high level of sweetness, Cording says. This can increase sugar cravings overall.
Healthier Sweeteners Are No Better For You
Those trying to cut down on sugar may be drawn to studies that tout the healing power of honey or the antioxidant benefits of maple syrup. Ignore them, says DAmbrosio. All sugar provides energy in the form of calories but it doesnt add a significant amount of other nutrients, she says. Sugar is sugar, so its best used in moderation no matter what form it takes.
Feed your brain with the MIND diet meal plan that can help reduce your risk for Alzheimers.
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How Added Sugar Messes Up Your Body
The average American consumes 94 grams of added sugar per day, says Turner. The recommendation for women is no more than 25 gramsor 6 teaspoonsof added sugar per day. Men should have no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day, and for children, just 12 gramsabout one can of sodas worth of sugaris more than enough, she says.
Eating a diet thats high in added sugar is bad news for your heart, according to a major 2014 study. The researchers found that eating more than the recommended amount of added sugar may increase your risk of dying from heart disease. Even if you go to the gym and eat your greens regularly, you arent immune from the effects of sugar on your health. Eating a high-sugar diet can set you up for disease, even if youre otherwise healthy, according to a new study. Researchers found unhealthy levels of fat in the blood and livers of men who ate a high-sugar diet, which may increase the risk of heart disease, they report.
And while many people eat sugar as a pick-me-up, it could be having the opposite effect. One recent study found that men who ate a high-sugar diet were more likely to develop depression or anxiety than those who ate a diet lower in sugar.
Big Lies About Sugar We Should Unlearn
There are a few things we can all say for sure about sugar. Number one, it tastes great. And number two? Its really, really confusing.
While we can all agree that sugar isnt exactly a health food, theres a lot of misinformation about how sweet stuff should factor into your diet if at all. For instance, are some types of sugar healthier than others? And will cutting it out really put you on the fast track to losing weight, easing acne, staving off mood swings, or any other health woes?
Turns out, the answers might not be what you think. Heres a look at eight things even nutrition-savvy people may not realize about sugar and what you should know about fitting it into your diet.
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Added Sugar Is High In Fructose Which Can Overload Your Liver
In order to understand what is so bad about sugar, you need to understand what it is made of.
Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars glucose and fructose.
- Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we dont get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.
- Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.
The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts.
This is not a problem if we eat a little bit or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it .
However, if the liver is full of glycogen , eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat .
When repeatedly eating large amounts of sugar, this process can lead to fatty liver and all sorts of serious problems .
Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to over-eat fructose by eating fruit.
There is also massive individual variability here. People who are healthy and active can tolerate more sugar than people who are inactive and eat a Western, high-carb, high-calorie diet.
May Increase Your Risk Of Depression
While a healthy diet can help improve your mood, a diet high in added sugar and processed foods may increase your chances of developing depression.
Consuming a lot of processed foods, including high-sugar products such as cakes and sugary drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of depression .
Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysregulation and inflammation may all be reasons for sugars detrimental impact on mental health .
A study following 8,000 people for 22 years showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day .
Another study in over 69,000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intakes .
A diet rich in added sugar and processed foods may increase depression risk in both men and women.
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