How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body
Chances are you already know that eating too much sugar isnât good for you. Yet youâre probably still overdoing it. Americans average about 270 calories of sugar each day, thatâs about 17 teaspoons a day, compared to the recommended limits of about 12 teaspoon per day or 200 calories.
Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But even savory foods, like breads, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have sugar, making it all too easy to end up with a surplus of the sweet stuff. To complicate it further, 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 itâs called, sugar is sugar, and in excess, it can negatively affect your body in many ways. Hereâs a closer look at how sugar can mess with your health, from head to toe.
How Sugar Gets Into Your Bloodstream
In order to eliminate sugar from your bloodstream, it is helpful to evaluate how it got into your bloodstream in the first place.
Sugar is perhaps the most damaging of all food groups for various reasons. Even though carbohydrates such as bread and pasta also become sugar in the body, eating processed white sugar is more damaging. Try to avoid eating processed white sugar as much as possible.
Ideally, diabetics should stay away from sugars, but sometimes they do consume sweet foods that include cookies, cakes, ice cream, candy, and sodas. Once those sweet treats are eaten and ingested, sugar gets into the bloodstream. Even so, there is no need to feel guilty or afraid because there are two easy ways to get sugar out of your bloodstream quickly.
Everyone and not only diabetics should aim to eliminate sugar from their bloodstream as soon as possible. If you are a diabetic, your blood sugar level will spike quickly after eating sugar and some other foods.
If you have never tried these methods before, you will be surprised how quickly your glucose level will return to a safe level.
/5how To Flush Out Excessive Blood Sugar From The Body
For those suffering from diabetes, fluctuation in blood sugar level is quite natural. Sometimes it may go too low, while other times it may just shoot up without any warning sign. Both the cases are equally dangerous for a diabetes patient as they may lead to a range of severe side effects. While you can manage blood sugar level from dropping too low by eating something in intervals, bringing the spiked blood sugar level back to normal can be challenging.
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Put The Kibosh On Condiments
Dressings, sauces, and other condiments may hinder your healthy-eating efforts. One tablespoon of ketchup, for example, has 4 grams of sugar, according to U.S. dietary guidelines. Many condiments can be high in sugar, but its tricky because there are essentially more than 60 different names for sugar, says Ewoldt. So get to know foods with hidden sugars.
When youre looking at the label, it might not say sugar, but it could say high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, rice syrup, or molasses, which are all essentially sugar. In fact, there are at least 40 sneaky nicknames for sugar you might not recognize. Drizzle leafy greens with olive oil or spread avocado on a turkey burger to avoid going overboard with sugar. Heres what happens to your skin when you eat sugar.
Track Your Symptoms And Progress
As youre going through the sugar detox process, it might be beneficial to track your symptoms before and during the sugar cleanse. Pay specific attention to your mood, digestion, and energy. Are you less sluggish when you eliminate more sugary or carb-heavy foods? Do you notice a difference in symptoms of GI irritation? Keep track in a journal, with as much detail as possible, as you remove sugar from the body. Then, you can discuss the changes you notice in your body and your mental state and energy with your health coach to better understand the progress youve made. Parsleys health coaches can help use the information to develop a long-term nutrition plan that works for you.
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Quality Healthy Fats And Proteins
Eat foods like: Grass-fed meat, wild-caught salmon, pasture-raised eggs and coconut oil.
These will fill you up and decrease cravings. High-protein, high-fat foods nourish your body and give it what it needs to get back on track after a sugary detour. Focus on eating as normally as possible, and listen to your body to figure out the best combination for you.
Pro tip: For sustained energy and brain power, add a quality fat like Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil to coffee and smoothies.
Why Exercise Helps Speed Up Your Sugar Detox
Even if you feel bloated and miserable, do some kind of exercise after eating too much sugar. Hit the gym, do some high-intensity interval training or just go for a long walk.
Exercise stabilizes your blood sugar and helps you burn through glycogen stores faster, and psychologically, it helps you get back to your high-performance routine after you break it. It can be tough to exercise during or on the heels of a high-sugar day, but youll feel much better afterward.
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Why You Should Do A Sugar Cleanse
You might be experiencing those blood sugar spikes and then the sugar crash or energy level dip, or the GI symptoms caused by inflammation from sugar in the gut microbiome, which may lead you to question how to flush sugar from your system. The first step in cleansing sugar from your body is focusing less on refined carbs and sugars. That way, you naturally focus more on real, whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, gluten-free grains, and high-quality, pasture-raised meat and seafood, if you eat animal products. Eating fewer processed foods allows for a greater percentage of the diet to include real clean foods, which can help improve digestion, lower inflammation, and boost your energy and mood, too.
Effects Of Sugar On The Body And Brain
The most immediate effect sugar has on your body is through your blood sugar. When you eat things like simple carbohydrates in the form of bread, cookies, soda, candy, or anything containing table sugar, it enters the bloodstream quickly, causing a spike in the sugar content of your blood. When this happens, your body experiences a sudden energy high and your pancreas kicks into gear and releases insulin to balance out blood sugar. As your body clears the sugar in your blood, this leads to the infamous sugar crash when your energy dips. Constantly put your body through this cycle and your pancreas goes into overdrive, leading to diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Sugar overconsumption also feeds the bad bacteria in your gut. Your gut is made up of trillions of bacteria and what you eat influences which bugs are in control. Sadly, bad bugs thrive on simple carbs, especially sugar. When you eat too much, youre promoting the growth of candida and yeastboth of which cause brain fog, rashes, digestive issues, and more.
Overloading on sugar and refined carbs can also cause inflammation. Short term inflammation is a good thing when your body is repairing a cut or a broken bone, but chronic inflammation, the kind that comes from a poor diet, can have serious health implications. Its associated with depression, heart disease, and eczema, among other things.
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What To Do If You Eat Too Much Sugar When You Have Diabetes
These five things can help if you’ve overdone it on the sugar, according to a dietitian.
So you’ve overdone it on the sugar. We’ve all been therewe’ve all gone a little too hard at the dessert table, or the donuts at work, or the nighttime bowl of sweet cereal. You’re not alone in that. But, since you have diabetes, the consequences can be a bit more intense, and it’s important to take action to get your blood sugar stabilized. Don’t worrythis dietitian is going to walk to through some steps you can take to recover from a sugar overdose.
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Why Do We Care About Detoxing From Sugar
The American diet is notorious for being high in sugar consumption, equal to an average of over 1 pound per week. That high sugar intake has been associated with heart disease and obesity.
Even if you arent following that 1-pound-a-week sugar consumption diet, there are other ways you can affect your body with more sugar than intended. Some diets even advocate weekly cheat days to make it easier for you to stick to the diet. The idea is that you can stick it out and eat clean six days a week, and then go crazy on day seven.
Heres why thats a bad idea: Your body takes a few days to recover from eating too much sugar, and by the time its back to full power, its nearly time for you to cheat again.
Your brain function could dip as your blood sugar levels crash, and you could have background inflammation for most of the week. You may lose weight, but youll never end up feeling like an energetic and clear-headed person whos totally on top of their game.
That said, total restriction isnt the answer eitherand when a sugar binge happens, planned or unplanned, you shouldnt feel bad about it. Delicious food is one of the great pleasures in life. Plus, letting loose now and then reminds you how bad excess sugar can make you feel, and strengthen your commitment to a more healthful diet.
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What Exactly Is Sugar
Sugar is the broad name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. Three of the most common are:
- Fructose: It is a natural sugar found in fruit, honey, agave, and most root vegetables. Though its a natural form, consuming it in excess can be bad for health. Its also commonly added to processed foods in high-fructose corn syrup, about 50% fructose and 50% glucose.
- Sucrose: Its a scientific name for white table sugar that many Americans use daily. Its a natural form of carbs found in many fruits, grains, and vegetables. Its also added to processed foods, such as ice-cream, cookies, candy, breakfast cereals, soda, canned foods, and other sweetened beverages.
- Glucose: Glucose is a simple sugar your body creates with the food your intake. Its your bodys preferred carb-based energy source when your body starts accumulating too much glucose in your system, the likelihood of blood sugar reaching to unhealthy level increases.
A Candy Hangover Is Real
Just ask any elementary school teacher. Adults feel the effects even more. Consuming large amounts of sugar in a short amount of time can cause rapid changes in blood glucose levels. This can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness, fuzzy thinking, general malaise, and dreaded mood swings.
Here are five simple things you can do to help ease your candy hangover.
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Sugar Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
Numerous studies have found that added sugars can produce changes in neurochemistry and behavior similar to those of other addictive drugs. When initially cutting out sugar after long-term use, one may experience withdrawal symptoms. Sugar detox symptoms should resolve within a few days, but may include:
Choose Fruits Over Desserts
Most desserts like ice-cream, cake, or cookies are filled with crazy amounts of sugar. It causes a blood spike, one reason you feel tired, hungry, and craving more sugar. Choose healthier alternatives like easy to pack apples and mandarin oranges.
Fruits not only bring down your sugar cravings but also increase the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet. Berries such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, pears, and plums are the lowest in natural sugar.
But if you are craving a sweet dessert, you can binge on a few chunks of dark chocolate. It has high cocoa content that makes it relatively less sugary yet tasty. You can also enhance foods with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or lemongrass instead of sugar.
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Struggling To Cook Healthy We’ll Help You Prep
Cooking Light’s Food and Nutrition Director, Brierley Horton, MS, RD, explains: “When you binge on the sweet stuff, your body breaks sugar into glucose, which is released into your bloodstream. As a response, your body then releases insulin to help bring your sugar levels back down and help your cells ‘mop it up’. Whatever sugar your body doesn’t use gets stored as fat.”
Horton also adds that eating too much sugar can make your blood sugar levels spikemaking you feel hungry and craving more sugary foodsso ending the cycle is key. If youve hit the candy a little hard today, heres what to do.
Slow And Steady Wins The Race But Not Always:
Proceed towards your goal gradually but with full determination. Tearing yourself away from the processed items in one swift motion can have negative outcomes instead of positive. There is no one proven way to delete sugar from the diet. Some people prefer to cut down their sugar intake slowly by replacing them with alternatives along the way.
Other fraction of people cut down their total sugar intake at the beginning of their detox period as they believe in the idea of all or nothing. So it depends upon your will and ability to get rid of sugar completely in the first step or gradually in a stepwise manner.
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The Sugar Hangover: What Happens When You Eat Too Much Sugar
When you go crazy with sugar or carbohydrates, youre going to face some repercussions during the week that follows. That lousy feeling is the culmination of your bodys systems directly responding to your sugar overload, from the blood sugar spike and drop, to the dehydration that can follow indulging your sugar cravings.
If you pay close attention, you can identify the systems in your body that are strugglingand then take action to help those systems recover.
The short-term consequences of eating too much sugar or carbs can result in side effects such as:
Tips For Cutting Back On Added Sugar
If youre used to regularly eating sugary foods like cake, ice cream, sweetened breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies and regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages, it may take time to reduce your reliance on added sugar.
For some people, cutting all forms of added sugar from their diet is helpful. However, others may find this method too extreme.
Fortunately, even making small changes to your sugar intake can significantly affect your overall health. Follow these helpful tips to slowly reduce your added sugar intake over time.
The tips above can help you slowly cut back on added sugar and improve the quality of your overall diet.
Here are some tips to help you beat the side effects and avoid or at least limit some of the symptoms related to cutting sugar out of your diet.
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Eat Lots Of Leafy Greens Protein And Healthy Fats
Kale, collard greens, and spinach are your best friends right now. They will help alkalize the body and give you a high dose of nutrients like Vitamins K, C, and A, which are stored in the liver, one of the bodys major detox organs. Theyre also chock full of fiber, necessary to keep you full when youre cutting carbs and flushing sugar out of your system.
Of course, those antioxidant-packed greens are important, but youll also need to up your protein and healthy fat consumption . Since youre eating fewer carbs when you remove sugar from your body, youll need those other key macronutrients to fill you up. Out of all the macros, protein keeps you satiated for the longest, and then healthy fats like omega-3s help slow digestion, making sure you feel fuller for longer.
How Much Sugar Is Healthy
According to the World Health Organization , theres no nutritional reason to include added sugar in your diet. But if you do, the WHO suggests that a person with a healthy BMI consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. Thats 6 teaspoons.
Even if you follow a healthy diet, its possible that youre consuming way more than that.
Our sugar consumption has risen dramatically over the past 200 or so years. In 2005, Westerners consumed, on average, 152 pounds of sugar a year, compared to 6.3 pounds per year in 1822.
Part of that increase is due to lifestyle. Part is due to the amount of sugar included in basically all processed foods and drinks. And part is because a lot of people dont know how ubiquitous sugar is. Its included in products youd never imagine, like dressings and sauces. One brand of popular pasta sauce has more sugar in one serving than two Oreo cookies!
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Monitor Your Sleep Patterns
Whether you sleep well or not, your blood sugar increases every night as a part of the natural human circadian rhythm cycle. Many studies have confirmed that short sleepers alter your appetite-regulating hormones. These people crave added sugar, have irregular eating habits, and snack on unhealthy food items.
Getting a good nights sleep helps you lower stress levels, improve your memory, and help you make healthier food and lifestyle choices. It will also be beneficial for your health to avoid daytime napping.