It’s no secret that sugar can zap your health, but do you really know all the ways it can sabotage your body and your mind? Read on to learn why sugar isn’t so sweet.
Sugar is Draining
You’ve heard of sugar crashes, but that’s not the only reason sugar’s making you tired. When you fill up on the sweet stuff, you’re less likely to eat the nutrients your body actually needs. A recent study by the CDC found that people who eat more sugar end up eating less essential micronutrients, causing the body to shut down.
Sugar is Depriving
Take a look at what’s on your plate. White bread? Soda? A cookie? Sugar, especially in liquid form like smoothies, coffee and tea, keeps you hungry. When you eat a well-balanced meal, your body enters a state of equilibrium and leaves you satisfied. Not only is sugar a source of empty calories, but it creates an imbalance of nutrients in your body, inviting constant hunger in your day.
Sugar is Friends with Your Enemies
Sugar isn’t a stand-alone kind of additive. Foods with high levels of sugar often contain other chemicals you don’t want in your body like preservatives, excess sodium and potentially toxic food coloring.
Sugar is Tricky Business
Making nutritious choices is hard, especially since sugar is well-hidden in many so-called “health” foods. Though yogurt for breakfast is certainly healthier than a donut, a 6-ounce container of Yoplait yogurt contains nearly 7 teaspoons of added sugar. To make better choices, skim nutrition labels and look for foods with little to no added sugar, which may be hidden under names like evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, syrup and agave nectar.
Sugar is Sickening
Do you feel like you’re always sick? Overconsumption of sugar may be the culprit. The USDA recommends consuming 6 grams of sugar or less per day – that’s a little over a teaspoon. However, a 2009 American Heart Association study found that most adults consume nearly 90 grams of sugar each day. All this sugar has been shown to suppress your immune system, making illness more common.
Sugar is Moody
If you feel like your mood is impossible to control, take a look at your sugar consumption. When insulin is secreted to ward off excess sugar consumption, it can throw off the other hormones in your body and leave you feeling the highs and lows. When you try and quit the stuff, you’ll experience more moodiness during sugar withdrawal – yes, it’s a real condition. Sugar withdrawal symptoms include headache, fatigue and mood swings.
Though sugar is OK in moderation, it’s best if we keep this tempting sweet to a minimum.