Having a cookie here and there and a candy bar on Halloween may not seem like a problem, but have you ever thought about what excess sugar could do to your body every day? The worst part is that sugar comes from some of our favorite healthy foods such as granola, fruit, and honey. If you think you are consuming too much sugar, check in with your doctor and check in with yourself to see if you should reevaluate your meals and daily snacks.
Your Skin Is No Longer Youthful Looking
As you age, the sugar in your bloodstream can damage the protein fibers in collagen and elastin that keep your skin firm and wrinkle-free.
You Feel Famished
Have you ever eaten an entire pack of cookies and still felt hungry five minutes later? This is because consuming too much sugar can disrupt the communication between your brain and your stomach. A high-fructose diet can make your body feel hungry, even when you have eaten too much.
Your Organs Are Storing Fat
High Fructose Corn Syrup, found in many processed foods, can trigger your liver to store fat. Overtime, excess HFCS can build up fat around the liver and introduce nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. If you haven’t heard about it, you may want to proceed with caution when it comes to sugar laden foods, which can trigger this disease.
Higher Risk for Heart Disease
Excess sugar intake can lead to a higher risk of developing heart disease, which in addition to stroke, happens to be the number one cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes. Sugar primes the body for diabetes and to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and read the labels of your products.
Your Bloodstream Is Filled with Sugar
Added sugars cause more insulin to flock to your bloodstream, which directly affects your arteries. If your insulin levels stay high most of the time, the muscle cells around each blood vessel grow quickly and this can tense up the walls of your arteries, leading to high blood pressure.
You Feel Like a Junkie
People joke that sugar is addictive and that it is impossible to have just one piece of chocolate, but the evidence supporting that is accurate. Similar to street drugs, sugar triggers the release of opioids and dopamine in the brain, which activate the brain’s pleasure center. Eventually, you can develop a tolerance for sugar, leaving you wanting more every time. If you are eating a lot of sugar and cut it out completely, you could experience the same side effects from a drug detox, such as tremors, shakes, and anxiety.
The accompanying slideshow is provided by fellow Daily Meal editorial staff member Dan Myers.