What really happens in your body when you eat too much sugar.
It never fails. Every time I eat too much sugar, I have a not so pleasant physical response. It is almost as if my body is trying to purge itself of something it knows is not good for it. You think that would be “my sign” to stay far away from sugar right? Unfortunately like many people when it is sitting right in front of me in the form of candy or maybe cake, it’s hard to not have a little bite. I admit it. I do struggle to walk away sometimes and you may too.
What really happens when you eat too much sugar? Unfortunately eating too much sugar can trigger quite a few unwanted things to happen to our bodies including:
- Weight gain.
- Elevated blood sugar.
- Decreased HDL (good cholesterol) and increased LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in our blood.
- Increased belly fat.
In addition, you may also experience headaches, cavities, and even an uncontrollable urge to eat. Sugar makes you want to eat more sugar.
Even a bag of M&M’s may be too much sugar for most of us. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 10% – preferably 5% – of your daily calories come from sugar. To give you an idea, that would mean less than six teaspoons daily for a healthy adult. Six TEASPOONS. Not tablespoons. That equates to 10 Hershey kisses.
Unfortunately, the average sugar intake per person is about 22 teaspoons. Almost four times what we should be consuming. Where is that sugar coming from? Sugar is in many packaged foods – foods that we eat or drink without thinking much about it. In a 20 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew, there are 77 grams of sugar. That is 15 teaspoons of sugar! If that isn’t a good reason to eliminate soda from your family’s diet, what is?
Sugar is addicting. Plain and simple. It is not as easy as tossing it in the trash if you want to win the battle with your family but these few tips will help you cut down the amount of sugar in your home:
- The first line of defense is to take the time to read labels. You will probably be shocked by the amount of products that list sugar toward the top of the ingredient list on the back of the package. Sugar is in foods that do not taste sweet. Take a look at the ingredients in white bread, bottled salad dressings or ketchup.
- Sugar in disguise? Life could be so simple if the ingredient list would use the term sugar. But no! There are many different names for sugar including glucose, fructose, or syrup. When in doubt, look it up. Open Google or ask Siri what the ingredient is before placing that product into your shopping cart.
- Start with unsweetened. Instead of buying sweet tea or fruit juices, start with unsweetened. This allows you to add the sweetener that you desire versus the loaded version that the packaged products automatically give you. You may actually find you prefer less sugar.
Finally, don’t go cold turkey. Cold turkey is difficult for most of us. Start by cutting back. For example, if you usually put two packets of sugar in your morning coffee, cut back to 1-1/2 packets for a week. Then as your taste buds adjust to the reduction, reduce it to one packet the next week. Slow and steady changes will help you fight the sugar war in your home. Have a great week!
To your health,