Sugar inarguably tastes delicious. In large amounts, sugar is unfortunately not beneficial for your health. Added sugars—sugars and syrups put in foods during processing or preparation—offer no nutritional value. They only give you calories that detrimentally impact your health and hike your weight.
The American Heart Association (AHA) says that the leading sources of added sugars are:
• Soft drinks
• Cakes and pies
• Dairy desserts like ice cream
• Fruit drinks like fruit punch
The AHA suggests that most American women get no more than one hundred calories per day of added sugars, which is about six teaspoons of sugar. Men should get no more than one hundred and fifty calories per day of added sugar, or about nine teaspoons.
Think you are eating too much sugar ? Here are some signs that it is time to step away from the sweet stuff.
1.You are tired throughout the day.
You may get a high when you eat sugar. But what goes up must come down. That rise in your blood sugar will eventually crash, leaving you with an energy slump. You will feel wiped out and sluggish, looking for sweets to help you regain that sugar high. To curb sugar cravings, try to get more fiber and protein in your diet, nutrients which promote “real” energy. That is because fiber and protein keep you fuller longer since they digest more slowly.
2. You are constantly breaking out.
Too much sugar can do a number on your skin. If you are among those sensitive to the rise in insulin you get from eating sugar, your raging hormones can trigger acne breakouts. So if you are suffering from skin that is less than stellar, see if sugar is the culprit.
3. You crave the sweet stuff.
It is a vicious cycle. If you eat more sugar, your brain wants more sugar—what it sees as a reward. It is almost like you are taking a drug. Your body craves the taste and feeling of experiencing a sugar high. And this addiction can be a tough habit to break.
4. You are moody.
When you eat sugar, you will have a short-lived burst of energy. And then you will crash, making you low on energy. And that means you will be grouchy and crabby. Sure, junk foods can satisfy your taste buds and make you happy for the short term. But, they would not do your long-term mood any good.
5. You have put on a few pounds.
That mid-afternoon snack has to go somewhere, and snacks high in sugar typically pack pounds onto your midsection. That is because too much sugar leads to increased insulin levels. And that insulin often puts fat in your belly as opposed to other body parts. So if your jeans are suddenly snug, it may be time to curb the sugary snacks and sugar-sweetened drinks.
6. You have had a few cavities filled lately.
Sometimes cavities are beyond our control due to factors such as age. But cavities are often the sign of a sweet tooth. In fact, a recent study found that excess added sugar was the biggest culprit for dental decay. Do not panic; you do not have to give up sweets for good. You just have to consume ones that are good for you. Look to sources like low-sugar yogurt, low-fat milk or fresh berries. You can cut back on added sugars slowly, eliminating one sweet from your diet each week.
7. Your brain is in a fog.
A lot of factors impact forgetfulness like lack of sleep or stress. But sugar is a culprit, too. Yes, your brain needs a steady supply of blood glucose to function properly. But you do not want a quick rise in blood sugar and then a sharp decline, which is what happens when you consume added sugar.
8. Sweets do not taste like they used to taste.
When you eat sugar all the time, your taste buds need more sugar to feel like something is the right sweetness. Your whole sense of taste is off kilter since all that excess sugar is dulling your palate. So, what should taste sweet doesn’t anymore.
9. You are down in the dumps.
Multiple studies have suggested a link between depression and a diet high in sugar. When you maintain a high-sugar diet, it raises inflammation in the body and the brain. And that is linked to higher incidences of depression.