Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar: Overconsumption of sugar often leads to a range of noticeable signs and symptoms. Awareness of these can help you identify if your diet may be excessively high in sugar and if it impacts your health.
Sugar is one of those foods that you really do need to watch in your daily diet, regardless of your health status or dietary preference as you can easily eat too much, even when you don’t think you’ve eaten a lot. The side effects of eating too much sugar show up relatively quickly, so if you know what to look for, you can spot the signs you’re getting too much sugar and start to cut back.
Note that natural sugars in foods like whole fruits and vegetables and added sugars should be looked at differently. You don’t want to go overboard with foods like fruit, but they’re very different from things like sugary muffins or pasta sauce laced with sugar. Generally, when you’re “eating too much sugar,” that means you’re eating too much added or processed sugar and not that you’re eating too many tomatoes. Depending on which source you look at, added sugar should account for no more than 6 to 10 percent of your daily caloric intake.
Here are 6 signs that you’re eating too much sugar:
1. Your Body Shows Signs Of Inflammation
Inflammation is a condition linked to higher disease risk and more cardiovascular problems. It can occur for a number of reasons, and eating too much sugar is one of them. If you’re experiencing more joint pain, your skin is looking terrible, or your latest blood test shows elevated markers for inflammation, check your diet to see how much sugar you’re eating.
2. Your Moods And Energy Levels Are Out Of Whack
The fluctuations in mood and energy levels are common symptoms of excessive sugar consumption. Consuming sugar causes a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, giving you a temporary boost of energy, often referred to as a ‘sugar high.’ However, this is quickly followed by a sharp decline or ‘crash,’ which can leave you feeling fatigued, irritable, and lethargic.
This cycle of high and low energy levels can significantly impact your mood. The sugar crash often leads to feelings of irritability, anxiety, and moodiness. This is because rapid changes in blood sugar levels can trigger these emotional responses. Moreover, such fluctuations can also disrupt your body’s ability to regulate stress, further exacerbating mood swings effectively.
In addition to mood changes, the sugar high and crash can negatively affect your sleep patterns. The energy burst from sugar, especially if consumed later in the day, can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and maintain restful sleep throughout the night. Poor sleep quality can contribute to fatigue during the day, creating a vicious cycle of energy dips and mood fluctuations.
Furthermore, over-reliance on sugar for energy can lead to dependency, where you might find yourself constantly needing sugary snacks or drinks to maintain energy levels throughout the day. This not only perpetuates the cycle of highs and lows but can also lead to long-term health issues such as weight gain and increased risk of diabetes.
To stabilize your mood and energy levels, it’s important to reduce your sugar intake and focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients. Incorporating whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, can provide more sustained energy and help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity and adequate hydration are essential to maintain stable energy levels and improve overall mood and well-being.
3. Your Teeth Take A Turn For The Worse
Increasing the amount of added sugar you eat increases your risk of cavities, even if you floss and brush religiously. It’s just a matter of exposure. Expose tooth enamel to more sugar, and your risk of cavities increases.
4. You Have Brain Fog
Forget physical energy issues – your poor brain isn’t going to feel that well with too much sugar. If you’ve long felt like you just can’t concentrate, cut back on sugars, ensure you’re getting enough protein, fiber, and fat, and see if your concentration improves.
5. You Want More Sweet Stuff
Whether or not you believe that sugar addiction is real, you can crave more sugar when you’re already eating too much. Your body wants energy, and the fast burst of sugar can be rather attractive to a tired system. Your body essentially becomes used to certain levels and wants more to get a bigger sugar high.
6. Your Weight Isn’t Budging
There’s nothing magical about this side effect. When your body craves sugar and you eat more sugar, you’re almost certainly going to eat too many calories in an effort to get that sugar. Add in the propensity to eat more because you feel hungry more often (another side effect of eating too much sugar), and your caloric intake easily exceeds your caloric expenditure.