Is there a way to know if you are consuming too much sugar? The answer is yes. Although you may not realise it, the body sends signals when the diet is not adequate.
Many people experience physical or psychological discomfort without knowing that this may be due to excess sugar in the body.
Are you consuming too much sugar? You can tell by these 7 symptoms according to experts.
Are you consuming too much sugar?
Excessive sugar consumption is one of the habits that, over time, can greatly affect our health. However, first of all, it is important to clarify that when we talk about sugar, we are referring to refined and not natural sugar, which is found in fruit, for example.
The latter is also known as ‘intrinsic sugar’ and, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) states, there is no evidence that it is, in principle, harmful to health. On the contrary, it is necessary for the body.
So-called ‘free’ sugars, on the other hand, can be harmful to health in large quantities.
1. Constant hunger
According to a study published in the journal Hospital Nutrition, sugars produce a greater feeling of satiety than carbohydrates.
However, this feeling of fullness is short-term, meaning that it is very likely that you will soon feel hungry again and want to eat something. This, combined with a lack of exercise and a poor diet, can lead to overweight or obesity.
So, if you are always hungry, even after eating, the reason could be because you are consuming too much sugar and no real nutrition.
2. Feeling tired
It is true that sugary drinks are usually consumed to gain energy and combat tiredness and fatigue. Many sports drinks contain sugar.
However, the long-term effects, especially when consumed in excess, are not so clear. An experiment conducted by researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University has shown that reducing refined sugar intake can improve mood and fatigue.
Although the study opened the door to further research on the subject, it is very interesting and enlightening. So, if you feel tired all the time for no apparent reason, it could be because your diet is too high in free sugars.
3. Weak teeth
As a kid, your mother probably told you not to eat too much candy or your teeth would fall out. Well, in a way she was right.
Research shows that too much sugar combined with poor dental hygiene weakens enamel. How does it work? Well, first of all, you should know that the mouth is full of bacteria, some good and some bad.
Sugar serves as food for harmful bacteria that eventually erode the enamel and weaken the teeth.
This process, if left unchecked, can lead to cavities or broken teeth when you eat something hard, for example.
4. Aged skin
According to a study published in the journal Clinics in Dermatology, consuming too much sugar can make your skin age faster.
This is because it stimulates the production of molecules known as AGES (Advanced Glycation End-products), which damage collagen and elastin. As a result, the skin ages faster.
5. Joint pain
Although this is a rarer symptom, consuming too much sugar could lead to joint pain. In fact, some research associates excessive intake of carbonated drinks (rich in sugar) with a higher likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women.
This is also due to the AGES molecules we mentioned; they cause inflammation that can lead to long-term joint pain.
6. Weight gain
You may not be surprised to read this, but if you’re consuming too much sugar, the least you can expect is to gain weight, especially if you don’t exercise.
In fact, we have already seen that sugar creates a temporary feeling of fullness, which leads to eating more and, therefore, gaining weight. We have also mentioned that it is related to overweight and obesity.
7. Difficulty concentrating
The effects of the accumulation of sugar in the blood are also felt in cognitive abilities and concentration.
If you consume too much sugar, you tend to need more and more of it. This can lead to your brain not working properly if your blood sugar drops.
Therefore, there may be times when you suddenly feel that your mind is foggy and you can’t concentrate. Several studies, in fact, associate excessive sugar consumption with certain cognitive impairments.
Why stop consuming too much sugar?
Do you identify with these symptoms? Are you consuming a lot of sugary foods? If so, you’d better start taking action. Although the effects may go unnoticed at first, if out of control they can lead to the development of diseases more serious than those mentioned here, such as cardiovascular disease.
You should be careful and start to reduce your consumption of free sugars. Also, you should keep in mind that sugar is addictive: the more you consume, the more you need it.
According to various researches, this happens because it stimulates the release of dopamine (a hormone related to well-being and pleasure) which is addictive. So don’t hesitate, if this is the case, start looking for healthier alternatives.