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Your Body on Sweets – The Alarming Impact of Added Sugars
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Your Body on Sweets – The Alarming Impact of Added Sugars

Our bodies are amazing machines, but they weren’t built for the modern diet of added sugars. Our bodies were made to process natural sugars found in fruit and milk, not the artificial stuff that’s added to processed foods. And while it may seem harmless at first glance, eating too much sugar can lead to serious health problems such as obesity and diabetes—not to mention higher grocery bills! This blog will look at how your body processes sugars and what happens when you consume more than your body needs or can handle. 

Sugar Makes You Gain Weight 

Sugar is a carbohydrate, a category of nutrients that includes starches and fiber. Carbohydrates get broken down into simple sugars (monosaccharides) like glucose in the digestive tract, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream as energy for your body to use or store. The metabolism of carbohydrates also produces water-soluble vitamins and minerals such as niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine (B1). 

The main source of energy for our bodies comes from carbohydrates — most people get about half their calories from this nutrient group. If you consume more calories than you need for growth or activity, however, your body converts them into fat cells to store them for later use. This process is known as lipogenesis: When there’s an excess supply of sugar circulating in your bloodstream (which can be caused by eating too many sweets or anything else high in sugar content), extra glucose gets stored away until needed. This is possible by converting it into triglycerides to keep levels at bay while ensuring there’s enough room left over on those hard drives, which is what we call bodies! 

Sugar Gives You a Temporary Mood Boost, Then Makes You Feel Really, Really Bad 

Sugar makes your blood sugar spike, which gives you a temporary boost in energy. But after that, your blood sugar plummets, and then you feel tired and sluggish again. This is why sugary foods are often considered to be an effective afternoon pick-me-up. But if this pattern continues day after day without fail—and it likely will if these foods are regularly consumed—you’re probably going to end up feeling sluggish more than you’d like to admit. 

Sugar Can Also Cause Mood Swings and Headaches  

In addition to its role in regulating our energy levels, sugar affects our moods as well by changing the way our brains react to serotonin (a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness) and dopamine (a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure).  

These effects have been shown time and time again through studies looking at how high fructose corn syrup impacts our brains – particularly children’s brains over time. It’s not surprising then that taking a lot of added sugars over time could lead some people to experience significant fluctuations in their moods due strictly to dietary changes alone! In fact, one study showed that consuming just 18 grams per day (about two teaspoons) was enough to cause significant changes in brain chemistry among participants.  

Higher Sugar Intake Has Been Linked to Depression  

If you’re eating a lot of sugar, your blood sugar levels will probably be erratic. Eating sugar can cause an abrupt rise in blood sugar levels, which then prompts your pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for lowering blood sugar levels after you eat something sweet. So, when too much insulin is produced and released into the bloodstream, it can result in low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). This may lead to feelings of fatigue and depression that are often mistaken for other health issues such as thyroid problems or anxiety disorders. 

Sugar also impacts serotonin levels in our brains. Serotonin deficiency has been linked to depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health problems like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Another link between excess added sugars and adverse physical effects comes from studies showing that refined carbohydrates like white rice caused hyperglycemia—a condition characterized by high glucose concentrations in the body—and increased irritability during withdrawal periods after cessation of consumption. Carbohydrates may also contribute directly or indirectly through fructose metabolism to elevated uric acid concentrations associated with gouty arthritis. 

Sugary Foods Are Often Less Filling Than Other Foods and Don’t Keep You Full for Long 

The foods we eat can either help or hinder our health. While a quick way to get your sugar fix is often a less-than-healthy choice, sugar’s impact on your body goes far beyond just making you feel good. 

In fact, added sugars are linked with weight gain and obesity. In addition to being high in calories and fat, they’re also high in sodium—a combination that leads many people to consume more than they need without feeling full. 

This can cause increased hunger and overeating later on as well as other health issues like heart disease and diabetes. 

Sugar Could Be Bad for Heart Health  

It’s no surprise that sugar is bad for your teeth, but did you know it can also be harmful to your heart? 

Since sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, it causes a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. When this occurs, insulin is released from the pancreas to help lower these levels – which results in an increase in insulin resistance and eventually (if not addressed) type 2 diabetes. 

Sugar also increases triglyceride levels — a form of fat found in the blood — which results in higher cholesterol and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease like heart attacks or strokes. 

Sugar Might Not Be So Great for Your Skin  

Sugar can also cause inflammation in your skin, which may increase your risk of developing acne. It can also lead to premature aging, like wrinkles and dryness. Plus, studies show that people who eat lots of added sugar are more likely to develop eczema (a type of itchy, inflamed skin condition) than people who don’t. 

The good news is that there are lots of different ways you can reduce the amount of sugar in your diet—and keep away those nasty side effects! 

Sugar Can Leave You Feeling Foggy in the Head 

“When you eat sugar, your brain releases a hormone called serotonin,” says Dr. Peeke. “It makes you feel good and gives you energy, but it also increases your appetite and desire for more sweet foods.” 

In other words: Those cookies are going to make you want more cookies! And since too much added sugar can lead to weight gain, this could be a big problem as well. 

The FDA Recently Decided to Label Added Sugars on Foods  

While this is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough. 

The FDA is now labeling added sugars on food products. This new label will be in addition to the current Nutrition Facts label and will appear on the front of packages and menus. According to a statement released by the FDA, “the Nutrition Facts label has long been required by law to help people make informed choices about what they eat.” The term “Added Sugars” refers only to those sugars that are not naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables or dairy products – but it does not include any naturally occurring sugars found within those foods (such as lactose). 

The new front-of-package labeling requirements were proposed by former First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her Let’s Move! initiative aimed at improving childhood nutrition and wellness; however, she was unable to convince Congress before leaving office so it became part of President Trump’s administration agenda instead. 

However, despite being labeled as “Trump’s decision”, many experts agree that this decision will have positive effects on public health overall because consumers need more information about how much added sugar their diets contain so they can make informed decisions about what kind of food choices they want to make next time around… 

Added Sugars Are Now Being Sued by Consumers for Misleading Label Claims on Food Products  

Added sugars are now being sued by consumers for misleading label claims on food products. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no definition of the word “natural”, so companies can add this term to their labels without any limitations or restrictions. Added sugars have no nutritional value whatsoever and are best avoided altogether. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting added sugars to five percent of your daily calorie intake, which is about six teaspoons. They also recommend limiting saturated fats to 10% of daily calories and salt to 5 grams per day. 

Additionally, WHO advises that alcohol intake should be limited to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women, while processed meats should only make up a maximum of 50 grams per day—which is about two slices of bacon or one hot dog. 

Bottom Line 

So, what have we learned? Sugar is delicious and fun to eat, but it can also be really bad for your health. If you want to avoid these negative effects, it’s important to limit your added sugars intake. 

There are lots of ways to do this: try eating more whole foods and less processed foods (especially those with added sugars), drink plenty of water throughout the day instead of sweetened beverages like soda or juice (even though they taste good!).  

If you need additional help to kickstart a healthier lifestyle change, seek out a dietician or nutritionist who can help guide you through some simple steps such as identifying areas where sugar consumption may be high to make changes accordingly. We hope you enjoy this blog and let us know in the comments what your thoughts are on how sweets affect the body. Be sure to follow HosTalky on all our social media accounts to see more health tips and insights, and check back at our blog page weekly to see the newest blogs.  

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