What Eating Too Much Sugar Does to Your Body
										We spoke with registered dietitians and looked at the science to learn about the negative side effects of eating too much added sugar.

What Eating Too Much Sugar Does to Your Body We spoke with registered dietitians and looked at the science to learn about the negative side effects of eating too much added sugar.

Sugary foods don’t have the best reputation: from sugar-sweetened sodas to candy and desserts, we all have likely experienced the effects of eating too much sugar and trying to make a positive change to cut back. Yet, how much sugar is too much? And what does sugar do to the body when overconsumed? We spoke to dietitians to find out exactly how the body responds to excessive amounts of sugar.

The American Heart Association‘s recommended daily allowance for sugar intake is 25 grams per day for women or 36 grams per day for men or otherwise about 10% of your daily calories.

Eating too much sugar can have a variety of side effects on its own, and it can also be associated with generally overeating total calories. Sugar is not an inherently satisfying food, say the way a high-fiber food like broccoli or high-protein food like chicken breast might be. This means you can easily consume it, and a lot of it at once.

What is “too much” sugar?

Additional health conditions that are associated with too much sugar include:

However, eating sugar in moderation can help you satisfy cravings, enjoy your favorite foods, and can still be healthy. Experts agree that avoiding sugar completely is likely not the most effective solution, but rather learning how to enjoy sugar as part of your lifestyle while also considering your health is a better alternative.

Let’s find out exactly what dietitians have to say about excessive sugar intake and how it impacts your body.

Health concerns from eating too much sugar

Carbohydrates, including sugar, quickly digest and release into our bloodstream. Sugars are one of the smallest molecules of carbohydrates, so they do not take very long before they quickly enter our bloodstream and can cause blood sugar to spike. Increased consumption of sugar in the diet can lead to increased blood sugar over time which can put someone at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke risk.

RELATED: 9 Worst Foods Causing High Blood Sugar

1. Your blood sugar rises

Salt tends to get all the bad press here, but increased sugar in the diet is also associated with elevated blood pressure. This could be because of the quality of the diet, if you are eating a lot of sugar then you may not be eating a lot of other healthy foods. It could also be from the direct effect of increased blood sugar affecting our blood pressure. When our blood sugar rises, our blood pressure rises.

Too much sugar intake has been associated with negative effects on mood and mental health, Katie Drakeford, MA, RD, CSP, LD tells us. Aside from the physical symptoms one might experience like blood sugar fluctuations and rising cortisol levels leading to an energy “crash” and then feeling, irritable, tired, or even sad, there are connections to excessive sugar and depressive symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control shares that sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda in particular, might be associated with mental health challenges.

RELATED: 10 Foods That Can Cause ‘Brain Fog’

Excessive sugar intake, especially when coming from sugar-sweetened beverages, has been associated with a higher body weight and a greater likelihood of obesity. This means that drinking soda more often could contribute to weight gain over time and impact your health. It makes sense as these sources of beverages are “empty calories” and easy to overconsume without keeping us full.

Sugar can increase your heart disease risk by creating micro-abrasions inside arteries. These tiny scratches can “catch” particles like cholesterol over time that can get stuck and build up. This process of plaque buildup, also known as atherosclerosis, is a major risk factor for heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Sugar, in the context of a calorie surplus, is digested and stored over time as body fat. Excess body fat is associated with increased fatty liver deposits also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Also associated with a slew of health concerns, NAFLD can put you at a greater risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *