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Signs & Symptoms Of Eating Too Much Sugar

Controlling our sugar intake will ultimately control our weight. Reducing sugar intake is key to losing weight. A healthy diet does not require raw sugars. Consuming too much can have some nasty side-effects. Keep under 25g per day for optimal health. DON'T substitute with artificial sweeteners- they are worse! Look out for these signs and symptoms that you are eating too much sugar

Increased Hunger and Weight Gain

If you’re consuming a lot of extra calories through added sugars, increased hunger is one of the first signs. “[Sugar] is satisfying to the taste buds, but it doesn’t really satisfy or fill our stomachs,”

Without protein, fibre, and healthy fats, which most processed snacks and sugary treats lack, the body burns through sugar quickly and ramps up hunger, which can lead to mindless and even compulsive snacking

According to a review and meta-analysis, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages promotes weight gain in adults and children.

Yet it’s not only the extra calories that can increase weight.

The gut microbiome, an ecosystem made up of 39 trillion microorganisms and is the body’s self-defence system. A healthy gut helps our metabolism regulate blood glucose and insulin levels and, in part, enables our bodies to use lipids and manage cholesterol. “When you have added sugar, it can damage that ecosystem,”

Good bacteria decrease and bad bacteria overgrow, leading to dysbiosis (an imbalance between these bacteria) as well as problems with metabolism and the ability to properly process lipids and cholesterol.

What’s more, sugar may damage our fat hormones, including leptin, which inhibits hunger

High sugar intake disrupts metabolism, in part by interfering with leptin “Eating sugar increases insulin levels which makes you want to eat more sugar, which makes you more hungry.”


If you’re feeling moody, irritable, or on edge, stress may not be the only reason — it could be a sign that you’re eating too much sugar.

A study published in January 2020 in the journal Medical Hypotheses suggests that eating added sugars can promote inflammation, worsen mood, and lead to symptoms of depression.

A high-sugar meal or snack without protein and fat quickly spikes your blood sugar, but as your body rushes to process all of it, your energy levels crash, making you feel sluggish and irritable

Also, when there’s low glucose in the bloodstream because your insulin levels have spiked after eating a lot of added sugar, levels of blood glucose in the brain decrease as well.

Fatigue and Low Energy

Sugar is easily absorbed and digested, so if you’re feeling fatigued, it could be due to the amount of sugar you’re getting in your diet.

Large swings of blood sugar and insulin can also cause energy levels to plummet and affect your overall energy level

Foods Don’t Taste Sweet Enough

If you’ve noticed that foods don’t taste as sweet as they used to, or if you need to add sugar to foods and drinks to make them taste good it could be that you’re getting too much sugar to begin with.

If you’re replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners in your diet, you may also want to give it a second thought. A lot of these sugar substitutes are so much sweeter than actual sugar so it tricks our brains into expecting this insanely high level of sweetness. This can increase sugar cravings overall.

Cravings for Sweets

If you’re craving sweets, you may be addicted to the feel-good effects that sugar has on your brain. Sugar targets the brain’s pleasure centre (called the mesocorticolimbic pathway), triggering a rise in the so-called "happy hormone" dopamine.

This pathway in the brain plays a significant role in the food choices we make, including affecting cravings for sugar.

Put simply, eating sugar increases dopamine, and the dopamine rise itself can increase cravings for sugar, leading to a vicious cycle, according to research.

The good news is that focusing on small meals and snacks comprised of real, whole foods, and eating regularly, can help those cravings improve

High Blood Pressure

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, too much added sugar in your diet could be a contributor.

According to research consuming sugar-sweetened beverages has a significant association with high blood pressure and a higher incidence of hypertension.

A direct cause-and-effect relationship hasn’t been found. However, what scientists do know is that high levels of glucose can damage the lining of our blood vessels, making it easier for lipids like cholesterol to stick to the walls of the blood vessels increasing blood pressure

Acne and Wrinkles

If you’re battling acne, it may be worthwhile to consider how much added sugar you’re eating, suggests the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Glycemic control plays a significant role in skin health and acne.One study suggests that insulin resistance may influence the development of acne.

Wrinkles may be another sign that you’re consuming too much sugar. Advanced glycation end products, which are products of excess sugar, encourage skin ageing, notes an article published in March 2020 in Nutrients.

Joint Pain

If you notice pain in your joints, it may not be age alone.

According to a survey published in December 2017 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, among the 24 percent of respondents who had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and said food affected their symptoms, fizzy drinks and desserts were most commonly cited.

Research shows that regularly consuming sugar-sweetened drinks is associated with an increased risk of RA in some women, including those with late-onset RA.

Consuming too much sugar can lead to systemic inflammation, which may lead to joint pain, Cording says. That said, there are several causes of joint pain, she adds, so improving your diet by cutting back on the sweet stuff may not be a magic bullet.

Sleep Issues

If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, you may want to take stock of what you’re eating.

Our sleep cycles and the quality of sleep are regulated by the light and the temperature of the room, as well as glycemic control. For someone who is chronically consuming excessive amounts of added sugar, it can absolutely mess with their sleep cycle and sleep quality. Eating high sugar containing foods including alcohol in the evening can also alter sleep patterns and may cause insomnia

Digestive Issues

If you’re having stomach pain, cramping, or diarrhoea, there may be many causes to blame, and your doctor can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms. Too much sugar, a known gut irritant, is one of the possible causes

Plus, for those with underlying health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, or for those who have had stomach surgery, too much sugar in the diet may also exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms.

If high-sugar foods are replacing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which offer fibre, constipation can be a problem, too.

Brain Fog

Problems with mental clarity, focus and concentration, and memory could be a result of consuming too many added sugars.

Although glucose is the brain’s primary source of fuel, excess amounts can cause hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose levels, and have an inflammatory effect in the brain and a negative impact on cognitive function and mood.

According to research, impairments with information-processing speed, working memory, and attention were found in people with type 2 diabetes who had hyperglycemia.

Research suggests the same is true for those without diabetes. A study that found high blood glucose has a negative impact on cognition, including decreases in delayed recall, learning ability, and memory consolidation.

Dental Cavities

The bacteria in our mouths like to feed on simple sugars, so if your dentist is finding more cavities, or if you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, it could be that you’re eating too much added sugar,

Although cutting back on added sugars is a good idea, if you’re going to consume a high-sugar food, swish water around your mouth afterward or eat it with foods like carrots or milk, which protect the teeth and provide a coating.

According to research, consuming milk and dairy products, apples, cranberries, tea, peanuts, and high-fibre foods may help prevent cavities, but more research is needed.

Hormonal Imbalances

Eating high amounts of sugar causes the excessive release of insulin into the bloodstream. Altering this status quo can have an effect on hormone regulation. PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), PMS, fertility issues can be linked with this.

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