Delicious glazed donuts, a rich slice of pie or the age-old classic: chocolate chip cookies. What do all of these decadent goodies have in common? Sugar! We all know that too much sugar isn’t good for us – it’s something our parents and doctors have instilled in us from a very young age. But what actually happens to our bodies when we go into sugar overload?
Like most things, consuming sugar in moderation is just fine. And what’s life without chocolate? It’s when we regularly indulge in sweets that we can see the following things take place in our bodies:
1. Weight Gain. I’ll start with the obvious. According to a 2013 British Medical Journal, there is “consistent evidence that increasing or decreasing intake of dietary sugars from current levels of intake is associated with corresponding changes in body weight in adults.” As women over fifty, we are even more susceptible to that sudden weight gain so watching our sugar is extremely important!
2. Skin Issues. I bet you thought that acne and skin issues were things of the past. While we can all put puberty far behind us, sugar has the very likely capability of inspiring nasty skin problems. In fact, I’m not just talking about pimples. Rosacea, dullness and overall irritation can all appear after an uptick in sugar consumption.
3. Mood Swings. Hell hath no fury like a woman battling mood swings! If you thought menopause was a pain, then you haven’t considered the perils of a sugar-heavy diet. This is because sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly, causing a very sharp surge and drop of energy. The result? That same level of moodiness that you thought you left behind years ago.
4. You Want More. Now! If you start consuming sugar on a regular basis, you’re making it even more difficult for yourself to resist future treats. Once the body gets accustomed to a certain level of sugar, cravings only grow stronger and stronger. You can thank your pancreas for this effect – large quantities of sugar triggers it to produce high levels of insulin, which drives those hard-to-resist cravings.
5. Brain Fog. You know the feeling – after a delicious bowl of pasta or a healthy serving of ice cream, you suddenly have trouble focusing. This sudden lack of clarity is another result of that sudden spike and drop we experience when consuming large amounts of sugar. This effect can be exacerbated with the presence of certain intolerances or allergies.
6. Heartache. Perhaps the most serious side effect of too much sugar is an increased risk of heart disease. Countless studies have illustrated a serious link between a regular, increased sugar intake and dying from heart disease. The scariest part? This damage even happens to men and women who spend plenty of time in the gym. There’s no avoiding the damage that too much sugar can cause.
So while a square of chocolate or a piece of birthday cake are essential parts of life, remember that according to the American Heart Association (AHA), women should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar in one day.
If you have experienced any addition side effects from too much sugar, please share in the comments below.
If you’re looking to drop a few pounds, then this post is for you: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR WILLPOWER TO LOSE WEIGHT.