What happens when we eat too much sugar?

Do you have a sugar addiction?

We all know that sugar is bad for us. We point our fingers at our growing waists, thighs and bottoms and blame sugar. Less well known, are the adverse effects on our skin, brain, kidneys, joints and even our genitals.

In the west we eat far too much sugar.  The highly refined sugar that causes most concern is hidden in the ready meals and convenience foods we eat on a daily basis. Eat too much of it, (that’s over 24g daily for women and over 36g daily for men) and it starts to cause problems throughout your system.

Here is what happens when you eat too much sugar

Sugar Prevention Infographic

Brain

Eating sugar causes a vicious cycle of cravings by releasing Dopamine making you feel good then it drops dramatically meaning you have more to make yourself feel good again.

  • It impairs your memory and learning skills.
  • It may cause or contribute to depression and anxiety.
  • It’s a risk factor for age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

Heart

Sugar can damage the tissue in your heart and;

  • cause stress on your heart.
  • increase blood pressure.
  • increase the risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Skin

Sugar damages collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. Eating too much sugar can make your skin;

  • look and feel less supple.
  • more wrinkled.

Kidneys

Kidneys are our body’s filtration system and when it is overloaded by sugar it can stop this process from happening as effectively.

  • Sugar can lead to kidney failure through high blood sugar levels and diabetes.
  • If you have a Urinary tract infection, sugar is only going to make the pain worse.
  • Sugar can damage your kidneys making it harder for them to do their job, meaning not all the toxins are being released through waste.

Joints

  • Sugar encourages inflammation on your joints causing pain.
  • High sugar diets are linked to Arthritis and osteoporosis.
  • Inflammation, caused by sugar, in your joints can lead to reduced mobility.
  • High blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes which will increase weight gain and sore joints.

Genitals

  • Can cause erectile disfunction in men.
  • Can cause lack of sex drive in women.
  • Increases risk of yeast infections ( ie. Thrush)
  • Sugar can reduce blood flow to your genitals making sex less enjoyable.

Its not all bad news, don’t worry!
There are many things you can do to reduce the effects sugar has on your body. Here are some easy tips to try and minimize your sugar intake.

  • Rice
    • switch from white rice to brown or wild
  • Potatoes
    • replace sweet potatoes for white
  • Water
    • drink filtered water and infuse it with fruit such as lemon or lime.
  • Sweets
    • swap sweets for nuts or chopped up fruit
  • Dips
    • try mashed avocado as a dip instead of salsa.

Source for infographic.