That chocolate cupcake has been calling your name all afternoon. Yes, it’s time for your sugar break before you hit “the work wall”, and you know what? It’s fine. There is, believe it or not, an allotted amount of sugar your body can consume each day, but the problem is we love excess, don’t we?
We’re all guilty of eating that late night candy bar or ten gallons of sweet tea. Whatever your most favorite way to consume it, the point is you consume it, and a lot of it. Do you know what this magical fairy dust we call sugar actually does to our bodies? It's not great, especially because of how our bodies respond to it.
Check out these 5 crazy things sugar can do to your body.
1. Gives You Fat Organs
You know what fructose is right? It’s the element within that ordinary table sugar that we heap on top of our Cheerios, and it’s found in “added sugars”. So, fructose triggers your liver to store fat more efficiently, and in weird places. Over time, a diet high in fructose could lead to fat building up around your liver, a precursor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, something rarely seen before 1980. Unless, you want to say you could fit into those pants before you had a fat liver, skip that daily sweet tea run.
2. Effects Your Happiness
Ever heard someone say they’re an “emotional eater”, well usually it involves lots of sugar and sweet, yummy treats. Reaching for sugar to feel better or forget something is actually creating the opposite effect within our body, and most people don’t even know it. Public Health Journal did a study involving nearly 9,000 people to try and discover a link between depression and sugar or fast food. After six years, the junk food junkies faced a nearly 40% greater risk of developing depression. Looks like the brain releases lower levels of feel-good dopamine when competing with those yummy white crystals. Not so yummy anymore, eh?
3. Creates A Zombie Out Of You
You know that wall we talked about? Well, when you grab a chocolate candy bar and get that brief jolt of energy, you feel like you’ve made the right choice like you can conquer the world. Nope! Soon that jolt is replaced by ceaseless fatigue. Science says it takes just 30 minutes or less to go from a sugar rush to a full-on sugar crash. This just sets you up to want more sugar—a vicious cycle. Let’s add insult to injury, shall we? Sugar also triggers the release of serotonin, a sleep regulator. Ugh! Goodbye energy, hello walking dead!
4. Turns You into a Junkie
Anytime sugar is ingested, it sets off a release of chemicals to the brain’s pleasure center, much like a street drug. And as they do with street drugs, people get addicted, meaning they need more sugar for a feel-good "fix." A study involving rats have shown that when sugar is taken away they experience the same symptoms any drug addict would once they’re cut off from their “high”. Symptoms like chattering teeth, shakes, and anxiety, are chief among them. You may be treading dangerous ground, so watch your stash.
5. Trashes Your Face
Let’s do a little math. When you ADD sugar into your bloodstream, PLUS the proteins that are already there, you’re creating a new molecule called AGEs. This harmful new creation stands for “Advanced Glycation End Products” and they are like invaders who attack other proteins, causing damage. Some of these common proteins under attack make up the collagen in your skin which is what keeps your skin firm and elastic. Go ahead and drink that super smoothie with the added sugar, it’ll just give you dry, brittle protein fibers that lead to wrinkles and saggy skin, no biggie. As if that wasn’t bad enough, AGEs promote the growth of fragile collagen and deactivate your body's natural antioxidant enzymes. Basically, this opens the door to the sun creating even more of a skin problem. Good luck!
Bottom line. Sugar will flat out do you wrong, so beware of its effects on you and your health. Sure there are absolutely times when we think, hey, chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. So chocolate is salad. Or maybe we find ourselves screaming into our pillow at night, "I ain't quittin' you!"
It's tough. No one is saying it's not. What we are saying is that we want to educate you, motivate you, and arm you with the right resources so you can give it your best shot.
At LifeXist, our certified team of nutritionists and health specialists are happy to talk to you about any questions you have, especially concerning weight loss and nutrition.