Sugar is delicious. Anyone who denies that is lying. But because life is unfair, sugar, especially in copious amounts, is really bad for your health. In fact, once you learn about all the ways sugar impacts your body, it’s difficult to look at it the same way (despite knowing how heavenly it tastes).
So how do you know if you’re eating too much? Here are eight red flags your body is sending you that it’s time to cut back on the sweet stuff.
- Frequent colds & flu
If you find yourself falling ill more often than you used to, it could be due to having excessive sugar in your diet.
If every virus that goes around seems to find you and make you sick, it could be due to your penchant for sugary treats. Consumption of too much sugar can weaken your immune system, making your body’s natural ability to fight off colds, flu viruses, and even chronic disease weaker than it would be if you avoided foods with added sugars.
- Sugar/Carb Cravings
If you find yourself craving the sweet flavor of sugary snacks on a daily basis, chances are you’ve become a sugar addict.
Sugar consumption can create a chain reaction of sugar cravings because it is so sweetly addictive. If you hear the carbs calling your name with every move you make, you could be in the throes of a deep sugar addiction.
- Lack of energy and tiredness
If you are constantly feeling tired and you lack energy, you are probably consuming too much sugar. Foods high in sugar temporarily boost the energy, and afterwards, you are experiencing a crash, and you remain tired throughout the day.
- Nothing tastes as sweet as it used to.
“Eating too much sugar basically bombards your taste buds,” Alpert says. “This sugar overkill causes your taste bud sugar tolerance to go up, so you need more and more sugar to satisfy that sweet craving.” When your taste buds need lots of sugar to feel like something is sweet enough, it can be tough to lower your base level. However, it you cut back and suffer through it in the beginning, you’ll eventually lower your tolerance again and be content with minimal sugar. You might even start to feel like things are too sweet for you and—gasp!—be happier consuming sugar in moderation.
- Anxiety or depression
Just as eating a lot of sugar can make your body physically crash, it can make you emotionally crash, as well.
Once sugar’s energy-boosting effects have worn off, the physical fatigue of the “sugar crash” may be accompanied by psychological fatigue. Feelings associated with depression, such as lethargy, sadness, and social withdrawal, may be experienced by sugar addicts.
Feelings of anxiety, such as nervousness, feelings of impending doom, and constant worry, may also be a sign that your sugary diet needs adjustment.
If you suffer from anxiety or depression, you can try essential oils for anxiety and depression and you can also try these 4 natural treatments for depression.
- Weight Gain
Sugar is free of fiber and protein, so it does not lead to a feeling of satiety, and the more sugar we consume, the more calories we get. Sugar triggers the release of insulin which carries the sugar to the body organs in order to be used for energy.
Hence, the excessive intake of sugar sends a message to the body to produce more insulin, which causes insulin resistance over time. In that case, the body is not able to react to the normal amounts of insulin, and cannot use sugar as needed.
Insulin resistance is linked to weight gain and obesity, as well as diabetes, as the pancreas becomes overwhelmed.
- Skin and feet problems (including dark circles under your eyes)
Sugar has an inflammatory effect on the body when it is eaten, so it can also contribute to inflammatory skin problems.
If you find yourself suffering from acne, rosacea, eczema, or even just excessive oiliness or dryness, sugar could be to blame. Some people find that cutting sugar out of their diets greatly improves their skin problems (not to mention their overall health).
According to Dr. Sherri Greene, a podiatrist in New York City, sugar could also have an inflammatory effect on your feet. This inflammation could appear in your foot as plantar fasciitis, which causes pain in the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, in your heel, or elsewhere in your foot.
I already mentioned in the past that too much sugar consumption can also cause adrenal fatigue and there are people who believe that one of the signs of adrenal fatigue is dark circles under the eyes.