Yeah it's tasty & tempting, but as I'm sure you've heard before, too much sugar is bad for your health. But do you know what it can do?
There are sugars present naturally in whole foods like fruit, veggies, dairy & grains that break down more slowly into carbohydrates to provide fuel for your body - and they are good.
But then there are the added sugars that you find present in packaged foods & drinks that provide the EXTRA sugar that your body doesn't need, which can be very bad. So what does your body do with the energy from the extra sugar you consume? It stores it as fat for later. Boo.
It is recommended that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, that's around 25 grams. To put that into perspective, one can of soft drink contains an average of 10 teaspoons of sugar...and it has ZERO nutritional value, making it a pretty poor choice unless you're looking for a sugar high.
Do you want to know how can too much sugar harm your body?
Sugar can cause Weight Gain - additional calories from sodas & juices do little to relive your hunger & provide excess energy that is then stored as fat.
Sugar can increase your risk of Heart Disease - High sugar diets have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including Heart Disease. Evidence suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to inflamation, high triglycerides (the bad fat in your blood stream), high blood sugar & high blood pressure levels - which are all factors for Heart Disease. Sugary drinks can boost your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Sugar can promote Poor Sleep - In a recent study it was shown that the people who ate the most sugar in their diet throughout the day experience more arousal - intrusions that pull you out of deep sleep without actually awakening you - than those who ate less sweet foods. Sleep arousal can make you feel chronically wiped out, since they pull you back into a lighter, less restorative stage of sleep.
Sugar may increase your risk of depression - While a healthy diet can improve your mood it has been shown that a diet high in sugar & processed foods may increase our chances of developing depression. Researchers believe that blood sugar swings & inflammation may be the reasons for the detrimental impact on Mental Health. One study in over 69 000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intake.
Sugar may accelerate the Skin Ageing Process - Wrinkles are a natural sign of ageing which appear eventually regardless of your health. However, poor food choice can worsen the appearance of wrinkles & speed the skin ageing process. A diet high in refined carbs & sugars leads to the production of AGEs (Advanced Glycation Endproducts) which have been shown to play a key role in the skin aging process, causing skin to age prematurely.
The good news is that you can reduce your risk right now by reducing your sugar intake. Start with these easy swaps:
If you start with small changes to reduce the amount of sugar you consume, you will notice that you don't feel like you 'need' as much to get a 'sweet hit', which will make it easier & easier to cut down in other ways.
Reducing your sugar intake will benefit your overall health & will reduce your risk of Heart Disease - now that's a BIG win for a small sacrifice, don't you think?