The average person consumes anywhere from 3 to 5 times the maximum amount of sugar that health experts recommend per day—and it’s disastrous for their health. Sugar is one of the leading causes behind a host of rising health problems in the modern world, and yet it seems like we can’t escape the sticky, sweet sugar that is found in everything from candy to processed foods. If you want to know how much damage all that sugar is doing to your body, read on to find out the most significant negative impacts that consuming even just a few teaspoons of sugar a day will have on your health.
Sugar increases your risk of developing diabetes
Consuming sugar causes your blood sugar levels to spike and fall dramatically, which causes everything from fatigue to mood swings and dizziness. Eventually, the constant glucose swings caused by excess sugar consumption can lead to a higher risk for developing diabetes.
Sugar causes cavities and promotes poor oral health
Another serious concern caused by sugar consumption is cavities, gingivitis and overall poor oral and dental health. Sugar allows for cavity-causing bacteria to thrive on your teeth, resulting in a higher amount of cavities, tooth decay, and increased chances that you need dental work such as root canals, extractions, fillings and more. Sugar can also cause gingivitis, which is more than just bleeding gums: gingivitis increases your chances of developing heart disease.
Sugar increases your risk of cancer
Excess sugar consumption has been shown in some studies to increase your risk of developing certain cancers. Added sugars are a particular culprit in a higher risk for cancer; added sugars are frequently found in processed foods, frozen foods, as well as more common sugary food items like candy and sweets. You can help reduce your risk of developing cancer by cutting down on those additives which contribute to a higher cancer risk, including added sugar.
Sugar increases your stress levels
Despite the popular conception that sugar makes you happy, sugar actually increases the stress levels in your body. When you eat something sugary, your blood sugar levels rise. When they crash, your body’s stress hormones begin compensating for the crash in your blood sugar levels by releasing stress hormones into your blood stream. These added stress hormones can make you anxious, irritable, and all around stressed-out.
It can be hard to cut down on your sugar consumption, especially when you consider the fact that sugar is found everywhere in the modern diet. Even foods that you would not expect to have added sugars—say, a frozen package of stir fry vegetables—may have sugar added as a flavoring agent and preservative. You need to carefully monitor your sugar intake by avoiding adding sugar to your own meals and carefully reading nutrition labels anytime you buy processed food or eat out at restaurants. Your body—and your teeth—will definitely thank you.