Surprising Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar & How To Fix It

Problem: You’re Constantly Battling Brain Fog Our bodies use glucose for energy, and the brain uses around 20 percent more than any other organ. As important… Aisha Abdullah - March 29, 2023

Problem: You’re Constantly Battling Brain Fog

Our bodies use glucose for energy, and the brain uses around 20 percent more than any other organ. As important as glucose is for brain function, it’s still possible to have too much of a good thing. Most people need far less sugar in their diet than they consume. When you eat too much sugar and cause a spike in blood sugar, you may end up with brain fog.

Brain fog is an unofficial way of describing a feeling of struggling to focus and think clearly. Many things cause brain fog, including not getting enough sleep, mild dehydration, certain medications, and sugar crashes. In addition, the fluctuations in glucose levels that result from eating sugar can negatively impact your cognition. Managing your blood sugar levels by avoiding added sugars and simple carbohydrates may help you avoid brain fog.


Fix: Cut Added Sugar For Your Brain’s Health

By now, it should be clear that sugar has a profound, mind-altering impact on the brain. Sugar consumption activates the brain’s reward center and fuels cravings in a similar way as drugs and alcohol. It dampens the effect of hunger-suppressing hormones in the brain. It affects levels of important brain molecules and may be linked to mental health conditions. And, as people who have eliminated sugar from their diet will tell you, quitting sugar can actually cause withdrawal.

Sugar withdrawal can be uncomfortable, but the benefits to your physical and mental health are worth it. Some symptoms of sugar withdrawal include headache, irritability, and intense cravings. These symptoms pass quickly. Reducing sugar gradually will make the process easier and give your brain a break from the harmful effects of excessive sugar.


Problem: You Feel Gassy and Bloated

Excessive sugar is no friend to the gut. High sugar consumption is associated with increased absorption of water in the intestines, which can cause bloating. Sugar in the gut can also ferment, causing gas to build up in the intestines. Fermented sugar is a perfect food source for “bad” bacteria in the gut microbiome. The microbiome is a delicate balance of microorganisms, including trillions of bacteria, in our gut that keep us healthy.

Anything that throws the microbiome off balance can cause unfortunate health consequences. Some research suggests that processed foods high in sugar and fat can affect the gut microbiome’s composition. One study found that fructose disrupts the mice’s microbiome. Another found similar results in rats. In both cases, too much sugar changed the balance of good and bad gut bacteria. But research in humans is limited.


Fix: Think Twice Before Swapping Sugar for Artificial Sweeteners

Before you reach for artificial sweeteners as a healthier alternative to sugar, you should know that these products can cause some of the same gastrointestinal issues as added sugar. Sugar alcohols like sorbitol are not easily absorbed into the intestines, causing gas and bloatingTere’se’s also evidence that popular non-caloric artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose can disrupt the gut microbiome in mice. In humans, this can result in gas, bloating, and other more serious intestinal issues. As with sugar, the consumption of artificial sweeteners is best in moderation.


Problem: Your Skin is Aging Prematurely

If you’re noticing more wrinkles and other signs of aging earlier than you expected, your diet might be to blame. Excess sugar intake causes the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGES are proteins involved in the formation of collagen, the protein that builds our skin and muscles. As you age, collagen production decreases, resulting in skin sagging and wrinkles.

Research suggests that diets high in sugar increase the number of AGEs in the body, which may speed up the skin aging process. Sugar is also known to damage elastin, another protein important for keeping skin firm and youthful. In addition to the effects on aging, excess sugar consumption can cause inflammation and disrupt gut bacteria, which can cause skin conditions like eczema to flare up.


Fix: Opt For More Skin-Friendly Foods

Limiting the added sugar in your diet may help you reduce AGEs and aging. Bread with no added sugar, low-sugar foods, and whole foods are good dietary choices to promote healthy skin aging. These are some best things you can eat or drink for your skin.

  • Water keeps your skin bright and moisturized. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with skin-healthy nutrients like vitamins C and A. Why you’re eating for your skin, ycan’tn’t do better than citrus, berries, broccoli, carrots, and leafy greens.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid promotes skin health by reducing inflammation and damage. Although fatty fish like tuna and mackerel are the best sources, the nutrient can also be found in nuts, seeds, and plant oils.
  • Soy and soy products contain estrogen, which can promote skin health after menopause.

Problem: Your Joints Are Stiff and Sore

Research suggests that sugar is very bad for your joints. Sugar triggers inflammation, which can cause soreness and stiffness of injured, aging, or arthritic joints. As with aging skin, sugar increases the age-promoting AGEs in joint tissue. This speeds up the joint aging process and makes them more vulnerable to damage. Sugar also plays a role in muscle contractions. High-sugar diets are associated with decreased regulation of muscle relaxation, which can lead to muscle spasms and nerve damage. Muscles help support and protect joints. Joints are more susceptible to injury if the muscles supporting them are damaged or not functioning properly.


Fix: Choose Foods That Reduce Inflammation

One of the biggest downsides of sugar consumption is that it causes inflammation, which is associated with a host of chronic diseases. Inflammation can also worsen existing diseases and symptoms like joint pain. Diets low in sugar can help reduce inflammation and promote overall health. A low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet includes:

  • Fatty fish like salmon and sardines
  • Green leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli
  • Fresh fruit, including berries and citrus
  • Nuts, seeds and beans
  • Plant oils like olive and perilla oil
  • High-fiber foods like whole grains and legumes

Additionally, anti-inflammatory diets should limit alcohol, an often-forgotten sugar source. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can cause a spike in blood sugar and inflammation.


Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Everyday Health – 12 Potential Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Healthy Women – 9 Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Medical News Today – Eating too much sugar: Effects and symptoms

Harpers Bazaar – 7 Signs You’re eating too much sugar

Self – 8 You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Health Shots – Are you eating too much sugar? Here are 8 tell-tale signs to look out for

Healthier Steps – Warning Signs That You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Insider – 9 secret signs you’re eating way too much sugar