The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005, recommend eating 8 teaspoons of sugar daily as a discretionary calorie allowance, which means that as long as you have eaten nutrient-rich foods from the other food groups, you can eat this sugar. Any more than that can result in tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. However, there are other, less obvious, side effects to eating too much sugar.
Blood Sugar Level Fluctuations
PBS Teachers state that a 12-ounce can of cola contains 9 teaspoons and a can of orange soda contains 12. Eating a lot of sugar -- such as that in a can of cola -- causes your blood sugar to rise quickly; in turn causing an insulin burst that results in your liver turning the excess sugar into fats. The insulin lingers in our blood, causing a craving for yet more sugar. The fluctuating blood sugar levels result in fatigue, exhaustion, headaches, migraines and mood swings.
According to Ask Dr. Sears, too much sugar can "reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent." Sugar also feeds the bacteria and yeast in our blood stream, resulting in them multiplying. This causes an imbalance in our blood, thus weakening or suppressing our immune system. It starts less than 30 minutes after ingestion and may carry on for up to five hours afterward.
Your body's ability to control sugar levels can decrease. Chromium is an important nutrient, and as sugar does not provide any nutrients, it could result on your supplies depleting. Chromium also is important for brain function and other body processes.
Release of Stress Hormones
The body releases the adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine to help bring sugar levels back under control. These are stress hormones and result in feelings of irritability and anxiety.
Glycation can occur. This is a process where part of the sugar we consume sticks to the protein in our body, resulting in our internal organs and our skin losing elasticity. This, in turn, hastens the signs of aging.
- Photo Credit sugar image by Randy McKown from Fotolia.com
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