Now that you’ve ended the ice-cream-after-dinner ritual, there’s no way you could be eating too much sugar.
Don’t get ahead of yourself. While axing sugar Casanovas like candy and cake is a healthy step towards a better diet, there are lots of foods in which sugar can hide, like in that ‘healthy’ salad dressing, fruit juices, or ‘all-natural’ protein bars.
The fact is, people are eating too much sugar. The average American consumes 17 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is almost double the most recent dietary guidelines recommend. Added sugars should make up no more than 10 percent of your daily calories.
Eating too much sugar is a major health issue, adding calories to your diet but adding no essential nutrients.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it may be a sign you’re eating too much sugar.
You’re experiencing digestive issues and irregular bowel movements
Research suggests that sugar may decrease the variety of healthy bacteria in your gut in as little as a week, slowing down your digestive system.
“Too much white sugar won’t help you if you’re trying to promote healthy bacteria in your system,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN. Experts suggest eating more foods that are naturally high in fiber, as people eating lots of sugar are generally lacking in the nutrient.
You’re breaking out around your mouth and chin
In theory, it’s logical: Sugar increases hormone production – androgens in particular – that are associated with inflammatory hormonal acne, which tends to appear around the jawline and mouth, says Bruce Robinson, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
“If you’re struggling with breakouts and don’t know why, it can be helpful to cut out added sugars in your diet.”
Related: This is how sugar affects your skin
You’re moody and irritable
Some studies link sugars to mood disorders like depression, sugars can toy with the brain’s neurotransmitters that regulate mood.
“Because we know carbs affect neurotransmitters, it only follows that when you upset your carb balance by having so many entering your body at an unnatural rate it might make you feel better at first. But what goes up comes down, and they may make you feel worse in the long run,” a registered dietician explains.
In other words: You’ll cranky and sluggish.
Zeitlin adds that the best way to stabilize your blood sugar and mood is to eat more foods that take longer to digest – think whole grains, fiber, and protein.
Photo credit: Alexander Weickart/Shutterstock.com; Fascinadora/Shutterstock.com