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6 Signs That You Need to Cut Back on Sugar

Dr. Nosheen Abbas

2 min read

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Sugar is naturally found in all foods that have carbs, such as dairy, grain, vegetables and fruits. Eating whole foods that contain naturally occurring sugar is not hazardous to health. In addition to sugar, plant-based foods are also high in essential minerals, antioxidants, and fiber; and dairy food are a good source of calcium and protein. Since these foods are broken down slowly by your digestive system, the sugar in them provides a steady supply of energy.

A high intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains may also reduce the risk of diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes. However, excess consumption of added sugar can have a negative impact on your health. Some sources of added sugar include soft drinks, cereals, flavored yogurt, fruit drinks, cakes, cookies, candies, and other processed foods. Even items such as bread, soups, and ketchup contain sugar. As a result, we often end up consuming more sugar than we should and this may lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues. Here are some signs that you need to reduce your intake of sugar:

1- Unstable Energy Levels

If you experience changing energy levels and mood, it could be because you are eating more empty calories than wholesome foods such as lean protein, whole grains, dairy, vegetables, and fruits. Try having a protein-rich breakfast instead of reaching for sugar-laden foods such as cereal, croissant, and muffins.

2- You Are Breaking Out

Excess consumption is also bad for your skin. Several studies have shown a connection between the severity of acne and a high-sugar diet. Try snacking on fruits when you crave something sweet.

3- Bloating

Excess consumption of sugar slows down your metabolic system and increases water retention. This often results in bloating.

4- You Look Old For Your Age

The sugar in your bloodstream binds itself to lipids or proteins to form molecules known as ‘advanced glycation end products’ or AGEs. These molecules are one of the culprits behind premature aging. AGEs may damage skin proteins and they can also be responsible for the breakdown of elastin and collagen. This leads to fine lines and wrinkles.

5- You Are Always Parched

When there is too much sugar in your bloodstream for your kidneys to deal with, it is urinated. This makes you urinate more than usual and as a result, you feel dehydrated and thirsty. This becomes a vicious cycle.

6- You Don’t Sleep Well

Excess consumption of sugar can also lead to hormonal balance and impact your sleeping patterns. High intake of sugar throughout the day may make it difficult to fall asleep at night.

7- Your Cholesterol Is Out Of Control

Excess sugar contributes to inflammation within artery walls and negatively impacts cholesterol and triglyceride levels (both of which are risk factors for heart disease). One 2014 study shoes that a diet high in sugar may raise your risk of dying of heart disease, no matter your weight and exercise levels.

8- You See Your Dentist Far Too Often

You’ve probably heard the ‘sugar rots your teeth’ argument (a dozen times) before. But get this: Research suggests sugar may truly be the number-one driver of tooth decay. One study notes that about 92 percent of U.S. adults experience tooth decay, while just two percent of Nigerians—who consume an average of two grams of sugar per day—deal with the issue.

9- You’re Anxious Or Depressed

Managing your mental health isn’t as simple as cutting back on sugar, but science suggests the sweet stuff does play a role. For example, one 2017 study found that men who ate the most sugar had a 23 percent higher risk of suffering from mental disorders.

People often use foods, including those that have added sugars, to self-medicate or make themselves feel better when something isn’t going well for them. Similar to drugs and alcohol, sugar activates areas of the brain associated with reward and can lead to changes in the brain that make us want to eat more sugar, and can cause a vicious cycle of overeating, feeling depressed, and overeating.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, consult your doctor about testing your blood sugar levels. You can find and book an appointment with top dietitians in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Nosheen Abbas - Author Dr. Nosheen Abbas is a Dietitian and Nutritionist. Dr. Nosheen Abbas is among the Best Dietitians in Islamabad. She has a MBBS, MSPH and SNHS Dip. (Holistic Nutrition) UK degree along with an experience of 13 years.
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