Let’s be honest, we all love a sweet treat. In the UK, women are advised to have 90g of sugar a day (not including any natural sugars that are found in fruit and veg etc…), and men 120g per day. That isn’t a huge amount, and we dramatically eat a lot more than the recommended allowance. So what does that do to our body?
Your brain’s reaction to sugar, is to release a huge surge of dopamine, a chemical that gives you that “feel good” feeling that is so addictive, which will explain why you’ll want another treat, and another treat and another treat.
Your Mum was right, chocolate and sweets do rot your teeth. The bacteria that causes cavities love to eat sugar that is lingering in between your teeth after you’ve eaten that sweet treat!
Sugar attaches itself to proteins in your bloodstream and creates molecules that are harmful, called “AGE’s” (advanced glycation end) which does exactly what it sounds like. It ages your skin very fast. They attack the elastin in your skin, and damages the collagen which is what keeps you looking young and firm.
Eating huge amounts of added sugar causes your liver to become resistant to insulin – the hormone that helps turn sugar into energy in your bloodstream. This results in your blood sugar levels fluctuating and also leads to type 2 diabetes.
The odd cookie can give you a quick burst of energy and raises your blood sugar fast, when your sugar levels drop, your cells absorb the sugar and that’s when you experience the sugar crash that leaves you feeling a bit dull. However, if you eat far too much sugar, your crashes can cause a lot more headaches for you. Studies show a high sugar intake is a leading cause of depression.
Too much sugar affects your arteries. It causes their walls to grow a lot faster, to get tense and adds stress to your heart and damages it over time. This leads to heart attacks, and heart disease.
This won’t be news to you, but the more sugar you eat, the more you are going to weigh. Take into account the recommended guidelines, have a look at what you can swap your packet of crisps out for, and see if you can keep yourself from reaching for that biscuit tin.