If you’re like most teenagers, chances are you eat a ton of sugar even if you know that it’s bad for you. If you’re among the many who overdo it, perhaps it’s time to stop now.
According to statistics, Americans consume about 20 tablespoons of sugar a day. This is a high amount when compared to the recommended six tablespoons for women and nine for men. However, it is important to keep in mind that this does not include natural sugar that comes from healthy foods like milk and fruits.
The main sources of sugar that teens consume the most are sugary drinks, baked goods, sweetened dairy and baked goods. However, sugar can also be found in bread, tomato sauce, and even those protein bars you thought were healthy.
To make your diet even more complicated, sugar can be hard to find on nutrition labels as they can be found under a variety of names that includes corn syrup, palm sugar, agave nectar, sucrose, and cane juice. But no matter what the name is, sugar is sugar.
Here are 5 ways sugar can affect your body.
Sugar Makes You Crave
Eating high amounts of sugar will cause your brain to feel a sudden crave, no matter what time of the day it is. This is because sugar releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical that leaves you to want candy over a piece of fruit. While foods like fruits and vegetables don’t cause the brain to release dopamine as much as sugar does. That is why your brain starts to crave more sugar just to repeat the same feelings of pleasure all over again.
Sugar Heightens Your Energy
Having a cookie or a bowl of ice cream can give you a quick release of energy by raising your levels of blood sugar fast. However, your levels will start to drop as your cells begin to absorb the sugar. This will leave you feeling jittery and anxious, otherwise known as a sugar crash. If you start to reach for your favorite candy bar often, sugar will eventually affect your mood and even increase the risk of depression.
Sugar Worsens Joint Paint
Even if you might be still young, consuming high amounts of sugar, in the long run, will worsen future point in the joints. This is because of the inflammation that sugar causes in the body. Studies also show that consuming large about of sugar will increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Sugar Ages the Skin Faster
Sugar attaches to proteins in the bloodstream which creates the molecules called AGES. The molecules work to age your skin and damage the quality of elastin and collagen in the skin. This means the fibers that keep your skin young and firm will, later on, result in saggy, wrinkled skin.
Sugar Will Make You Gain Weight
While there is not much surprise to this one, research shows that those who drink high-sugared beverages tend to weigh more than those who don’t. They are also put at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How much sugar do you consume on a daily basis? Comment below and share your thoughts with us!