Most of us know that eating too much sugar is not good for your health, but you may not know all the places where sugar hides. If you eat cereal for breakfast, use salad dressing, or dip your french fries in ketchup, you are probably consuming more sugar than you realize. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than six
teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and no more than ten teaspoons per day for men. The Center for Disease Control reports that the average American eats between 13 and 20 teaspoons a day. Here are some good reasons to get your sugar intake under control.
Lower Blood Pressure
If you eat a lot of added sugar, there is a good chance that you are at more risk for obesity. Gaining weight can cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure causes your heart and arteries to work harder, which can cause overall damage to your circulatory system. This can eventually lead to stroke, heart disease, heart attacks, artery disease and kidney damage.
Less Risk for Diabetes
High sugar intake in any form can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. One of the ways that people consume a lot of added sugar is by drinking sodas and other sugary drinks. If you drink at least one or two sodas every day, you may be increasing your risk
for type 2 diabetes by 26%. Excess sugar intake causes high insulin resistance, which means fructose, glucose, and other forms of sugar cannot get into your cells and get trapped in your bloodstream. High blood sugar can lead to pre-diabetes and possibly the threat of actual diabetes.
Increased Energy Levels
We like to think that eating sugary foods will make us hyper and give us more energy. In actuality, sugar can give you a short burst of energy, but you will crash shortly after the sugar rush wears off.
Also, studies show that added sugars in your diet decrease the activity of the cells that regulate energy and metabolism. These cells are called orexin cells, and when they get turned off, you become sluggish and sleepy. Most of us are too busy to be slowed down, so it’s best to eat foods that give you sustained energy like whole grains and complex carbohydrates.
By reducing your sugar intake, you can increase your general health, energy levels, and possibly avoid serious diseases. You can still eat foods with natural sugars like fruits and vegetables, but it’s best to cut out those foods full of processed sugars. Your body will thank you!
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