Sugar, most of us have a love-hate relationship with it. We love our sweets and at the same time it does not do much good for our health. What does sugar do to you? How does it affect your health? By becoming aware of this, you can make better choices in the future.
The maximum amount of sugar per day is 24 grams for women and 32 grams for men. Most of us eat a lot more, on average we eat three times (!) more sugar than this maximum.
Sugar also occurs naturally in foods, such as fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. But because these foods also contain fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, the sugars are digested more slowly and energy is gradually released to our body and cells. When you eat fast carbohydrates, or highly processed products, your body gets a huge energy boost, but this is only for a short time. Your blood sugar level shoots up, making you hungry again sooner.
How do you know you are addicted? These are signs that you may be addicted to sugar:
Feeling sluggish or tired regularly.
Eating sweets or carbohydrates, even when you are not hungry.
Getting colds or coughs often.
Always feeling hungry.
You often daydream about unhealthy food.
Having extreme mood swings regularly.
You get a headache or become restless when you have not had your daily sugar fix.
You use sugar to ease your emotional ups and downs.
Consequences of eating too much sugar
Eating sugar every now and then is not a disaster, but when you consume large amounts of sugar for a long time, inflammation can develop in your body and that inflammation can lead to (worsening) chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestine). and insulin resistance. Too much sugar can also overload the liver which can lead to fatty liver disease, and many more conditions are linked to eating too much sugar.
The taste of sugar causes your body to release endorphins, giving us a natural high. Research into the effects of sugar on the brain also shows a similarity with drug addiction. Sugar has even been linked to the ability to remember or learn new information. Our focus, attention and the way our brain functions can all be affected by the amount of sugar we eat. Seductive, addictive but certainly not without consequences!
We ingest more sugar than we think, because we often eat it without realizing it. It is used in many foods that we don't even know about. Sugar is also given many different names on labels, which is why it is important that we learn to read labels and understand the foods we put into our bodies. It's important to know what ingredients are in the products you buy, even if you don't like cooking or if food doesn't interest you very much, this way you take responsibility for your own health! Be aware of the food you put into your body and the possible consequences. Tip: make sure your diet consists of at least 70 percent natural products, instead of processed food and eat as little as possible from packages!