Every time you go to the doctor or dentist, you’re warned about consuming too much sugar. Whether you have a weakness for soda or are addicted to peanut butter, added sugar is everywhere, even in the most unexpected places.
It's challenging to avoid added sugar altogether. At some point, you reach for the convenience of fast, processed foods that typically contain more sugar than anyone needs in a day.
And while you’re told that excessive sugar is wrong, you aren’t always told why. So why is too much sugar bad for you?
The Negative Effects of Too Much Sugar
Going for sugary snacks and drinks can be hard on the body, and here are some of the main reasons why cutting back on sugar should be a priority.
1. Sugar Makes You Gain Weight
Sugar is directly linked with fat gain and obesity. Added sugar in everything from energy drinks to salad dressing is part of the problem. Sugar isn't filling, and the more you consume it, the more you crave it. It can cause you to overeat and put on unwanted weight.
When the body's energy comes from sugar rather than protein, the body reacts differently. The body is more likely to break down sugar into fat stores, leading to weight gain.
2. Sugar Increases Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Sugar is linked to obesity, and obesity is linked to developing diabetes. Overeating sugar can make your body more resistant to insulin – the hormone responsible for sugar regulation – and this resistance leads your blood sugar to rise, which increases your risk for diabetes.
1. Sugar Can Increase Your Risk of Cancer
Sugar and cancer may seem completely unrelated, but studies show that too much sugar can make you more susceptible to developing certain types of cancer. Sugary diets cause inflammation in the body, which is the prime environment for cancer growth.
The relationship between sugar and cancer is proving to be complex, but if there is even a slight chance that you could save yourself from cancer by cutting down on sugar, it's a no-brainer.
2. Sugar Can Increase the Risk for Depression
Foods rich in vitamins and minerals can be mood-boosting and lift your energy levels. Sugar does the opposite. Research shows that blood sugar swings, inflammation, and brain chemistry dysregulation can negatively impact mental health.
How to Reduce Sugar Intake
Cutting back on sugar comes down to swapping out high-sugar foods for low-sugar alternatives. Ditch the soda for water, and replace salad dressing with olive oil and sugary spreads for natural nut butter. More swaps to lower sugar, or more natural sugar, like fruits, can help reduce the adverse effects of sugar.
The best way to eliminate sugar is to cook more meals at home. When you're running low on time and still want to eat well, P2 Eat Smart has nutrient-dense food options without excessive amounts of sugar that are grab-and-go simple. Shop our products to find a quick meal and snack solution for easy preparation.