Healthy & Fitness Article
In the short-term, eating too much sugar may contribute to acne, weight gain, and tiredness. In the long-term, too much sugar increases the risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people in the United States consume too much added sugar. Added sugars are sugars that manufacturers add to food to sweeten them.
In this article, we look at how much added sugar a person should consume, the symptoms and impact of eating too much sugar, and how someone can reduce their sugar intake.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010-2015, on average, Americans consume 17 teaspoons (tsp) of added sugar each day. This adds up to 270 calories.
However, the guidelines advise that people limit added sugars to less than 10% of their daily calorie intake. For a daily intake of 2,000 calories, added sugar should account for fewer than 200 calories.
However, in 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised that people eat half this amount, with no more than 5% of their daily calories coming from added sugar. For a diet of 2,000 calories per day, this would amount to 100 calories, or 6 tsp, at the most.
Some people experience the following symptoms after consuming sugar:
Consuming too much sugar can also contribute to long-term health problems.
Sugar feeds bacteria that live in the mouth. When bacteria digest the sugar, they create acid as a waste product. This acid can erode tooth enamel, leading to holes or cavities in the teeth.
People who frequently eat sugary foods, particularly in between mealtimes as snacks or in sweetened drinks, are more likely to develop tooth decay, according to Action on Sugar, part of the Wolfson Institute in Preventive Medicine in the United Kingdom.
A 2018 study of university students in China showed that those who drank sweetened drinks seven times per week or more were more likely to develop moderate or severe acne.
Additionally, a 2019 study suggests that lowering sugar consumption may decrease insulin-like growth factors, androgens, and sebum, all of which may contribute to acne.
Weight gain and obesity
Sugar can affect the hormones in the body that control a person’s weight. The hormone leptin tells the brain a person has had enough to eat. However, according to a 2008 animal study, a diet high in sugar may cause leptin resistance.
This may mean, that over time, a high sugar diet prevents the brain from knowing when a person has eaten enough. However, researchers have yet to test this in humans.
Diabetes and insulin resistance
A 2013 article in PLOS ONE, indicated that high sugar levels in the diet might cause type 2 diabetes over time.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) add that other risk factors, such as obesity and insulin resistance, can also lead to type 2 diabetes.
A large prospective study in 2014
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