Statistics say that Americans eat about 152 pounds of sugar per year or about three pounds per week on average. Unfortunately, experts say consuming so much sugar is too much and could even be harmful to your health.
So, just how bad is it? Here are some of the pitfalls of a high sugar diet that you should know about:
- Increase joint pain - By contributing to inflammation and high blood pressure levels, too much sugar can intensify pain levels throughout the body. This can become especially apparent if you struggle with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
- Cause tooth decay - Your parents weren’t lying to you about this one. Sugar consumption is a well-known factor in increasing dental problems, including cavities and other unwanted breakdowns of teeth and enamel.
- Overtax your liver, pancreas, heart, and kidneys - When forced to process excessive amounts of sugar, many of the body's important systems can struggle to keep up, causing a number of concerning and even life-threatening imbalances.
- Decrease immunity - The immune system is another body system that is heavily impacted by stress and inflammation. As these factors increase, immunity goes down, leaving you more vulnerable to illness and prone to longer recovery times.
- Trigger stress and anxiety - Because sugar causes a spike in heart rate, this can mimic anxiety and can cause some especially intense reactions for the nervous system, essentially tricking your body into thinking it’s more stressed than it actually is.
- Accelerate aging - Over time, inflammation caused by sugar may have the most damaging effect on our body’s overall aging process, causing systems to break down faster, skin to age more rapidly, and contributing to other chronic illnesses.
The Big Question: How much sugar is too much?
If all of this information has you feeling stressed, don’t fret just yet. It’s important to note that it is still okay to consume in moderation.
According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, calories from sugar should make up less than ten percent of daily calories consumed. For example, when eating 2,000 calories per day, the limit would be approximately 50 grams of “added sugar” and is not concerned with natural sugars found in foods like fruit or milk.
Foods like berries and bananas make a great alternative to sweetened snacks and can be enjoyed guilt-free. By merely being mindful and checking nutrition labels, you’ll have all the information you need to make smart choices and substitutions, while still satisfying your sweet tooth.
For an optimal way to start your day Hush & Hush's vegan protein powder PlantYourDay is a great way to start your day with only 1g of sugar.