8 Signs You're Eating Too Much Sugar

Woman Sugar7 a.m.—The alarm wakes you up—along with your joint pain. 
The sugar connection: When you eat refined carbs (including the sweet stuff we’re focusing on), your blood sugar rises and your body reacts by releasing inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Your body is now in an inflammatory state, and that can make existing joint pain worse, says Marina Chaparro, MPH, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
7:30 a.m.—As you’re getting dressed, you notice that the pants you used to need a belt for are staying up just fine on their own.
The sugar connection: Any weight gain should make you take a hard look at your eating habits, but high-sugar diets are linked to added pounds specifically in your midsection. Too much sugar leads to high levels of insulin, and insulin likes to deposit fat in your belly more so than other areas of your body, says Roxanne Sukol, MD, doctor of preventive medicine and the medical director of the Wellness Enterprise at Cleveland Clinic.
11:30 a.m.—You squeeze in a dentist appointment between morning meetings, and the doc is less than thrilled with you. 
The sugar connection: You’ve been hearing that sugar causes cavities since you were a kid, but you may not know just how big an influence your sweet tooth has on the rest of your teeth. A study that looked at diets and cavity rates around the world found that excess added sugar was the biggest factor in dental decay. Subpar brushing and flossing habits probably don’t help, but sugar is the key cause.
1:30 p.m.—You ate lunch an hour ago and you’re already dreaming about dinner. 
The sugar connection: If you had a high-sugar lunch (beware that processed sandwich bread, and these other surprising sugar bombs, you know there’s an energy crash coming, and you’ll quickly crave more food to replenish. There’s another reason you’ve got visions of supper dancing in your head right now though. If you’ve been overdoing it on sugar for a while, your insulin levels are likely elevated. That can mess with your hunger hormones, says Chaparro, increasing levels of the one that elicits a when’s-my-next-meal mindset (ghrelin) and lowering levels of the one that tells you you’re still full (leptin).
3 p.m.—You just snapped at the coworker who joked that you look like you need a nap (even though they’re right). 
The sugar connection: The constant back and forth between blood-sugar highs and lows leaves you sluggish, says Chaparro. And that little episode with your colleague? When you hit a low, your mood bottoms out, too.
4 p.m.—Your GP’s office calls with test results from your physical last week. Your triglycerides are up. 
The sugar connection: Your body turns excess sugar into a type of fat known astriglycerides. They’re found in your blood, and too much of them increases your risk of coronary artery disease. A normal triglyceride level is below 150; above 200 is high. more

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