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The Worst Warning Signs You Should Stop Eating Sugar Immediately

Cutting out sugar might seem like a big stretch, that is unless it's doing more harm than good.

There are a shocking number of foods for sale in America that contain entirely too much sugar and are best avoided or at least eaten only on rare special occasions. Because sugar, unfortunately, given how tasty the stuff can be, can be really bad for you in excess. As in bad enough that it has both acute and chronic health implications. And bad enough that your body may well be giving you warning signs that you really need to stop eating sugar.

According to the American Heart Association, an adult woman in good health should eat no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, which amounts to about six teaspoons of sugar and 100 calories, while a healthy adult man should have no more than 36 grams of sugar daily, which is nine teaspoons or 150 calories worth of the stuff. Here's the problem: each of the following treats contains more than that amount (meaning the larger of the two, the 36 grams) in a single serving:

  • A bag of Skittles
  • A can of Sprite
  • A bag of Hostess CupCakes

Each of these sweets can be very easy to consume without giving them a second thought. So how do you know if you are consuming too much sugar? Here are nine warning signs to watch out for.

Plus, if you're looking to make more healthy changes, check out Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians.

1

You are exhausted during the day

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The so-called "sugar crash" is an entirely real thing, according to VeryWellHealth, and not just for people with diabetes. And when you eat too much sugar, you may be inviting these crashes upon yourself. They occur after your body deals with the sudden influx of blood sugar from those sweets, after which you will feel fatigued even if you never felt an energy surge.

2

Your weight fluctuates (or just goes up)

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A healthy, balanced diet is far and away the most important way to maintain a stable weight. Exercise helps, but diet is the key. And if your diet is too high in processed sugars, it may be all but impossible for your weight to remain consistent, according to Everyday Health. That's because excess sugar consumed can not only be converted into fats, but it can in fact trigger a sensation of hunger that compels you to eat more calories than you need.

3

Your skin is a problem

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Consuming too much sugar is bad for your insides, but it's also bad for the part of your body you and everyone else can see, namely your skin. According to Healthy Women, eating too much sugar can increase the severity and frequency of acne breakouts and can even lead to premature development of wrinkles.

RELATED: How to Reverse Aging Skin, Say Dermatologists

4

You have insomnia

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Getting a good night of sleep is imperative for every aspect of your health, both physical and mental. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, make sure you consider your sugar intake as a factor, thinking about both how much you are consuming and when you are eating it—a big dessert after dinner may taste great, but nothing is sweeter than good health, right? Try cutting down on the sugar and if you sleep better, do yourself a favor and make the sugar cutting permanent.

5

You are having digestive issues

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From intestinal cramping to irregular bowel movements to stomach pains and bloating, eating too much sugar can wreak havoc on your digestion, according to Everyday Health. And while symptoms like gas or diarrhea or cramps may seem merely unpleasant, they can be signs of exacerbation of much more serious problems, like IBS, Chron's disease, or other issues that you really need to tend to by, in part, cutting down on sweets.

RELATED: 10 Pains That You Should Never Ignore, Say Doctors

6

Your oral health is a problem

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Sugar is terrible for your teeth, leading to buildups of plaque and the breakdown of enamel. And as good overall health starts with good oral health, it's no small matter to prevent these small but painful and dangerous spots of decay. According to the Mayo Clinic, cavities, among the most common health problems on the planet, can lead to severe pain, tooth loss, and other potentially serious infections.

7

Your blood pressure is too high

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High blood pressure can be, over time, a literal killer. The excess strain high blood pressure puts on your cardiovascular system can shave years off your life. And eating too much sugar can be a direct cause of elevated blood pressure. So if your BP numbers are consistently too high, take a close look at your diet and consider whether you may be consistently eating too much sugar.

8

You are suffering with depression

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The sweet stuff may be taking the sweetness out of your life, according to Healthy Women. Consuming too much sugar can cause inflammation of the brain that manifests itself as depression. It can also cause frustrating and disorienting "brain fog" wherein you're just not as sharp, happy, or quick as your used to.

9

You can't enjoy the taste of other foods as much

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You know how some foods have what we call an acquired taste? Well just as you can train your palate to enjoy certain flavors, eating too much sugar can have your taste buds no longer pleased by tastes you once enjoyed, says Total Wellness. If you find foods that were once quite satisfying bland, it may be that you have rewired your palate with too much sugar. Or hotwired it, more to the point. Fortunately, the change is not permanent, just ease off the sweets. While losing the pleasure you once had in other foods might not seem as concerning as some other things on our list, it may well be if you take things in the wrong direction, doubling down by eating ever sweeter foods rather than weaning yourself off sugar.

READ MORE8 Incredible Effects of Giving Up Sugar for a Month, Says Research

Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more