A majority of Americans eat more than the recommended amount of sugar each day. That’s no surprise since there is evidence sugar is more addictive than opioids. While some sugar isn’t bad, knowing its negative effects on your body and mind is necessary.
Negative effects of sugar
Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, causing cavities and bad breath. Excessive sugar has also been linked to a higher risk of developing acne. But more is at risk than just your good looks. Excessive sugar can impact your heart health too. A high-sugar diet can lead to an increase in blood pressure, causing inflammation and leading to coronary heart disease, the number one killer in the world.
Your mental and cognitive health can also take a sharp decline with the more sugar you eat. Drinking sweetened beverages, like soda, teas, and coffee, has been associated with an increased risk of depression. Sugar can also impair your memory, and unhealthy glucose levels have been linked to a higher risk for dementia.
One way to watch your sugar intake is to substitute foods that are high in added sugar with foods that contain natural sweetness. Here are some alternative sweet treats:
- Dark chocolate – Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, and magnesium. If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, pair it with your favorite berry to make sweet, chocolate-covered berries.
- Trail mix – Eating trail mix provides you with protein and fiber while satisfying your sweet tooth and curbing hunger.
- Homemade popsicles – Blend your choice of fruit with water, juice, or milk. Pour into molds and place in the freezer overnight for a sweet treat the next day.
There is so much to learn about the links between what we eat and how we feel. The team at Valley Oaks Health is here to help you develop a holistic approach to better mental health, so contact us today.