Excess Added Sugar Can Be Really Bad For You.
Sugar is in all foods that contain carbohydrates. Whole foods that contain natural sugars such as those found in fruits and bread get broken down in your stomach over time, and are not as bad as they don't shock your system with simple sugars.
On the other hand, added sugars that are merely there as flavouring or as a preservative can be actively harmful for you.
What are the effects eating of too much sugar?
There are some very well known effects of over-consumption of sugar. As I'm not a medical professional, I won't be covering anything to do with diabetes of any type.
Can Cause Weight GainA fairly well known and obvious effect. However, the harm sugar causes can be a lot more insidious than what's obvious. Fructose, one of the simple sugars such as those found in high fructose corn syrup (commonly found in soft drinks), has been marketed as a safer option for its low effect on blood sugar levels.
However, fructose can affect the parts of your brain that tell you when you are hungry or not. In this way, consuming fructose not only gives you empty calories, it leads you to adding on even more calories as you eat more after having an already high amount of calories.
Bad spiral, eh?
Increased Occurrence of Acne and Accelerated Skin AgingSugary foods quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which play a role in acne development.
Also, Advance Glycation End products (AGEs) are formed when sugars react with proteins in your body. AGEs are suspected to be the main catalyst behind the formation of wrinkles. Needless to say, this only gets worse with higher blood sugar levels.
Can Cause FatigueThere are many who are guilty (including me) of occasionally craving sugar as a pick-me-up during slower days. However, when one does this instead of leading a healthy diet with whole foods, there is usually a crash, usually ~60 minutes after eating a high-sugar meal where blood sugar levels drop heavily.
People with this habit will be familiar with this sudden feeling of grogginess.
Increases Risk Of Fatty Liver DiseaseExcess sugars gets transformed and stored in the liver as glycogen. However, if too much is forced through, it is instead stored as fats in the liver.
Quite the hospital bill.
How Can I Avoid Such Problems?
There is no easy way to simply erase all added sugars in your diet. Besides, a harsh switch to a completely added sugar-free diet may even be more risky, as a potential relapse binge on sugar can offset your progress and some.
However, being more mindful about the sugars you consume can help you reduce over time. Knowing about the sugar content of snacks and drinks you have can keep you from going too far. It doesn't hurt to always look at the nutrition facts bit of any wrapped foods you are having either. Most items will have a daily reference intake written on them.
It won't be personalised to your fitness or sex, but it's good to at least be aware of how much is too much.
There are also alternatives that have a zero effect of sugar, with 0 calorie sweeteners such as stevia getting traction. Honey, despite still having a considerable sugar content, is much sweeter than sugar and has a smaller effect on your glycemic index, which makes it a suitable halfway-point.
Then again, a small cheat of a sugary treat on special occasions don't hurt too badly.