Sugar is everywhere.

Between the ubiquity of soft drinks, irresistible desserts, and additives in your favorite condiments and dressings, it’s easy to consume more sugar throughout the day than you realize. In today’s entry, we’re going to take an in-depth look at four of the many reasons why you should reduce your sugar consumption.

If you would like to speak with a primary care physician in Bee Cave about your sugar consumption, health, or anything else, then schedule an appointment with Hill Family Medicine. You can call our office to speak with a member of our staff, or you can book your appointment online!

How Sugar Harms Your Health

Blood Sugar Spikes

Have you ever experienced a midday crash after guzzling down a sweet latte or energy drink for breakfast? While we won’t get too into the weeds in today’s post, learning a bit more about how sugar affects the body can help you better understand why sweet treats leave you feeling sluggish and drowsy later in the day.

Let’s start with the basics. Everything you consume has an effect on your body, including carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down by the digestive system and subsequently converted to glucose. Glucose then enters the bloodstream and peaks in concentration as the pancreas produces insulin in response. Insulin enters the bloodstream and causes cells throughout the body to absorb and store the glucose. The point at which glucose leaves the bloodstream is when many people begin to notice the all-too-familiar symptoms of a blood sugar spike:

  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Hunger

Decreased Immune Function

Did you know that regularly consuming sugar can hinder your immune system? Numerous studies have found that consuming sugar — even in small quantities — decreases the body’s ability to fight off sickness for several hours. Moreover, bacteria use sugar as their primary fuel source, and filling your body with it only makes it easier to multiply and compromise your health. Whether you’re fighting off a cold or trying to avoid whatever’s going around your office, staying away from sugar can increase your chances of staying well.

Accelerated Aging

While most of us associate sugar consumption with weight gain and blood sugar spikes, premature aging is another effect of frequent sugar consumption. Your skin is composed of collagen and elastin, which among other important roles, contribute to your skin’s elasticity. Sugar impedes the body’s ability to produce these substances and can lead to:

  • Increased acne and breakouts
  • Wrinkles
  • Sagging skin
  • Spots
  • Prolonged healing

Our family medicine clinic also offers a wide range of skin care services, so please get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about how you can keep your complexion clear and youthful.

Increased Stress

Allowing chronic stress to go unaddressed is one of the most detrimental things you can do to your body. In addition to contributing to weight gain, sleep loss, and a host of mental health problems, stress can significantly shorten your lifespan.

Between long work hours and busy schedules, many Americans report feeling stressed and anxious. Although mindfulness, self-care routines, and other healthy ways of coping with stress are on the rise, many people turn to food when they need to be comforted. Sugar gives the body a boost of energy and feel-good hormones, so it’s no surprise that many people turn to sweets when they feel stressed and anxious. That being said, sugar consumption actually increases the production of the body’s primary stress hormone, cortisol. So, while you may find short-term relief when turning to sweets in stressful situations, you’ll likely find that you feel even worse later in the day.

Contact Our Bee Cave Family Medicine Clinic

We hope that today’s entry will help you reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. Keep an eye out for our next post in which we’ll explain more about how you can identify added sugars whenever you’re shopping.

If you need to speak with a family physician about your health and wellness, then we invite you to contact a member of Hill Family Medicine. We offer primary care for individuals and families, and we would love to help you take the first steps toward a healthier, happier life.

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