Here’s what eating sugar actually does to your skin, brain and mood

Sugar isn’t doing your health any favors, but you already knew that. While many well-intentioned fitness plans have been derailed by a midnight binge, an elevated sugar intake isn’t just ringing the death knell for your diet—it can also trigger acne flare-ups, prompt unhealthy eating patterns, and make your energy levels plummet for no apparent reason in the middle of the day. If you’re looking to conquer those cravings, it helps to equip yourself with a comprehensive understanding of what actually happens to our skin, brain, and body when we consume sugar. Here’s what the experts want you to know.


How sugar affects your skin

If you’ve noticed your skin feeling dull and fatigued or prone to sudden acne flare-ups, that second slice of dessert at dinner could be the catalyst. Our skin is made of Collagen, a type of protein, that keeps it healthy and supple. With increased intake of sugar, the molecules attach to the proteins and form free radicals. The presence of these radicals, in turn, can cause oxidative damage in our body which is evident in our skin, hair, nails, and overall energy levels in the body.”

How sugar affects your body

While the effects of sugar visibly show up on the skin, it can also wreak havoc on our body’s internal systems. These can be harder to grasp but generally result in added fatigue, sudden drop in energy levels, and unexplained cravings. “When you consume foods that are high in sugar, your energy level goes up at the time but it is followed by a sudden drop of energy. Since most foods high in sugar are nutrition-deficit, the energy level does not last for much time, and you can experience difficulty in completing the work at hand or daily chores.

How sugar affects your brain

Along with your mood and everyday functions, sugar is also complicit in taking a toll on your brain.

Most of us may have turned to pastries, brownies, or chocolates when we feel anxious. This is because a higher elevation in blood sugar may alter the body’s ability to respond to stress. This intense sweetness can stimulate the brain’s reward center and might even be too pleasurable, to the extent of creating a high from sugar. A high-sugar diet can also be the cause of greater bouts of emotional eating.


“Emotional eating stems from the desire to mitigate the effects of stress. Certain hormones are released to reduce the feeling of stress due to the elevation of sugar levels, and this can increase the desire for comfort foods, thereby building a cycle of emotion-driven eating habits.”


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