If you're looking for a definitive answer on if sugar affects your weight, read this post.
Studies show that excessive sugar intake does have an affect on your weight over time. The American Heart Association states that adult women shouldn't eat more than 25g of added sugar per day, and men no more than 37.5g. Any consumption beyond this is overdoing it and fosters health risks.
So, not all sugar is bad for you...
Both Glucose and Fructose are commonly referred to as simple sugars and are found in food. However, whole foods like fruits, and vegetables naturally contain sugar, while processed foods like candy and sweets contain fructose sugar. This is crucial to understand because your body processes each of these types of sugar differently.
Glucose is an essential building block of your metabolism. It is a key component in your body creating energy to function and helps appropriately regulate your hunger and fullness hormones. Every single part of your body benefits from glucose, thus consistent glucose consumption through nutritional whole foods is necessary.
Fructose sugar, on the other hand, is commonly found in processed foods like cereal, candy, cakes, soft drinks, and sports drinks. Although it's a carbohydrate, it's been found to behave more like fat in your body. Since it doesn't serve you any benefit, it goes to the only organ that will deal with it, your liver.
When you get a moment, thank your liver for all its hard work. It really is an over-worked graveyard for all the crap you may consume.
4 ways that sugar makes you fat...
1. Fructose sugar doesn't activate your leptin, or fullness, hormone in the same way natural sugars do. So, consuming processed foods can mean you've eaten those calories, and just keep eating.
2. Fructose sugar makes your body further resistant to leptin, which causes an internal miscommunication that triggers your body to store more fat.
3. Fructose sugar doesn't reduce your ghrelin, or hunger, hormones in the same way natural sugars do. Fructose is just always lending a helping hand to overeating.
4. Fructose sugar is addictive. Sugar in the body mimics a dopamine sensation similar to a narcotic high. That is why when you're feeling depressed, many times you may gravitate to processed foods for comfort, they literally make you feel better, temporarily. Naturally, addiction breeds cyclical behaviors and fewer inhibitions that lead to overeating.
Sneaky sneaky...here are 5 "healthy" foods with high amounts of sugar
1. Granola, A.K.A crushed cookies
Granola on average contains 18g-25g of sugar per serving per day. Boom, that's your daily allowance.
The first issue with cereal is the fact that you're almost conditioned to eat more than one serving. The most egregious cereals with high sugar content tend to be the granola and "fruity" variety.
3. Fruit Juice
This one was particularly hard for me to moderate. I love me some fruit juice, and always prided myself in choosing fruit juice over soda. However, like cereal, it's quite easy to over-consume. Also, they can be loaded with added sugars.
4. Dried Fruit
Just six bites of this "healthy" snack can max out your daily sugar allowance.
5. Flavored Yogurt
Yogurt, specifically Greek yogurt, is a great protein source and generally healthy for your digestive system. However, flavored yogurts tend to add an extra 6 to 7 teaspoons of sugar per serving for the "yum" factor.