— The average American consumes his or her body weight in sugar each year! —
Wow, is that scary or what? That factoid comes from the American Heart Association, so it is not an urban myth. More specifically, the average American eats between 22 and 50 teaspoons of added sugar per day… adding up to about 150 pounds of sugar per year.
While sugar is sweet, the side-effects of eating that much sugar are not so sweet. Eating sugar to excess can lead to obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Sugar can also affect your mood, how you feel, and mess with your skin. Sugar side effects are definitely bitter rather than sweet. In fact, the above list of sugar side effects should give you pause the next time you consider munching on a candy bar or slurping down a chocolate malt!
The Worst Sugar Side Effect
We are all tempted to get a sugar fix from time to time, whether because we need some comfort food, we want to celebrate something good, or we just have a sugar craving. The reasons don’t actually matter, but the side effects of sugar do matter. As discussed above, sugar can dramatically affect our health in numerous ways.
What we did not mention above is one of the most insidious and dangerous sugar side effects: the destruction of probiotics in the gut. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that live in the gut and perform an amazing number of important bodily functions. These functions include:
- acting as a first line of defense against foreign invaders
- producing enzymes to digest food and deliver nutrients throughout the body
- moving food through the digestive system, preventing constipation, gas, bloating, etc.
- preventing harmful fungi from invading and taking over the gut (candida is a good example of harmful fungi)
- support liver and kidney function
- move toxins out of the gut and body
And that is just the short list of what the beneficial bacteria that live in our gut do for us. For us to remain healthy, studies show that we need to have a ratio of at least 6:1 of healthy to harmful bacteria in our guts.
So… taking all of this into consideration, you can see how damaging it is to eat excess sugar, which destroys the probiotics in the gut. Sugar not only destroys the probiotics, but also stops the gut from performing all of its digestive, immune, and other functions.
How to Avoid the Worst Sugar Side Effect After a Sugar Fix
Clearly eating too much sugar is a bad idea, but did you know that chugging even a single gigantic milkshake in a single sitting can have a serious effect on the probiotics in your system? Not only does it destroy a certain percentage of probiotics, but it can actually cause more sugar cravings. Seriously! One of the benefits of probiotics that we did not mention above is that probiotics can actually reduce sugar cravings. Why? Because the healthier we are (the higher the ratio of healthy bacteria in our gut), the less we crave sugar. So eating too much sugar kicks off a vicious cycle in which probiotics die off, sugar cravings increase, we eat more sugar, and even more probiotics die. The whole cycle is basically a downward spiral into poor health!
If you haven’t guessed already, one of the best ways to avoid sugar side effects after eating a giant sugar fix is to take some probiotics. Acidophilus is one of the most effective probiotics for battling sugar side effects, and supports the health of the small intestine. Bifidus is another helpful probiotic, and supports the health of the large intestine.
We suggest taking probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus as a daily supplement. When you have eaten a sugar fix, take extra probiotics (especially acidophilus) with pure spring water as soon as possible. This reverses the vicious cycle described above, and starts your body on an upward spiral of health.
If you MUST have a sugar fix, don’t worry. Just take some probiotics afterward to fix the effects of the sugar fix!