Effects of Sugar & Processed Foods on the Body

It is common knowledge by now that consuming too much sugar or processed foods is bad for your health; however, many people still don’t realise just how badly your body can be affected by these two things. 

If you are struggling with your sugar intake or need a continuous glucose monitoring system, you may want to know the side effects of a diet that is packed with processed foods and sugar. 

McDonalds meal

Weight Gain

One of the most common side effects of increased sugar and processed food intake is weight gain. Almost all processed sugars and foods are packed with ingredients your body doesn’t need, and they are often filled with calories. 

Unlike “natural” foods and ingredients, processed foods and sugars have enormous amounts of fat and carbohydrates, meaning you are often eating far more calories than you think. A Big Mac medium meal, for example, has over 1000 calories, which is half the daily amount women need, and nearly half for men. 

Little to No Health Benefits

One of the main purposes of food is to give our bodies the nutrition it needs to function as best as they can. One of the biggest problems with most processed food is that it doesn’t have any health benefits; most of it is purely made up of different kinds of saturated fats, sugar and carbs. 

If your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it won’t be able to perform the way you want it to. You won’t have energy, will get sick easier; your skin will feel dirty and oily; the list goes on. 

Additional Ingredients 

Processed foods are packed with ingredients that not only offer zero health benefits but can also be harmful in large enough quantities. Preservatives, large amounts of salt, stabilisers, etc., have all been shown to even cause cancer in some people. 

While eating small amounts of processed foods irregularly won’t have this kind of impact, long-term use can lead to diabetes, liver, kidney and heart issues, and, as mentioned, potentially cancer. 

Quick Calories

The biggest problem with processed foods is that they offer fast calories and help you feel full. Most processed food is made in a way that is easy to eat and chew, but this also means that they are low in fibre. 

This leads to you feeling hungry again a short while after eating; Mcdonald’s is one of the best examples of this; how often have you had a Big Mac but felt hungry again only an hour or two later? This is also why it is so easy to eat large amounts of fast food without getting full as quickly as you usually would. 

Skin Issues

Keeping your skin healthy requires balance in your diet. You need a good amount of vegetables, fruits and water to ensure your skin stays pimple/acne free and to also slow the process of getting wrinkles. 

Many people have probably experienced breaking out after a weekend/week of eating poorly, and this is due to your body being filled with sugars, fats and other toxins that will show on your skin very quickly. 

baked goods

Increased Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes is becoming more and more common nowadays, and this is partly due to many people not realising the effect poor dietary choices have on the chances of you getting the disease. 

While there is no direct link between excessive sugar and getting diabetes, a poor diet that is high in sugars and fats leads to your body putting on weight, gaining fat, and other side effects that make someone susceptible to diabetes. 

Lack of Energy & Motivation

Once again, since processed foods don’t have all the nutrients that your body needs to function properly, they don’t give you the same amount of energy. Your body isn’t receiving the fuel it needs, and after a little while, simple things like walking or moving about the house will become tiring. 

Eating or drinking something that is high in sugar may give you an energy spike, but this spike is often very short. Your body will then experience a “crash”, and you will be left feeling more rundown than you were before you had the sugary food or drink. 

Poor Tooth Health

It is common knowledge at this point that eating too much sugar will essentially rot your teeth. What isn’t as well-known is the fact that a poor diet will also lead to poor tooth, gum and mouth health. 

Your teeth are part of your body and therefore require the same care as something even more important, like your heart. Bad breath, sensitive gums, and poor oral hygiene can all be caused by a diet that lacks fibre, calcium and essential nutrients. 

Increased Risk of Depression

While a healthy diet cannot “cure” depression, a poor one has been shown to make it worse. The concept of “you are what you eat” applies to both how your body looks and how positive or negative your mood is. 

Increased sugar can lead to chronic systemic inflammation and insulin resistance and can change your dopamine reward system. This all combines to lower your overall mood and can leave you feeling demotivated and almost sad. 

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