6 ways eating too much sugar messes with your body

The more extra kilojoules you eat, the heavier you’ll be. To put it in perspective, just one gram of sugar equals about 16.7kJ, according to the AHA. So if you eat something with 15g of sugar in it, you’re downing 251kJ from the sugar alone. Plus, once you eat one cookie, you won’t really want to stop. Your brain craves sugar more than fat and can cause you to overeat, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests.

4. Too much sugar can cause kidney stones

Steer clear of sugar in bubbly form, too: People who sipped on one or more regular sodas daily had a 23% higher risk of developing kidney stones than those who drank less than one serving a week, according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. That’s because the soda’s fructose content can increase how much calcium, uric acid and oxalate you pee out, the researchers say, which boosts your risk of stones. Skeptical? Keep in mind that passing a stone may be more painful than childbirth for some guys.

Illustration of kidney and stones

Read more: 6 things that happen when you stop eating sugar

5. Too much sugar destroys your teeth 

After you wash down that pie with punch – or have any type of sweets in excess, for that matter – the bacteria in your plaque create acids that wear down your tooth enamel, which can form cavities over time, according to the American Dental Association.

Good news is you don’t have to give up sweets completely. If you want to treat yourself, aim for a max of 10% of your daily kilojoules to come from added sugars, suggests Men’s Health nutrition advisor Alan Aragon.

Learning when to eat sugar can help, too: Eating a little fat, fibre and protein before you enjoy dessert blocks the sugar from sinking into your plaque.

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