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Sugar hangover

Posted Nov 02 2010 10:11am

I was in a pretty crummy mood yesterday. For someone who wants to be the next Good Mood Blogger , I wasn’t living the part. I was tired, unmotivated, and feeling generally blue. There wasn’t an obvious reason for my glum mood: the past several days had actually been unusually uneventful. But I was pretty sure of the culprit behind it: sugar hangover.

My diet hasn’t been as good as it could be lately. Though I’m still eating lots of organic produce, I’ve let some forbidden foods sneak back in: cheese and crackers, pasta, lattes, even an occasional donut. (And they were good.)

And then, Halloween hit. This past weekend was the first time I had actual candy in months. I had some on Thursday after going to the store to buy candy bars for trick or treaters. I had some on Friday as my coworkers’ kids paraded around in the office in their costumes. I had some on Saturday because, well, it was there. And I had some on Sunday as we sat in the living room watching Paranormal Activity and answering the door for the few trick or treaters who ventured down our dark and evidently uninviting street.

Most people know that sugar isn’t good for you. But few can state exactly why or identify the health problems that can come from too much sugar consumption. Sugar suppresses the immune system. It affects the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria. Too much sugar can cause brain fog, negatively affecting your mood, attention span, behavior, and ability to learn. A sugar hangover can produce effects similar to an alcohol hangover: headache, digestive problems, as well as joint pain, skin conditions, and an increase in allergy symptoms. Sugar is also a chief culprit in chronic health conditions such as diabetes, adrenal fatigue, and candida overgrowth.

So as your kids dig through their Halloween haul this year, consider regulating their candy consumption. Studies show that children are more sensitive to the effects of sugar than adults. The amount of sugar in an average can of soda can decrease learning ability and cause extended hyperactivity and aggressive behavior. Children diagnosed with ADHD are often extra sensitive to the effects of sugar.

To learn more about the effects of sugar and kicking your sugar habit, visit Ask Dr. Sears: Family Nutrition — Sugar .

Additional resources Lick the Sugar Habit , Nancy Appleton
Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life — and How You Can Get Back on Track, Connie Bennett

Dr. Mercola's Total Health

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