Processed foods, especially added sugars, have a detrimental effect on our health in the long run. Regular intake of excessive added sugar can lead to several health issues, such as obesity, teeth problems, heart diseases, diabetes, heart palpitations, and many other conditions.
Let’s look at how the intake of sugary foods and drinks leads to short-term symptoms, like chest, stomach, or heart pain, sore throat, heartburn, and heart palpitations. We’ll review how one can prevent these problems.
What is considered sugary food or drink?
Sugar is a form of carbohydrate and is present naturally in almost all foods. Its nutritional value is the addition of energy to the body.
Several fruits and vegetables contain sugar naturally. There is nothing wrong with consuming these so-called naturally occurring sugars.
However, many soft drinks, cookies, cakes, sweets, chocolates, smoothies, etc. contain a high amount of added sugar. This is sugar that has been added to these foods to make them sweeter, and these are the sugary foods that we are referring to.
These types of sugars are called free sugars or added sugars. The sugars added to these foods include maltose, sucrose, glucose, fructose molasses, and inverted sugars.
Eating too much of such sugary foods can affect your heart and digestive system.
Why sugary foods and drinks are bad for your body?
Excessive consumption of added sugar will lead to an increase in calories in the body that may lead to obesity.
Becoming overweight will come with problems such as heart complications and type two diabetes. To reduce this risk, we should get calories and the right kind of sugar from other foods such as fruits and vegetables and whole-grain grains.
Foods and drinks with added sugars will cause tooth decay. Chocolates, cakes, fizzy drinks, and sweets should not be consumed because they contain added sugars that will cause teeth problems.
Substitute these with fruits and vegetables that contain natural sugar. However, if you choose to consume fruits and vegetables as juices and smoothies, the sugars are released, and so there is a risk of having tooth decay. If you decide to take your fruit juices, only have a glass of it a day and consume it together with your meal.
Consume your fruits and vegetables in their compact state as the sugars are contained and cannot cause such issues.
Why does your heart hurt after eating sugar?
More sugar in the bloodstream will increase insulin in the blood. The extra insulin causes the arteries walls to grow abnormally, therefore, causing stress to the heart.
After some time, there is a high risk of heart pain, heart attacks, heart palpitations, and even strokes.
We already know that one of the effects of too much added sugar in the body is tooth decay. But I bet you didn’t realize that tooth decay has been linked to heart problems now did you?
There is evidence linking the two and dentists, and doctors recommend regular dental checkups to catch the problem early. Remember you don’t have to be obese to have heart pains.
Check on your BMI to ensure that you are on the right healthy path.
Heart palpitations after eating sugar
Some people experience heart palpitations after consuming sugar. However, chances are it is not the sugar, but some other ingredient that makes your heart skip a beat.
The low blood sugar level is a possible cause of heart palpitations.
There are certain foods, e.g. those that contain caffeine, that can also cause heart palpitations. If coffee, chocolate, or any kind of alcohol causes irregular heartbeat, you might want to stay away from them.
Other risk factors are:
- certain drugs, like weight loss pills
Can sugary foods cause chest pain?
Chest pain after eating sugary foods or drinks is associated with ingestion. The sugar is indigested, and as a result, a lot of gas and acidic elements may force the contents of the stomach to move back up into the esophagus.
When stomach acids seep into the food pipe, they start to irritate the lining of the esophagus, which feels like a burning pain – called heartburn – in the middle of the chest. The pain gets worse if you lie down, as it gets easier for the acids to flow back.
Stomach pain after eating sugar
Sometimes when you consume too much sugar, not all of it will properly digest in the upper intestine.
As indigested sugar passes through the digestive system, it might ferment in the lower intestine releasing gases in the stomach. Gases will cause a lot of discomfort, especially if the gas is not passed.
Stomach cramps may occur hours after consuming a lot of sugar. Too much sugar consumption will also result in uncomfortable heat in the body.
Sugar makes the body produce a lot of fluids, thus leaving you dehydrated. Stomach cramps may let you know that you may be suffering from heat exhaustion.
Abdominal pain caused by sugar might also be related to certain diseases of the digestive system:
Can sugar cause sore throat?
You should talk to your doctor if sugar causes you a sore throat. It is usually not a serious medical condition, but depending on your other symptoms, your doctor might recommend a food allergy test.
If you get a sore throat right after eating sugar, it can be an allergic reaction. Runny nose, rashes, itchy skin are the typical symptoms of allergy. However, symptoms can get more severe, like shortness of breath or anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical help.
If sugar causes you a sore throat, drinking water or herbal tea might relieve the pain.
Shortness of breath after eating sugar
Shortness of breath caused by eating sugar is never a good sign, you should talk to your doctor about it!
If you experience shortness of breath right after consuming small amounts of sugar, it might be an allergic reaction. Symptoms of food allergies are usually mild to moderate, like runny nose, itchy skin, or stomach cramps. However, sometimes they can be life-threatening, like anaphylaxis.
Shortness of breath after eating too much sugar indicates that your blood sugar level is very high. A possible cause might be ketoacidosis, which requires immediate medical help. Call your doctor right away if shortness of breath is accompanied by symptoms like:
- feeling very thirsty
- frequent urination
Shortness of breath can be a symptom of a heart attack. Chest tightness, pain radiating into the neck, jaw, arms, or shoulders are typical other symptoms.
Why reduce your sugar intake?
There are so many benefits and advantages that come from reducing and finally cutting off sugar from your diet.
- For one, you reduce the possibility of being obese and aids in losing weight.
- Reducing sugar intake will help reduce the chances of having type 2-diabetes.
- When you reduce sugar intake, your energy levels will be high during the day.
- You will notice your skin start to clear out and become healthier and youthful.
- You will reduce indigestion and inflammation issues that bring about discomfort, chest pains, and stomach cramps.
- Your heart will be more robust, and the risk of heart attacks and heart problems will significantly reduce.
- You will be more hydrated as sugar dehydrates cells leaving you looking dull and tired.
Reduce your sugar intake and increase your water consumption.
How can physical activity help?
Physical activity will help in weight loss and reduce the effects of obesity that may be caused by high sugar intake.
Cardiovascular diseases can be reduced or prevented by being active.
Physical exercise is an excellent way to reduce, manage, and even avoid type 2-diabetes that is brought about by the intake of added sugar.
Remember that your body does require sugar for it to be healthy. Make sure that the sugar you consume is the most robust form.
- Stay away from foods that contain added sugars.
- Read labels on food rappings you buy at the supermarket to make sure that you do not take more sugar than you are supposed to per day. The recommended amount of added sugars that men should be consuming a day is 150 calories per day, which is 37.5 grams. Women are advised to consume no more than 100 calories per day which is 25 grams.
- It is highly advisable to cut off the added sugars completely and only consume the sugar that is naturally in fruits and vegetables but in the right state.
- Remember the sugar in fruit juices, and smoothies might have the same effects on your body as added sugar.
While our bodies need a certain amount of sugar, most people in the US consume way too much.
Limiting your sugar intake can make serious diseases like heart problems, or diabetes less likely to develop. In the short term, eating less sugar will help you to avoid chest or stomach pain after eating.
Try to eat raw fruits and vegetables to get the sugar your body needs, avoid foods that contain too much added sugar: chocolate, sweets, cookies, etc.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, high blood sugar can cause serious cardiovascular problems. It can also cause depression, kidney problems, etc.
Eating sugar might trigger pain that feels like diaphragm pain. It is usually your chest or stomach that hurts.
Possible reasons are gallbladder problems, acid reflux, or hiatal hernia.
Eating related back pain is usually a referred pain, which means the problems is somewhere else in your body, not where you feel the pain.
Pain from stomach ulcers might cause lower back pain. Acid reflux, gallbladder, pancreas, and heart problems are more likely to cause mid or upper back pain.
Sugar might also cause chronic inflammation in your body and back pain might be a symptom of it.