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How Long Does Sugar Stay In The Body?

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If you’re like most people who care about their sugar intake, you’ve probably wondered how long does sugar stay in the body?

High sugar intake is harmful to your overall health as it causes a relatively high reduction in energy level, fatigue, and reduced alertness.

Conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, and poor dental health are known effects of excessive sugar consumption.

This article looks at how long sugar consumption stays in your body and food choices you should consider for natural sugar.

How Long Does It Take For Sugar To Leave Your Bloodstream?

Naturally, blood sugar level returns to average about 1-2 hours after eating. However, it is not the same with people with diabetes.

In people without diabetes, blood sugar level usually does not rise since insulin is delivered almost immediately to the circulatory system.

On the contrary, in people with diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate the blood sugar level. So, it takes a longer period for sugar to leave their bloodstream.

The type of sugar consumed also determines how long it will take to leave the bloodstream.

Carbohydrates that are relatively low in fiber take longer to digest and can cause a spike in your blood sugar level.

Balanced fiber-containing foods are known to digest quickly, causing blood sugar to peak within one to two hours of eating.

What Causes Excess Sugar In The Body?

Most food products contain sugar, from processed foods to junk foods. Many people rely on fast processed foods and snacks, adding to the already piled up sugar in their body system.

Despite how high they are in sugar content, these food products make up most people’s daily calorie intake.

Consumption of sugary drinks, baked foods, candy, bread, processed foods, and all sugar-based foods are the primary sources of added sugar in the body.

Although not all sugars are the same, fructose and lactose are natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy-rich foods.

Therefore, they are examples of healthy sugars that are safe for consumption.

However, added sugars often found in processed foods can cause an unhealthy body sugar content.

Usually, they are anything added to foods to make them taste sweeter, from syrup to honey or even table sugar. High sugar diets are the primary cause of excess sugar in the body.

Effects Of Excess Sugar On The Body

Several studies have found sugar to be a leading cause of many adverse health conditions. Additionally, sugar can negatively affect the body in diverse ways when taken in excess.

Here’s a closer look at how sugar can be of unfavorable effect on the body system.


Several dietary lifestyles and eating habits can cause excessive weight gain; a high sugar diet is one. Added sugars typically contain many excess calories and lead to weight gain. In addition, these sugars taken for a prolonged period can accumulate to a drastic increase in body weight.

Increased risk of heart diseases

According to research, there’s a 38% increased risk of developing heart diseases for people who consume added sugar. High sugar diets cause obesity, increased blood sugar, blood pressure, and other major risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases like arteriosclerosis are effects of the accumulation of fats, which occurs in cases of obesity.

The higher your sugar intake, the higher the risk of developing heart diseases.

Increased risk of diabetes

Although sugar intake is not related to the development of type 1 diabetes, we can not exactly say the same for type2 diabetes. If excessive sugar intake makes you add too much weight, you’re most likely at the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. When obesity sets in, there’s an increased accumulation of fat in the liver cells, causing insulin resistance, which might, later on, lead to diabetes.

Other health risks of excess sugar in the body include:

  • Increased risk of Cancer
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Increased kidney disease risk
  • Poor dental health
  • Cellular aging
  • Risk of developing gout

Asides from the disease conditions mentioned above, other effects of too much sugar in the body are:

  • Reduction in energy level, causing weakness and tiredness.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Incessant hunger
  • Mood disorders

What Type Of Sugar Is Good For Your Body?

While sugar isn’t entirely suitable for you, it is still needed to modify your diet.

So, what kind of sugar is good for you?

Added sugars are not only famous for their excessive calories but are also known to be empty.

They lack vitamins, minerals, or nutrients needed for good health.
On the contrary, natural sugars have all of these extra packages that help offset the adverse effects of sugars.

Research shows that fruits, milk, and vegetables contain natural sugars that can help us live healthier lives.

Although the body metabolizes both natural and added sugars the same way, consumption of natural sugars does not lead to many health problems caused by added sugars.

You don’t have to cut out sugar from your life entirely before you can be free from its dangers.

However, eating natural sugars and cutting down on added sugars can help you maintain a healthy diet. Ultimately, the body does not want or need excess sugar, so you can reduce how much of it you consume daily.

How To Flush Out Excess Sugar From The Body

Now that you know how harmful added sugars can be, what are the practical ways to flush out extra sugar from your body?

Many foods known to be high in sugar content are processed foods. Simply eating less processed foods can reduce the sugar content in your diet. Here are some helpful tips for eating less added sugar:

● Avoid drinking too many sodas, energy drinks, sweetened juice, and teas.
● Consume whole fruits and vegetables rather than fruit smoothies and processed fruit drinks.
● Replace candy with nuts, homemade fruits, and dairy products.
● Use natural butter instead of sweet spreads, Nutella, and ketchup.
● Reduce or altogether avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
● Prepare homemade healthy meals, and avoid eating junk and fast, processed foods.
● Eat sugar-free turkey or beef jerky
● Avoid food rich in unhealthy fats

Additionally, modifications include:

1. Stay hydrated

Hydrating means taking water and not carbonated drinks, coffee aerated drinks to reduce thirst. Water keeps your body system hydrated and helps eliminate wastes faster. In addition, it flushes out excess sugar from your body to reduce high blood sugar levels.

2. Always choose fruits over dessert

Fruits contain healthy natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed in a healthy diet. Therefore, fruits are an excellent option to reduce too much sugar intake.

3. Eat more protein and healthy fats

Having more protein in your meals is a great way to get more energy and restrict your cravings for sugary and unhealthy foods. In addition, healthy fats are also advisable as they help in sugar detox.

4. Exercise regularly

An effective way to flush out the excess fat in your body is to sweat it out. Exercising forces your body to use some of the glucose to feed your muscles, burning the excess glucose in your body. You don’t have to do heavy weight lifting or stressful activities; a simple workout that you can handle will do the job.

5. Choose healthy snacks

If you must eat snacks, choose homemade snacks prepared healthily with little or no added sugars. Avoid eating processed snacks, packaged snacks, and sugary treats.

6. Eat more complex carbohydrates

Simple carbs such as bread, pasta, and added sugars can cause a spike in your sugar level. On the other hand, eating complex carbohydrates like starchy vegetables and potatoes will give you stable blood sugar coupled with all the added nutrients that eat carbs.

Finally, it is essential to know the types of healthy sugars for you and stick to eating those sugars. Excess sugars are not helpful for your health, and you should avoid them. Get enough sleep and ensure you don’t skip meals. While you’re reducing your sugar intake, you should not restrict your overall diet or eat too little. You can eat enough and eat healthily at the same time. Keep your meals consistent, balanced, and sugar-free.

[lightweight-accordion title=”Article Sources”]

Pristen Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

1. Healthline: 11 reasons why too much sugar is bad for you
2. WebMD: How sugar affects the body
3. Clean Eating Kitchen: 10 tips for doing a sugar detox
4. PCRM: Does sugar cause diabetes

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