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What to Do When You've Eaten Too Much Sugar

We all know that too much sugar isn't good for us. But let's say you've slipped and over-indulged. Is there any way to undo the damage?

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
July 4, 2014

Q. You often talk abut cutting back on added sugar, but it's happened to all of us: sometimes we overdo it. Are there any foods or dietary tricks for flushing excess sugar from the body?

A. Yes, it's certainly happened to me! (More likely than not, Swedish fish were involved.)  Unfortunately, there's no easy way to undo the damage. If you've consumed too much salt, for example, drinking extra water can help flush it out of your system.

See also: Can You Compensate for a High Sodium Diet?

But that strategy will be of little use after a sugar binge.  Sugar is relatively quickly absorbed into the blood stream and a lot of the damaging effects have to do with that acute rise and fall in blood sugar. 

See also: Why Is Sugar Bad?

The one time when a high sugar meal is NOT a problem is during intense, sustained exercise.  Cycling over the Alps? You can mainline Swedish fish without compunction. For a very recent indiscretion (within the last hour), a burst of physical activity might help you use some of that blood glucose as energy before it is stored as fat.

That said, if you are otherwise healthy, an occasional over-indulgence isn't likely to lead to long-term health issues. It's eating a lot of sugar day after day that seems to do us in. 

See also: How to Reduce Your Added Sugar Intake

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