It might surprise you to learn that sugar consumption (in the UK and other developed countries at least) has actually been steadily decreasing over the past decade.
This could be happening for any number of reasons, such as a shift in tastes and lifestyles, with the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, like keto, increasing in the past decade. A greater understanding of the dangers of eating excess sugar on our health may also be driving this drop.
Reducing sugar intake has clear health benefits, including reduced calorie intake, which can help with weight loss, and improved dental health. But people sometimes report experiencing negative side effects when they try to eat less sugar. Headaches, fatigue or mood changes, which are usually temporary, are among the symptoms. The reason for these side effects is currently poorly understood. But it's likely these symptoms relate to how the brain reacts when exposed to sugary foods – and the biology of "reward".
Carbohydrates come in several forms – including as sugars, which can naturally occur in many foods, such as fructose in fruits and lactose in milk. Table sugar – known as sucrose – is found in sugar cane, sugar beet and maple syrup while glucose and fructose are the main constituents of honey.