Statistics show that over 20% of all Americans eat more than 700 calories of sugar per day. Sugar has a detrimental effect on overall health, and it’s contained in almost every food you eat.
There’s sugar in yogurt, granola bars, and pasta sauces. It’s called “hidden sugar,” as explained by Elyse Powell, a doctoral researcher at UNC. This doesn’t apply to the natural sugar you get from fruits, whole grains, and veggies.
When people decide to give up on sugar, they experience withdrawal symptoms and conditions such as anxiety, depression, irritability and mood swings.
An average American adult eats 22 teaspoons of sugar every day, and an average child consumes 32 teaspoons. The information was obtained from the American Heart Association.
We give you seven positive changes you are likely to experience when you stop eating sugar:
1. Healthy heart
James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid-Atlantic Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO, explains that cutting down sugar lowers the risk of dying from heart disease by three times. Added sugar increases insulin levels, activating the sympathetic nervous system and increasing your blood sugar. Give up on sugar, and your LDL cholesterol will be reduced by 10%, and your triglycerides will go down by 20-30%.
The human body needs to try really hard to process added sugar. High-sugar diet adds additional pressure to the liver.
2. Clear skin
Acne may occur as a result of the excessive consumption of sugar. A study released in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that those who drink carbonated drinks have an 97% higher risk of inflammation.
The body recognizes sugar as toxin, and the liver is unable to process it. Sugars can’t be eliminated through sweating, and the inflammation is manifested through acne and blemishes.
Sugar causes glycation in which sugar binds with collagen and elastin in the skin. These two proteins keep your skin young and fresh. Cut down sugar to protect these proteins.
3. Low risk of diabetes
Added sugar leads to fatty deposits around your liver, causing insulin resistance. Your pancreas works on overdrive. Dr. Robert Lustic, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Carolina, San Francisco, confirmed that getting 150 calories from added sugar increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 times.
4. You will be happier
If you think that sugar makes you happy, it’s time to think again. Sugar gives you instant energy, but things get really bad when your energy crashes. This triggers a never-ending cycle. Sugar cravings are a dangerous thing. You feel happy and then want some more.
A study conducted at a Colombia University found that women who eat a lot of added sugar have a higher risk of mood swings, anxiety, depression and irritability.
5. Improved sleep
Added sugar stimulates the production of cortisol, and disrupts your good night’s sleep. The crash will also make you sleepy. Sugar affects your central nervous system, triggering fluctuations in energy levels and sleep cycles. Avoid sugar and you will sleep much better.
6. Improved memory
Sugar causes cognitive impairment and brain fatigue. An animal study conducted at UCLA found that a high-sugar diet affects memory and learning. According to this study, excessive sugar consumption disrupts the communication between your brain cells.
7. Weight loss
Added sugar gives you empty calories. You are always hungry after eating a sugar treat, right? Your favorite dessert has a lot of calories but lacks nutrients. Your body craves sugar because it lacks clean energy from healthy foods.
Cut down sugar
You may consider this as a challenge at first, but your body will get used to it. First, remove a couple of sweet products from your menu, and then, avoid boxed and canned products. Make your own salad dressings and sauces. Drink a lot of water, and pay attention to the smoothies and juices you consume.
You will feel much better in a week. According to Dr. Robert Lustig and his team from the University of California, San Francisco, confirms that cutting down sugar lowers bad cholesterol by 5 points. The same results were noticed in diastolic blood pressure. In 10 days, children had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Sugar is added to almost every product, but you can eliminate it by changing a few lifestyle habits. Make smart eating choices, and eat more fresh fruits and veggies.