The sugar statistics in the U.S. are pretty dreary. They say the typical American eats 6 cups of sugar every week. That’s 152 pounds of sugar in a year! Why are we eating so much sugar?
First of all, it’s everywhere. As the most popular food additive in processed foods added sugar is hard to avoid. Secondly, it’s highly addictive. Most of us are addicted to sugar, whether we realize it or not. Here are just a few high-sugar foods to avoid:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Soft drinks and energy drinks
- Some brands of cereal and granola bars
- Barbecue sauce and other popular store-bought sauces
- Pre-packaged cookies, crackers, and snack cakes
- and much more!
Eliminating sugar in your diet is a difficult task, but it can be done, and the rewards are many! Let’s take a look at 12 things that happen when you stop eating sugar.
You’ll Become More Mentally Sharp
Want to increase mental productivity and improve cognition? Stop eating sugar. Once you do, you’ll find how much more focused and clear your mind becomes. Brain health is sabotaged when you’re addicted to sugar, and then act on your addiction.
A 2014 study published in Nutritional Neuroscience explains how a high-fructose diet causes hippocampal insulin resistance while also exacerbating memory deficits. Another study published in Molecular Neurobiology found a link between sugar consumption and negative changes in the brain’s frontal cortex — changes associated with additional cognitive problems.
If you want to stay sharp and on top of things, especially as you age, stop eating sugar. Your mind will reward you in spades.
Your Risk of Diabetes Decreases
One of the primary causes of type 2 diabetes is eating large amounts of sugar. This means we have some amount of control over our diabetes risk. The majority of us can prevent this fatal disease if we make the bold choice to stop sugar intake.
Sugar increases our risk of becoming diabetic because high blood sugar levels are a large part of the diabetes equation. Eating a lot of sugar spikes blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause insulin resistance, which wreaks havoc on your liver, your pancreas, and other organs. While many factors contribute to diabetes, sugar is one of the key culprits.
You’ll Lose Weight
It’s obvious that you’re eating more empty calories every time you eat sugar-laden food, and of course, this contributes to weight gain. However, more powerful mechanisms are at play when we talk about sugar, weight gain, and obesity. Sugar consumption wreaks havoc with the hormones responsible for maintaining a healthy weight, as well as those that support healthy weight loss.
Sugar also impacts the part of your brain that controls appetite. Eating a diet high in sugar makes your brain think it’s still hungry when in reality, there’s no need to keep eating. What’s more, sugar also causes changes in the brain, making it addicted to sugar, and craving more and more sugar the more you eat. It’s a highly vicious cycle.
While everyone’s weight loss journey is different, no matter who you are — when you stop eating sugar, losing weight is much easier.
You’ll Feel Lighter, Brighter, and Happier
Sure, eating your favorite cake or ice cream may make you feel better in the short term, but over the long haul, your mental health can take a beating. Did you know that overeating sugar is linked to depression? The underlying chronic inflammation that happens when we eat a high-sugar diet negatively impacts our brain function — one of the reasons we get blue with too many sweets.
A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate sugary foods with a high glycemic index increased their risk for depression. Another study published in 2017 in the journal Scientific Reports found that men who consumed more than 67 grams of sugar every day increased their risk for depression when compared to men who ate less than 40 grams each day.
Just consider a small child after eating their Halloween or Easter stash. They often turn from little angels to pesky devils! If you want to eat to beat the blues, you’ll want to stop eating sugar — especially if you’re prone to depressive states.
Your Skin Will Glow
A high-sugar diet has been linked to skin conditions like acne, pimples, rashes, and blemishes. A study published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigative Dermatology shows how much more prone you are to have acne and other skin conditions when you feed your body too many sugar-laden foods.
Feeding your skin a sugar-free diet — one that’s full of nutrient-dense whole foods and plenty of clean water will make your skin glow with youthful vigor.
You Won’t Get Sick As Often
When you eat high amounts of sugar, you wreak havoc on your immune system. But, when you stop eating sugar, your immune system is able to function in the way it was designed. The chronic inflammation linked to high sugar consumption lowers your immune response, making you more susceptible to colds and flu throughout the year.
When you stop eating sugar, you’re likely to find you’re far healthier and less likely to catch a cold or flu bug. One reason for this has to do with your white blood cells. For up to 5 hours after you’ve eaten a bunch of sugar, those cells are 50% less able to fight off bad bacteria.
You’ll Age Slower
Want to find the fountain of youth? Stop eating sugar. This is especially true when it comes to your looks. If you want to look younger than your age, eat a nutrient-dense diet. Consuming a diet high in sugar makes your skin wrinkle faster. The reason for this is glycation, a process that happens when sugar undermines the collagen and elastin production in your skin.
Inflammation is another factor that leads to premature aging, and sugar is a definite contributor to chronic inflammation. Reduce inflammation, stop eating sugar, and you just might find the fountain of youth is no fantasyland.
You’ll Have Better Breath
Has your partner ever complained of your bad breath? Maybe you’ve even noticed your own bad breath from time to time. If so, you’ll want to stop eating sugar. Sugar causes the bacteria in your mouth that is responsible for bad breath. When you consider this, your sweet tooth isn’t so sweet — especially not for your honey. Cut back on sugar if you want more kisses and better love life!
You’ll Have Healthier Teeth
A 2013 study published in International Scholarly Research Notices: Dentistry explains how sugar is linked to cavities and tooth decay. To preserve your teeth and prevent bigger problems like root canals, you’ll want to do your best to stop consuming sugar. Always floss and brush your teeth, at least twice a day. Your teeth will love you for it!
Stop eating sugar and you’ll lower your risk of heart disease dramatically because too much sugar in your diet heightens your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes — three primary risk factors for heart disease and cardiovascular decline.
Your Sex Life Will Get A Boost
Eating too much sugar is detrimental to your sex life. When you cut back on sugar, your libido improves, as does your body’s ability to get revved up for sex. For women, sugar disrupts the sexual hormonal balance. For men, eating too much sugar can lead to erectile dysfunction and low libido due to the insulin spike that takes over after consuming sugar. Let this be one of your motivating reasons for cutting sugar from your diet. Chances are, you’ll have better sex, and more of it!
You’ll Sleep Better
Sugar disrupts your sleep — especially if you’re prone to snacking on junk food around bedtime. Eating too much sugar at this time can even cause night sweats. When you stop consuming sugar, your hormones function better, including the hormones responsible for healthy, restorative sleep.
Stress hormones are the common culprits of poor-quality sleep. You’ll want to remember this when you reach for that favorite midnight snack. If it’s high in sugar, chances are it will increase your stress hormones and decrease your chances of restorative sleep.
Learn How to Stop Eating Sugar For Good
Try giving up sugar for 2 weeks to see just how much better you feel, and how much better you look. When you see positive results from short-term changes, you’ll be motivated to make the long-term changes necessary for real transformation.
Know that breaking the sugar habit is far from simple. When you decide to stop eating sugar, it won’t be easy. But it will be worth it.
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