Reasons to Cut Sugar out of Your Diet
Reasons to Cut Sugar out of Your Diet
There's an old saying that states, "You are what you eat." And as far as foods go, it's somewhat true: when you eat sugar, you're loading up on empty calories that do nothing for your body. But did you know that sugar has dangerous side effects on your teeth and mental health? Not only that, but sugar can also cause obesity, diabetes, and other underlying health problems.
The Sugar Crash & Craving
Sugar is everywhere. From your morning cereal to that afternoon snack, it’s hard not to come across it. But sugar isn’t just in the foods you eat. It’s also hiding in medications, toothpaste, and even vitamins. Sugar is often referred to as “the devil’s candy” for a good reason. It causes rapid spikes in blood sugar, which can cause many health issues. When you eat sugars, your blood sugar rushes up, then crashes, leaving you with a blood sugar crash—and a craving for more sugar.
Without further a due, let's take a look at what we believe to be the top 7 reasons why you should cut sugar out of your diet.
1. Sugar can cause weight gain.
Added sugar, especially in sugar-sweetened beverages, is one of the leading causes of an increasing rate of obesity worldwide.
There are two ways to define the sugar we consume. We have fructose and glucose. Sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, which is a type of simple sugar. Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food. Glucose is the main type of sugar found in starchy foods. If you consume excessive amounts of fructose, it can cause your body to regulate your hunger differently.
In other words, sugary beverages don’t curb your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume many liquid calories, leading to weight gain.
2. Sugar can increase your risk of heart disease
Evidence suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar and blood pressure levels which are all risk factors for heart disease.
"Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits.
A study of over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 17–21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar (Healthline, 2022).
It has been shown that one sugary drink a day can already put you over the recommended daily limit for added sugar.😳
3. Sugar Intake Has Been Linked to Acne
A diet high in refined carbs, including sugary foods and drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of developing acne.
Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed sweets, raise your blood sugar more rapidly than foods with a lower glycemic index.
Sugary foods quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which play a role in acne development (Healthline, 2022).
4. Increases Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years! (Heathline, 2022)
Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk. Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes.
Moreover, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.
5. May Increase Your Risk of Cancer
Eating excessive amounts of sugar may increase your risk of developing certain cancers. First, a diet rich in sugary foods and beverages can lead to obesity, which significantly raises your risk of cancer.
Furthermore, diets high in sugar increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, both of which increase cancer risk.
6. May Increase Your Risk of Depression
While a healthy diet can help improve your mood, a diet high in added sugar and processed foods may increase your chances of developing depression.
Consuming many processed foods, including high-sugar products such as cakes and sugary drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of depression.
Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysregulation and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health (Healthline, 2022).
7. May Accelerate the Skin Aging Process
Wrinkles are a natural sign of ageing. They appear eventually, regardless of your health. However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed up the skin ageing process.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected of playing a key role in skin ageing. Consuming a diet high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely. AGEs damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its youthful appearance. When collagen and elastin become damaged, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag. (Healthline, 2022).
8. Drains Your Energy
Foods high in added sugar quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, increasing energy.
However, this rise in energy levels is fleeting.
Products that are loaded with sugar but lacking in protein, fibre or fat lead to a brief energy boost that’s quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash (36Trusted Source).
Having constant blood sugar swings can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels (37Trusted Source).
To avoid this energy-draining cycle, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fibre. Pairing carbs with protein or fat is another great way to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable. For example, eating an apple and a small handful of almonds is an excellent snack for prolonged, consistent energy levels.
9. Can Lead to Fatty Liver
A high intake of fructose has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver. Unlike glucose and other types of sugar, which are taken up by many cells throughout the body, fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver. In the liver, fructose is converted into energy or stored as glycogen. However, the liver can only store so much glycogen before excess amounts are turned into fat