We all know that too much sugar isn’t good for us. Even the government advices the public to use sugar in moderation. In order to discourage people from consuming high amounts of sugar, countries around the world are introducing “sugar tax” to soft drink manufacturers. While most of us understand the side effects, it’s hard to cut down on something that is present in almost all foods. Here, we are listing some amazing perks of giving up sugar and the changes that occur within our bodies upon giving up the sweet stuff.
1. You will become happy.
According to Megan Gilmore, a certified nutritionist consultant in Kansas City, Kansas, and author of No Excuses Detox: 100 Recipes to Help You Eat Healthy Every Day, “You might think eating a cookie will make you happy, but sugar consumption has actually been linked to higher rates of depression”. When we are sad or heartbroken, we tend to turn towards desserts such as ice cream for relief. While it makes us feel good for a short period of time, it does the exact opposite once the sugar rush is exhausted.
“This may be due to the fact that sugar can lead to chronic inflammation, which impacts brain function. When you cut out sugar, you might feel that fog lift, along with your mood, in just one to two weeks”, she says. Scientists also backup her statement since studies show that women who consumed foods that ranked high on the glycemic index and high in sugar were more likely to be depressed than those who didn’t. Another study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that controlling the sugar intake allows us to keep our mood constant. (source)
2. You will look younger.
Consuming too much sugar can cause wrinkles, according to Anthony Youn, MD, a plastic surgeon in Troy, Michigan, and author of The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How To Really Look Ten Years Younger. “Sugar causes glycation, a process by which the sugar molecules bind to and deform the collagen and elastin in our skin,” he says. Collagen and elastin are the two main proteins that give our skin its youthful, supple properties, so we want to preserve them as much as possible”. Giving up (or reducing) the amount of sugar you eat can also reduce glucose and insulin spikes in your bloodstream, reducing chronic and acute inflammation linked to aging”. You can get your glow on within 14 days of giving up sugar, Dr. Youn says. (source)
3. You will start sleeping better.
“A high sugar intake will delay the release of melatonin in the brain, which is essential for the homeostatic control of sleep,” according to experts. And lack of sleep, in turn, can increase your need to eat more sugar, continuing the cycle. Scientists suggest that poor sleep may lead to an impaired blood glucose balance which stimulates your desire to consume more sugar. The cycle keeps repeating itself if we don’t realize the real cause for our sleeplessness.
According to Dr. Hyman, “People can develop low blood sugar and get night sweats if they have a sugary snack before bed. Eating sugar before bed can also supercharge stress hormones, which leads to trouble sleeping. Within two to three days of reducing sugar consumption, our sleep cycles will become normal again, according to him. (source)
4. Your cravings for junk food will be reduced.
When our blood sugar becomes uncontrollable, we experience sugar highs or sugar lows. “The lows drive you to drastically increase your blood glucose and, as a result you’re more likely to crave higher sugar foods which is keeping you riding the sugar roller-coaster”, according to scientists. By reducing the amount of sugar intake, we are drastically reducing the need for the sugar highs, thus reducing the cravings for these unhealthy foods. (source)
5. Your mental health improves.
Believe it or not, there’s a huge relationship between sugar and mental health. According to recent research, high sugar intakes have been associated with an increased risk in depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. “While sugar intake isn’t necessarily a cause of anxiety, the constant blood sugar roller-coaster and release of adrenaline and insulin may contribute to the feelings of anxiety in those who already suffer. It’s important to note that changing your diet won’t necessarily cure anxiety but it can help to reduce some of the symptoms associated with it”.
According to Healthline, eating too much sugar may increase your risk for mood disorders, including depression. A study conducted by PLOS ONE found that the brain’s sweet receptors are not adapted to constant and high levels of sugar. The study found that sugar addiction is a real thing and can be stronger than contraband. (source)
6. Your liver function improves.
“The consumption of excess sugar (particularly in the form of fructose) and sugar sweetened beverages is heavily linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” according to scientists. “Excess fructose cannot be metabolized by the liver without glucose, so the fructose gets stored around the liver. Limiting your sugar intake will help to reduce the risks of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.” (source)
7. You will have more energy.
“High sugar foods have a high glycemic index, which means that they are released into the blood at a fast rate, promoting a large spike in blood sugar. This, in turn, generates a rise in energy levels, which quickly dip when insulin guides the sugar away from the blood and into the cells. The low blood sugar you’ll then experience means you’ll be lacking in energy, and will encourage you to find your next sugar hit”.
In order to reduce the amount of sugar lows you experience throughout the day, opt for snacks rich in protein and healthy fats. This will help balance your blood sugar levels, reducing the craving for additional sugar to maintain energy. (source)
8. You’ll catch fewer colds.
Sugar can cause chronic inflammation, which can in turn reduce your immune system’s ability to fight off colds and flu. Reducing the amount of sugar intake every day will also reduce the amount of sniffles year-round, and it may also help to reduce your allergy and asthma symptoms. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating 100 grams of sugar lowered white blood cells’ ability to fight off bacteria by as much as 50% —and this effect lasted for up to 5 hours. (source)
9. You’ll get fewer urinary tract infections.
For many men and women, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a recurring hassle. While excess sugar isn’t necessarily a cause of UTI, it does encourage bacterial overgrowth, thus leading to an UTI. Bacteria that promote UTIs love to feed on sugar, so consuming too much of it can help them flourish within your system. The best way to reduce UTI’s is to reduce the intake of sugar and starve the bacteria from their flourishing factor. (source)
10. You will increase your ability to think straight.
Cutting sugar is not that easy but it is important that we reduce the amount we consume every day. Studies show that cutting down on the sweet stuff can protect you from cognitive decline, dementia and even Alzheimer’s Disease. Sugar can also cause you to have a foggy brain; affecting your ability to think straight. An UCLA study found that high sugar intake has a negative impact on memory and learning, as well as reducing life expectancy. (source)