While sugar might taste great and seem harmless – everyone else is eating loads of sugar, right? – research is now revealing that sugar is one of the main culprits in the increase in disease and obesity we are experiencing today. Added sugar especially is becoming a huge problem.
There is added sugar in obvious foods such as baked goods and sweet treats, but there is also added sugar in less obvious items such as yogurt, salad dressings and pasta sauces. As if added sugar in the form of white table sugar weren’t bad enough, added sugar comes in another highly potent form – high fructose corn syrup.
Likewise, many people don’t realize that grains are also a form of sugar. Grains convert to sugar within the body after being consumed.
Added sugars and excess intake of sugars causes obvious problems such as weight gain, but we now know that it is also implicated in conditions such as heart disease, ADD, autoimmune disorders, anxiety, depression and even cancer.
If you care about your health, your mood and how you feel, read on about 9 things that happen when you stop eating sugar.
1. Lose weight
Weight loss and weight gain are complex and have much more complicated than the dated “calories in versus calories out” formula. We know, however, that the amount of sugar in one’s diet plays a major role in weight gain and weight loss. The body’s preferred source of fuel is sugar but the problem is when the body runs on sugar it consumes it quickly and then needs more. Likewise, when sugar is used as the energy source, it prevents the body from burning fat as a fuel source instead. Furthermore, the body stores excess sugar which ultimately results in increased body fat.
2. Lower your risk of diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune disease and cancer.
Excess sugar in the diet is linked to countless diseases including diabetes, autoimmune disease and even cancer. In fact, some modern cancer treatments include eliminating sugar entirely from the body to starve cancer cells. Sugar is also implicated in autoimmune disease and many people today are successfully treating their autoimmune conditions through diets that eliminate sugar.
3. Improved mood
A study done by Columbia University demonstrated that women who consume refined grains and added sugars are more likely to experience mood swings, anxiety and irritability. Countless other studies are showing the same. Ditch the sugar and after you get through the initial cravings and discomfort, watch your mood improve.
4. Improved gut health
Our gut and in particular our gut microbiome, plays a critical role in keeping us healthy. There are over 100 trillion bacteria in and on our bodies and the gut harbors much of it. Sugar impacts your gut health by messing with the bacteria that reside there. Bad bacteria (as well as yeast – candida) love to live on sugar and so a diet high in sugar and grains can lead to gut dysfunction.
5. Less brain fog / clearer thinking
Brain fog includes forgetfulness, trouble focusing, confusion, grogginess, poor memory and slow processing of information. It runs rampant these days and sugar is one of the big culprits. Brain fog is a direct results of bodily inflammation and bodily inflammation is hugely related to sugar intake. Bodily inflammation slows down mental acuity and makes your thinking sluggish. Quit sugar and think more clearly.
6. You won’t feel as hungry
As mentioned above, if sugar is in the system, the body will run on sugar. The problem is that the body quickly processes sugar. It uses up what it can for energy and stores a bunch of it too – in the form of fat. The body exerts great effort in doing this quickly. The result, swings in blood sugar and you feel hungry more quickly. Stop eating so much sugar and watch yourself not feel as hungry.
7. Better energy
For the many of the same reason as why you won’t feel as hungry, you will also have better energy. You won’t get that sugar crash that happens when sugar is consumed as the primary source of fuel. Not only that, but your energy will also increase from fueling your cells with more nutrient-dense foods, such as fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
8. Skin issues resolve
Systemic inflammation caused by sugar is also known to cause acne as well as premature aging. Many people see their complexion improve when they quit sugar. Some research demonstrates that acne improves due to less bodily inflammation. Also, some research suggests that acne improves with less sugar consumption because the bacteria on and within the body become properly balanced.
9. Less body pain
Because of sugar’s direct connection with inflammation, body pain subsides with less sugar intake. Inflammation is directly implicated with joint pain, stress and swelling. Countless research has now proved that sugar leads to chronic pain and arthritis. If you want to feel better, try quitting sugar and grains.