Sugar is loved for its taste but behind the sweet veneer, lies a dark truth – it’s highly toxic and addictive. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to a wide variety of health problems.
Obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are all related to excessive sugar consumption and this can have a long-lasting impact on the health of the body and brain.
Removing sugar from your diet isn’t easy – you may find that you get withdrawal symptoms and various slip-ups along the way. Many people struggle to give up sugar because they’ve been eating it for decades. It’s in sweets, cakes, biscuits, pastries, cereals, even packaged foods.
For all of these reasons, many people find they need to give sugar up little by little rather than all at once. Yet even getting onto a low-sugar diet can have great benefits for health. People have testifed that their aches and pains go away, chronic health problems improve, while decreasing their dependence on sugar.
Here are just 8 of the best health benefits of giving up sugar…
1. Less Headaches and Migraines
Sugar causes blood sugar levels to spike and crash. This is one of the main triggers behind headaches and it is known to increase their severity and pain. Reducing your sugar intake can reduce how heavy your migraines are, potentially eliminating your headaches altogether.
2. Reduced Risk of Anxiety and Depression
Sugar is often associated with the ‘feelgood factor’ but the truth is that it can make your moods worse. A recent study showed that men who ate more sugar had a 23 per cent increased risk of developing a mental disorder. This is true for both men and women who ate a large amount of sugar – they had an increased risk of their depression returning.
3. Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
High sugar intake could increase your blood pressure numbers. Cut sugar from your diet and your blood pressure should drop and as an added bonus your LDL cholesterol levels should be a few points lower too – along with your triglycerides. Some people have found that their numbers reduce as much as 30%.
4. Could Help Weight Loss and Reduce The Risk of Diabetes
Sugar is full of empty calories and this can contribute to weight gain. Drop sugar from your diet and watch how quickly the pounds drop off!
If you’ve had a sweet tooth for a while then it may be you have become insulin resistant and your body can’t clear sugar from your bloodstream so fast or efficiently. This causes weight gain.
Cut out sugar and your blood sugar and insulin levels will stabilise and this should make losing weight easier.
5. Avoid Menstrual Cramps
Believe it or not, sugar could be make that time of the month even worse. Menstrual cramps can be painful but if you find they are a recurring problem, you may want to cut out sugar as this will ease the inflammation.
When inflammation is reduced, this tames the cramp-inducing prostaglandins and may possibly eliminate the pain associated with menstruation.
6. More Mental Clarity
If you want to protect your mental clarity and avoid the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and cognitive decline then cutting out sugar is a good choice. Eating less sugar may keep the brain fog at bay.
A recent UCLA study found high sugar intake had a negative impact on memory and learning skills. If you want to stay sharp before an important exam then avoiding sugar is essential. Therefore it makes sense that if you want to achieve good brain health, it’s wise to cut out sugar altogether.
7. Fewer Urinary Tract Infections
Many women suffer from recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs). Eating sugar can promote UTIs, encouraging excess bacterial overgrowth. If you want to reduce UTIs then starve the bacteria by getting off sugar and eliminating their favourite food source.
8. Better Night’s Sleep
Sugar has a very stimulating effect on moods and for this reason, eating chocolate or sweets before going to bed can be a bad idea. When sugar is in the system some people find they can’t get to sleep or they have a disturbed night’s rest. This could mean that the body works overtime to clear excess sugar so frequent late night visits to the toilet may occur.
The more sugar you have, the less sleep occurs. If you want a peaceful night’s sleep, it’s recommended to avoid eating sugary foods or drinks especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.
- 1 cup of milk = 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 Bowel of breakfast cereal with milk = 8 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 cup of rice (cooked) = 9 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 banana = 5 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 baked potato (not including skin) = 7 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 sweet potato = 8 teaspoons of sugar
- 2 slices of bread = 4 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 cup of strawberries = 2.5 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/2 grapefruit = 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 average soda/soft drink = 8 teaspoons of sugar
And guess what the sugar equivalent is of one large croissant or bagel? A whopping 12 teaspoons of sugar! That is all the sugar your body needs with no nutritional value for your cells’ health.
Stick to 12 teaspoons or less of sugar in total per day to lower the glucose in your body. To lower your blood glucose levels even further, consider taking a cinnamon supplement to block the uptake of glucose.
When all of the above factors are taken into account, it’s easy to see why avoiding sugar is so important if you want to maintain good health.
For best results, cut it out all together and see and feel for yourself, the difference it makes to your general health and wellbeing. You can find healthy sugar-free or healthier alternatives to traditional foods under the ‘Desserts’ section on www.reallyhealthyfoods.com.
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