In moderation, sugar isn’t an evil fat inducing monster that needs to be destroyed. The problem with sugar is it’s in almost everything we eat, resulting in excessive consumption. This can result in weight gain, mood swings, and contributes to more serious health issues like heart disease.
Here’s some of the many benefits of cutting back on the sweet stuff.
You’ll Lose A Few Pounds
Certain foods contribute to weight gain because of the way the food is processed, and the hormones it triggers. High sugar foods like cake, ice cream, and candy are all calorie dense and low in fiber. The excessive calories can cause weight gain, and the lack of fiber leaves you feeling hungry shortly after eating.
High sugar diets also influence your insulin levels, resulting in increased fat storage. Reducing sugar in your diet will also remove many of the foods contributing to weight gain and obesity.
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It isn’t just an old wive’s tale that sugar will rot your teeth. When you eat sugar it creates a sticky mixture of carbohydrates and protein that traps bacteria on your teeth. Over time this bacteria will wear down and weaken your tooth enamel.
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, reducing the the amount of sugar in your diet will directly influence the process leading to cavities.
Lowers Risk Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease related to the disruption and inefficient use of the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin plays an important role in turning glucose into the energy your body needs to function normally.
You can either have a resistance to insulin (type 2), or a complete lack of insulin production (type 1).
Excessive sugar consumption contributes to the fat deposits around your liver which increases insulin resistance, and makes the pancreas less efficient. Studies have shown a very strong correlation between sugar consumption and the onset of type 2 diabetes in both children and adults.
Improves Heart Health
The link between a high sugar diet and heart disease doesn’t seem obvious but there is a correlation. Fructose, the simple sugars found in candy and other sweets, directly influences your triglyceride, blood pressure, heart rate, and bad cholesterol levels. Triglycerides are the fats in your blood known to weaken your heart.
The more sugar (fructose) you consume, the higher your triglycerides and cholesterol levels, which elevates your risk for heart disease. Switching to a low sugar diet can make a significant difference in triglyceride and cholesterol levels in as little as 2-3 weeks.
You’ll Sleep Better
Too much sugar can negatively influence both your behavior and hormonal response. If you’ve ever experienced a sugar rush, you’ve also experienced the subsequent crash several hours later. This increases your desire to nap mid-day, and can disrupt your nightly sleep schedule.
High sugar diets also increase the cortisol (stress) hormone which can interfere with sleep and REM cycles.
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