Did you know that the average person consumes about 300 calories from added sugar every day? According to a report from the University of North Carolina, about 20% of Americans exceed 700 calories of added sugar on a daily basis. That’s an entire cup of sugar! Not only are we getting added sugar from obvious places like cakes, candy, and soda, but it’s also coming from seemingly healthier packaged products like salad dressing, pasta sauce, and yogurt…just to name a few.
Most of us could stand to cut back on sugar, but speaking from experience, this is not an easy thing to do! Sugar can be extremely addictive, AND extremely debilitating. Check out these 7 amazing things that happen when you stop eating sugar, and let us help you break your sugar addiction and put down that snicker bar once and for all!
1. Your heart will be happy: Your risk of dying from heart trouble will significantly decrease! According to research, added sugar chronically raises insulin levels, which activates the sympathetic nervous system, increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Decrease your intake of sugar and within a few weeks, you might expect to see a 10% decrease in LDL cholesterol and a 20 to 30% decrease in triglycerides. Your blood pressure will head in the right direction too!
2. You won’t have to borrow your teenager’s acne cream: Sugar is an inflammatory, and systemic inflammation is a known acne trigger. One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when non-soda-drinkers consumed one 12-ounce can a day for 3 weeks, their inflammation levels increased by 87%. Give up the soda and other sweetened drinks and you might not need as much of that expensive concealer.
3. You’ll sleep when you’re supposed to (for a change): The crash from a sugar high leaves you with mid-day sluggishness and an itching need to take a nap. Also, added sugar triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which interferes with slumber. Give up added sugar, and you should be more awake and alert during the day, and also better prepared to catch some z’s come bedtime.
4. You’ll sidestep diabetes: Eating added sugar promotes the buildup of fatty deposits around your liver. These deposits contribute to insulin resistance and undermine the work done by your pancreas, which normally stalls the production of insulin. In a study of sugar consumption in 175 nations, it was found that eating 150 calories of added sugar is 11 times more likely to contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, compared with 150 calories from protein or fat. So swap that sugary granola for a handful of nuts!
5. You won’t have to fake smile: It’s normal to be cranky for a while when you ditch sweets. (After all, they’re the foods we usually rely on for comfort and a quick hit of energy.) But once you’re over your sugar addiction, you’ll feel better than ever. A Columbia University study found that women who eat a diet high in added sugars and refined grains are more likely to experience anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. So, ditch the sugar and let the sunshine in!
6. You’ll remember your children’s names: Got brain fog? Sugar may be to blame. One animal study at UCLA concluded a diet high in added sugar hinders learning and memory. Over time, eating lots of sugar may actually damage communication among your brain’s cells. So when you’re eyeing the doughnuts in a morning meeting, tell yourself you’ll be sharper without the sugar!
7. You’ll finally lose that extra 10 pounds: When you replace some of those sugary calories with other foods…like trading a sugary granola bar for a handful of almonds…you won’t be eating as many calories overall. Scaling back your sugar habit by 200 calories a day could help you drop 10 pounds in 5 to 6 months. Now that’s sweet!
Reducing the amount of sugar you eat CAN be done. At first it will feel like you’ve lost your best friend, but within days you will realize that is wasn’t that great of a friendship any way. Sugar is not your friend! I promise that on the other side, life is so much sweeter without all the sugar.
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