Sugary foods are delicious and make for an excellent treat from time to time. However, most people are unaware of the amount of added sugar they consume per day. It's important to look at the benefits of reducing sugar intake and identify how it can help you live a healthier life.
Overconsumption of added sugars typically develops in childhood, where children are rewarded with sugary drinks or food that is high in calories and unhealthy sugars. This creates a reward cycle where unhealthy food is then associated as a treat and therefore healthier foods are seen as more boring and blander.
As nice as these foods may be, consuming too much sugar leads to a range of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and of course steady weight gain.
High sugar consumption is also associated with low mood overtime as the dopamine that is produced as a result requires more and more sugar every time you eat it therefore creating a negative cycle.
The benefits of reducing sugar intake
There are many health benefits that are associated with reduced sugar intake, here are 5 surprising facts you may not know:
1. Increased energy
A sugary snack can be a great short-term boost to our energy levels, but as it leaves our system, our blood sugar levels drop. As a result of this, we end up feeling more lethargic than we were before and less focused. Similar to certain recreational drugs, the euphoria first felt is pleasant but as it passes, you can end up feeling lower than if you had avoided it in the first place.
Replacing these added sugars with foods such as carbohydrates and protein can help you benefit from slower-release energy, helping you feel better for longer. Increased energy can also help with our day-to-day productivity levels and maintaining good mental health!
2. Healthier heart
As one of the major organs in your body, the heart is responsible for carrying your blood around your body and maintaining a healthy heart rate both resting and during exercise. When too much added sugar is consumed, coronary heart disease can occur. This is caused by fat deposits creating a build-up that can blocks arteries and potentially lead to heart attacks.
When reducing sugar consumption, you can expect to see much healthier levels of harmful cholesterol; all the organs in our body are seamlessly integrated with one another, so adopting a low sugar diet can help not only your heart, but your whole body.
3. Less inflammation
Sugar is known to increase inflammation in soft tissue, which can lead to aches and pains in joints.
Internal inflammation isn't easily observed, as it's invisible. This makes it unpredictable, and we can't exactly tell when it will become an issue. By reducing added sugar and consuming only natural sugars, this inflammation can disappear and with the pain along with it.
4. Better, healthier skin
Over a long period of time, sugar in our bodies creates an unhealthy connection to proteins which is responsible for producing collagen which helps keep our skin elastic and youthful. When the connection occurs though, it negatively impacts the health and feel of your skin.
When suffering from inflammation, your skin can become more sensitive to acne and other conditions. Therefore, cutting out sugar keeps your skin young and avoids harmful skin conditions.
5. Helps to maintain a healthy weight
A high sugar diet strongly correlates with weight gain which comes with a range of health effects. On top of this, your body has to work a lot harder to do simple activities such as getting out of bed and climbing stairs, leading to shortened breath and other uncomfortable complications.
Cutting down on high sugar foods and moving to more of a whole food diet incorporating healthy low sugar snacks, fresh fruits, vegetables and other nutrient dense foods can be a great place to start.
Reduce your added sugar intake with The No Sugar Company