What if I told you there’s a whole world of benefits waiting for you on the other side of a no-sugar diet? I’m not here to rain on your sweet parade. Instead, let’s discover why ditching the sugar might just be the change your body needs. In this article, we’re unpacking the top 10 reasons to join no-sugar craze. Spoiler alert: it’s not just about shedding a few pounds. We’re talking about better energy levels, improved mood, and a whole bunch of other benefits that might surprise you. So, I hope you’re ready for a sweet revelation.
1. Healthier Body Weight
Nobody can confidently claim they can eat all the sugar in the world and not gain a single pound. Sugar is one of the most common guilty pleasures, making us feel really good; however, when on the scale, not so much. Foods and drinks with added sugars tend to be high in calories but low in nutrients. Because of this, they can increase weight gain and visceral fat. Visceral fat is a type of fat that surrounds your organs, which increases disease risk. Cutting foods with added sugars and replacing them with nutrient-dense and filling foods may help you lose weight.
2. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
When it comes to a diet high in sugar, it can increase blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol, which all contribute to the risk of heart disease. Compared to diets with low sugar intake, heart disease risk is significantly reduced, highlighting lower triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels. A lower sugar diet may also help avoid weight gain and fat build-up that causes heart disease.
3. Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Consuming foods and drinks that contain a high amount of added sugars can contribute to underlying factors that could increase the risk of diabetes. These overly sweet foods contain types of sugar that the body rapidly absorbs, which causes the body to increase insulin production, possibly leading to insulin resistance and poor blood sugar control. Because of that, there’s a link between foods and drinks with high added sugars and increased blood pressure levels, and insulin resistance. Even if someone has diabetes, healthy lifestyle changes like exercising, losing weight, and eating foods with less sugar could return a person to a pre-diabetic state.
4. Increase Energy
Foods with high sugar content can give us a boost in energy; however, only for a moment. As the sugar is processed by the body, slowly leaving the system, the infamous sugar crash happens, leaving us even more exhausted. Try eliminating processed sugar by replacing them with foods high in natural sugars and fiber, such as berries, apples, or a banana with peanut butter. These foods slowly release their sugar into the bloodstream, producing more sustainable energy without the crash.
5. Reduce Inflammation
When foods and drinks with added sugar are consumed, it can lead to inflammation of the body’s soft tissue, which is associated with health problems, including joint pain and a weakened immune system, and is known to be a possible factor in depression. Reducing sugar can decrease inflammation throughout the body, promoting better health.
6. Improve Mood and Mental Focus
Sugar can harm cognitive function and mental clarity. Over time, when you remove sugar from your diet, you can benefit from overall better mental health when combined with quality, restful sleep. The overall reduction in the body and brain’s inflammation can improve focus and concentration throughout the day. A no-sugar diet has also been shown to improve people’s mood, reducing the risk of depression.
7. Improve Oral Health
You may have heard it from your dentist, but overeating sugar can lead to cavities. Foods and drinks high in sugar can increase the risk of cavities, gum diseases, and tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth primarily rely on sugar as a food source, producing acid that can damage your teeth. Cutting sugar from your diet, especially added sugars in foods and drinks like soda, can protect your teeth and slow down tooth decay.
8. Healthier Skin
If you want your skin to feel tight and elastic, one of the best things you can do for your beauty is to stay away from sugar. When sugar builds up in the body, it can create an unhealthy connection to the protein responsible for producing collagen. Too much sugar in the body could cause inflammation, which ultimately causes the skin to be more prone to acne. That’s the reason why you heard that chocolate causes pimples.
9. Reduce Cravings
Eating dessert, candies, or any sugary snack or drink feels good because there’s a rush of dopamine when we eat sugar, causing us to crave it more. By eliminating those foods with added sugars from your diet, you can break the cycle of those cravings and develop healthier eating habits. This will return our body’s level of dopamine to a normal state, effectively reducing the desire for those sugary snacks.
10. Healthier Liver
Consuming too much refined sugar or high fructose syrups can harm the body, especially the liver. These foods will cause the liver to be fatty, which could then cause liver disease. In some cases, experts consider the effects on the liver of a high-sugar diet similar to consuming large amounts of alcohol. Cutting foods and drinks with high fructose syrups and added sugars is likely to reduce the fat in the liver, improving overall liver health.
This article originally appeared on Craving Veg.