Full disclosure, I am back on the sugar train y'all.
Chugga chugga. Choo Choo.
I don't know about you, but detoxing from sugar is just about one of the hardest things I ever have to do… and for some reason I love to torture myself by getting off the sugar train and then getting back on it, leaving me in a vicious cycle. It's a struggle you guys. And, if you're there right now too, I feel you and I'm here for you friend.
A few years back, I wrote an article about the effects of sugar on the body. It was helpful for me personally to have that post to reflect on and remind myself of the very real negative effects that sugar has on my body. I'm back again to do some of the same reflecting.
Researchers have linked sugar to obesity, type-2 diabetes and a ton of other health problems. General advice these days is to drop sugar from your diet altogether. This is, of course, tricky because many of us have a sweet tooth, thanks to diets that are way too rich in sugar either for taste or content. The more sugar consumed, the more your body is going to crave it.
The Huffington Post reports that in the United States, the average person consumes more than 126 grams of sugar daily, which is almost twice the average sugar intake of all 54 countries observed by Euromonitor.
Additionally, 126 grams is more than twice the recommended daily intake, which the World Health Organization designates to be 50 grams daily for people of normal weight.
Eliminating sugar from your diet today could save you from a myriad of health issues in the future. Here are ten reasons why you should consider dropping the white stuff altogether…
Sugar is Linked to Depression
Sugar is on Prevention’s list of 5 foods that cause depression – and for good reason. Multiple studies have suggested that there is a link between a diet rich in sugar and depression.
It’s important to remember that the foods you eat don’t just release their nutrients, sugars, and calories into your belly and thighs; they also send them up to your brain.
Eating too much Sugar is Linked to Obesity
I believe this is well known by now, but eating too much sugar can, in fact, lead to packing on the pounds.
The NHS found that the link between sugar and obesity is indeed very real, and is caused because sugar is loaded with empty calories (energy) that your body stores for later days. Only, the later days never come and eventually all that built-up energy is turned into fat.
Excess Sugar Intake is Linked to High Blood Pressure
More and more American’s are being diagnosed with high blood pressure, and Mayo Clinic suggest that a poor diet is one of the biggest risk factors.
Sugar intake has been linked to inflammation in the body, which in turn can affect your blood pressure.
Increased Sugar Intake can Increase your Risk of having a Heart Attack
It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, consuming excess sugar can increase your risk of having a heart attack or other cardiac-related diseases.
A 2014 JAMA study discusses how added sugar intake impacts cardiovascular diseases among U.S. adults. They found that people who consume more sugar have a stronger chance of dying from a heart attack or heart disease.
Last month, in honor of Heart Health Awareness, I wrote an article on 10 ways to improve your heart health, where I discuss simple things you can do to protect yourself from heart-related illness.
Sugar is Addictive
I feel like this should go without saying since most of us have experienced it first-hand, but sugar can be super addictive. While it's is not classified as a drug, its effects are similar to heroin, and can be just as addictive as illegal drugs.
Sugar has some effects on opioid pathways within the brain, the same system manipulated by drugs like heroin and morphine, and leave people craving more and more.
In addition, just like drugs, sugar can easily be abused.
Sugar is Linked to Type 2 Diabetes
No doubt, the biggest connection researchers have made is the one between chronic sugar consumption and the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
Diabetes happens when your pancreas doesn’t create enough insulin, which is the hormone we rely on to turn sugar into fuel.
Diabetes can be a crippling disease if left untreated. It used to be thought that once you developed Type 2 Diabetes that there was no hope for recovery and you'd be left with symptom management for the rest of your life.
Although for many people this is an unfortunate reality, as medicine & science is ever evolving we've begun to discover that changes in diet and lifestyle can absolutely improve health outcomes and even reverse Type 2 Diabetes!
Sugar Intake is Linked to Fatty Liver Disease
Sugar is largely composed of two simple types of sugars, fructose & glucose.
Although there are other contributing factors that can lead to fatty liver disease, one big factor is that of simple sugar consumption.
Fructose, found in refined sugars, heads immediately to your liver. Over time, too much sugar can cause a condition called “fatty liver”, which, if left untreated, can lead to full-on liver disease.
Sugar Intake can Impact the Development of Certain Cancers
Although studies are ongoing, there is much research to suggest that sugar could contribute to the development and proliferation of certain cancers. The idea is that certain types of cancers actually are fed by sugars, so decreasing intake of sugar, while increasing nutrient-dense foods can actually have a positive effect on outcome.
Alternately, the connected between having excess body fat impacting risk of developing cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, having excess body fat has been convincingly linked to at least 12 types of cancer: Breast (post-menopausal), Colorectal, Endometrial, Esophageal, Gall Bladder, Kidney, Liver, Mouth/Pharynx/Larynx, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Prostate (advanced), & Stomach.
Sugar Rots your Teeth
Although sugar is certainly not the sole reason for oral issues, it can certainly cause some pretty nasty damage to your molars.
This is because it leaves behind a trail of debris in your teeth, which, over time, can lead to plaque, which – if left untreated – can lead to cavities.
You’ll Feel Less Hungry
We already covered that sugar can be addictive, but couple that with the fact that it actually depletes the body of key nutrients. When your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs from the food you're consuming, it sends signals to your brain that set you off to look for more sustenance, leaving you still feeling hungry.
I can say from first-hand experience that cutting it from your diet can absolutely harmonize your appetite and you won't have the crazy cravings and starvation-like hunger pangs like you do when consuming lots of refined sugar.
Which of these reasons do you think is the most motivating for hopping off the sugar train?
Will you hop off with me? Let me know in the comments!