Sugar is Everywhere!
Yes, it is, but it’s definitely an unhealthy substance that’s pretty hard to avoid these days. Everywhere you turn, there’s sugar. It is loaded into the majority of processed foods, where it lurks in even the most unsuspecting places – bread, sauces, salad dressings, and even frozen fruit!
Today, the over-consumption of sugar is the number one cause of the obesity epidemic worldwide. While the USDA recommends only 8 teaspoons (32 grams) of added sugar per day, the average person eats approximately 53 teaspoons (212 grams).
There are a lot of issues that can be caused by consuming too much sugar, specifically added sugar. And you’re consuming a lot more of it than you actually realize. Sugar contributes to a whole host of adverse health effects – and we’re not just talking about tooth decay here, but sickness, disease, and even cancer. Cutting sugar from your diet can prevent these adverse effects, contributing to not only a smaller waistline but a longer, better quality of life.
So, why should you quit eating so much sugar?
Within this article, we’ll talk about the major reasons to stop eating sugar, and some of the steps you can take to do exactly that. We’ll also cover issues like how you can stop eating sugar.
Sugar is hyper-palatable, and that’s exactly what our brain wants and rewards for. Like drugs, sugar stimulates the release of dopamine, a “feel-good” chemical in the brain. As we consume sugar, our bodies create more dopamine receptors that lead us to crave more sugar, resulting in a vicious cycle of sugar consumption.
In short, it is highly addictive. Your body loves it because of all the easy-to-consume calories it provides, and it’s hard to resist, hooking you up once and for all.
Did you know that by 2050, obese people will constitute the majority of the population? Well, sugar is responsible for it. Addiction is not the only danger of sugar. This substance is also responsible for the obesity epidemic we have on our hands.
How does it happen, you may ask. Well, it does so in a pretty complicated way. First, it makes your body more insulin resistant, causing your pancreas to work harder and produce more insulin each time you eat, storing a large part of incoming calories in fat cells.
Secondly, there’s the hormone called “leptin,” which insulin blocks sending signals your brain you’ve eaten enough. This causes you to eat more because your body thinks it’s starving.
Damages Your Immune System and Robs Your Body Of Essential Minerals
Besides being empty calories with no value in nutrition, sugar damages your immune system actually robs your body of essential minerals. Sugar causes vital minerals like potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium, to seep from the body. This can weaken the teeth and bones, causing tooth decay and diseases like osteoporosis.
Also, by reducing the efficiency of white blood cells for hours at a time after consumption, sugar compromises the immune system and obstructs our ability to fight disease and infection.
Diabetes, Cancer and Liver problems
Sugar leads to some deadly diseases. The first one is diabetes. As you know, sugar causes your body to become more resistant to insulin. When you consume excess sugar long enough, it becomes chronic. When this happens, your body loses the ability to process incoming food. Since most things you eat are converted to blood sugar before further processing, high insulin resistance means certain death. This is the point where people need insulin shots to stay alive.
Diabetes is hereditary, and this is partly true. The type 1 diabetes is indeed caused by the genes, but that’s for a minority of cases. The majority is type 2, which can be acquired if you don’t watch your sugar intake.
The second threat associated with sugar is cancer. There is an old saying: “cancer loves sugar.” Several studies have shown that consuming high levels of sugar can lead to the development of cancer cells. It makes a lot of sense because sugar is a great nutrient. Having lots of it in your bloodstream gives your cancer cells the energy to survive and flourish. Excessive sugar intake has been linked to increased risk for breast, colon, pancreatic, colorectal, and endometrial cancer.
The third threat associated with sugar is liver problems. Sugar is half glucose and half fructose. The liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose. When excess fructose enters the liver, it gets turned into fat that can build up over time and ultimately lead to disease.
Here’s an interesting fact: Sugar causes more harm to the skin and ages faster than a lifetime of staying under the sun.
Sugar can seriously speed up the aging process. This is due to a process called ‘glycation.’ This chemical process happens when blood sugar levels become excessively high.
Sugar causes premature adding by attaching to proteins in the bloodstream, resulting in AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) that damage collagen and elastin production, which are responsible for maintaining skin’s elasticity.
If you want to stay looking young, stop eating sugar!
Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue, Irritability, and Mood Swings
Consuming excess sugar leads to a rise in both blood sugar and feel-good serotonin levels in the brain. When the sugar withdraws from our system, we experience a withdrawal symptom creating a cycle of craving and bingeing in both our bodies and our minds.
High Cholesterol Levels
High sugar consumption lowers levels of good cholesterol, and this has been shown to increase levels of triglycerides, a type of fat found in the blood that poses an increased risk for heart disease.
Weakens Your Eyesight
Sugar could potentially damage your eyesight. High blood sugar causes the lens of your eyes to swell, which changes your ability to see properly.
Getting your blood sugar levels back down to a healthy range will fix the issue, but it’s still a big cause for concern.
Rots Your Teeth
Excess sugar consumed becomes acidic bacteria inside your mouth, which begins to dissolve and damage your teeth, which will rapidly increase the rate of tooth decay.
Avoiding foods high in sugar, such as fizzy drinks and sweets, will help to keep your teeth and gums protected from bacteria.
How to Stop Eating Sugar
You’ve seen all the reasons to stop eating sugar, and now you probably want to, right?
Avoiding refined sugar can be a challenge to daily life, but for some adults, stopping sugar is a necessity that has to occur for health reasons. Sugar consumption can have long-term effects on your health, and sugar is associated with some conditions listed above. If you are going to stop eating sugar, consider the tips below to boost your overall success.
Clean out Your Kitchen
If you want to avoid sugar, then you need to get rid of the sources of sugar in your home. This should be the first step when it comes to avoiding sugar from here on out. It is necessary so as to eliminate all temptations as soon as possible. You should begin with your kitchen pantry.
Replace Sugar With Substitutes
When you first start quitting your sugar addiction, you can try replacing sugar with sugar substitutes like artificial substitutes or look for naturally sweet foods.
Consuming these types of sugar substitutes will trick your brain into thinking it’s consuming sugar. However, this is only to be used as a short term strategy as the end goal is to stop your brain from thinking its consuming sugar completely.
Eat more fruits With Natural Sugars
Fruit contains natural sugars, which gives you the required sugar your body needs. For example, apples are very good for you due to their fiber content and such, and they do contain natural sugars. If you’re going to be getting your sugar from anywhere, make sure it’s from foods like fruit that contain 100% natural sugar.
Read all Food Labels thoroughly
By law, every food product you purchase in packaging by law should contain a list of ingredients, therefore before you purchase any food product you should carefully read your food labels and ingredient lists to ensure that added sugars are not included.
When Sugar Cravings Strike, Exercise
To help combat your sugar cravings whenever they strike, you should exercise more. Exercise helps by releasing endorphins throughout the body, thereby reducing your symptoms.
Also, you can never have too much exercise, so make it part of your daily routine anyway.
Drink More Water
Water is an elixir, one that most people ignore. Sometimes sugar cravings strike when all you really need is more water inside the body. Make sure you’re drinking at least 2 liters of water a day. This is one of the surest ways to keep cravings, headaches, and such far from you.