Have you ever wondered how to cut out sugar in a healthy way? Despite the fact that sugar contains nearly no nutrients, it is impossible to dispute its importance in a delectable dish or pleasure. Despite this, sugar has been dubbed the “public enemy” in recent years due to several studies demonstrating how harmful sugar is to human health. The good news is that reducing sugar consumption may be less difficult than you think. Below is a method for reducing sugar consumption that is gradual, stable, and long-term without causing undue stress.
Why sugar is bad for you
1. Can Cause Weight Gain
Obesity rates are on the rise all across the world, and added sugar, particularly from sugar-sweetened beverages, is regarded to be one of the main causes. Fructose, a form of simple sugar, is abundant in sweetened beverages such as sodas, juices, and sweet teas. Fructose, the main form of sugar found in starchy foods, boosts your hunger and desire for food more than glucose.
Excessive fructose consumption can also lead to leptin resistance, a hormone that controls hunger and informs your body when it’s time to quit eating. Sugary beverages, in other words, do not satisfy hunger, making it easier to consume a large number of liquid calories rapidly. It’s possible that this will result in weight gain.
People who use sugary beverages such as soda and juice are frequently found to be heavier than those who do not. Drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages has also been related to an increase in visceral fat, a type of deep abdominal fat linked to diabetes and heart disease.
2. Increase the risk of heart disease
According to multiple studies, sugar consumption has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, the world’s leading cause of death. Excess sugar consumption has been linked to inflammation, diabetes, obesity, and high blood sugar levels, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Furthermore, excessive sugar consumption, particularly from artificially sweetened beverages, has been related to atherosclerosis, a disease marked by fatty, artery-clogging plaques. According to a research of almost 30,000 participants, those who consumed 17–21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38 percent higher chance of dying from heart disease than those who consumed only 8%.
A diet strong in refined carbohydrates, such as sugary meals and drinks, has been linked to an increased risk of acne. Processed sweets and other foods with a high glycemic index spike blood sugar faster than meals with a lower glycemic index. Sugary foods elevate blood sugar and insulin levels quickly, resulting in increased androgen secretion, oil production, and inflammation, all of which contribute to acne formation.
Low-glycemic diets have been linked to a lower risk of acne, while high-glycemic diets have been connected to a higher risk. A study of 2,300 teenagers found that those who drank additional sugar on a regular basis had a 30% higher risk of acquiring acne. In addition, compared to more urban, high-income locations, many demographic studies have revealed that rural groups that consume typical, non-processed foods had essentially non-existent rates of acne. These data support the idea that eating a diet high in processed, sugary foods contributes to acne development.
4. Increases Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Over the last 30 years, the global prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled. There is a strong correlation between excessive sugar consumption and the risk of diabetes, despite the fact that there are several explanations for this. Obesity, which is frequently induced by eating too much sugar, is the most significant risk factor for diabetes. Furthermore, long-term high-sugar consumption leads to insulin resistance, a hormone produced by the pancreas that controls blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance raises blood sugar levels, putting you at a higher risk of diabetes. According to a population research involving over 175 countries, every 150 calories of sugar ingested per day, or about one can of soda, increased the risk of developing diabetes by 1.1 percent. People who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, such as fruit juice, are more likely to acquire diabetes, according to other studies.
5. Feed the cancer cells in the body
Sugar is the food for cancer cells in our bodies, something most people are unaware of. As a result, consuming too much sugar raises the risk of certain malignancies. A high-sugar diet causes severe inflammation in the body, as well as a high chance of insulin resistance, both of which can lead to cancer. Furthermore, as sugar is the leading cause of obesity, it is almost guaranteed to play a role in the development of cancer in the body.
6. Affect your mental health
Did you know that what you eat is linked directly to your mood and your mental well-being?
When you consume high-sugar meals such as cakes and candy, your entire body is flushed with sugar, causing your blood sugar to spike. For a short amount of time, this will make you feel happy and energized (this is why many people enjoy eating ice cream when they’re in a foul mood). However, after reaching its peak, blood sugar levels plummet, resulting in the “down mood” impact, despair, and exhaustion. The “sugar crash” is a term used to describe this phenomenon. Mood disorders, excessive mood swings, and neurotransmitter malfunction have all been linked to sugar.
7. Increase skin aging process
Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. They will appear at some point, regardless of your condition. Poor eating choices, on the other hand, can exacerbate wrinkles and accelerate the aging process. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are molecules produced by sugar and protein interactions in the body. They’re thought to be important in skin aging.
AGEs are produced when you eat a diet high in processed carbs and sugar, which can cause your skin to age rapidly. Collagen and elastin, which help the skin stretch and maintain its youthful appearance, are damaged by AGEs. The skin loses its firm and begins to droop when collagen and elastin are destroyed.
Women who ate more carbs, including refined sugar, had more wrinkles than women who ate a high-protein, low-carb diet, according to one study. The researchers came to the conclusion that a reduced carbohydrate diet was linked to a more youthful appearance of the skin.
8. Drains Your Energy
Sugary foods raise blood sugar and insulin levels quickly, resulting in an increase in energy. This increase in energy levels, however, is just temporary. Products high in sweets but low in protein, fiber, or fat provide a short burst of energy followed by a significant drop in blood sugar, a phenomenon known as a crash.
Constant blood sugar fluctuations can cause significant energy fluctuations. Choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and high in fiber to avoid this energy-draining loop. Another fantastic strategy to keep your blood sugar and energy levels consistent is to combine carbs with protein or fat. A snack consisting of an apple and a small handful of almonds, for example, is a great way to get long-lasting, steady energy.
Different guises of sugar
There are lots of different ways added sugar can be listed on ingredients labels:
- fruit juice
- hydrolysed starch
- invert sugar
- corn syrup
Nutrition labels tell you how much sugar a food contains:
- high in sugar – 22.5g or more of total per 100g
- low in sugar – 5g or less of total per 100g
Some packaging uses a color-coded system that makes it easy to choose foods that are lower in sugar, salt and fat. Look for more “greens” and “ambers”, and fewer “reds”, in your shopping basket.
Tips on reducing sugar off your diet
- Toss the table sugar (sugar, both white and brown), honey, and molasses Reduce the quantity of sugar added to foods and beverages you consume on a regular basis, such as cereal, pancakes, coffee, and tea.
- Swap out the soda. Water is ideal, however diet drinks are a better choice than sugary drinks if you want something sweet to drink or are attempting to lose weight.
- Eat fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits. Choose fruit that has been canned in water or juice. Fruit packed in syrup, extremely heavy syrup, should be avoided. To remove any extra syrup or juice, drain and rinse in a colander.
- Compare food labels and choose products with the lowest amounts of added sugars. Natural sugars can be found in dairy and fruit products. The ingredients list will show you if there are any added sugars.
- Add fruit. Fresh fruit (bananas, cherries, or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, or apricots) can be added to oats or cereals.
- Cut the serving back. Reduce the amount of sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half when baking cookies, brownies, or cakes. Often, you will not be able to tell the difference.
- Try healthier versions of salad dressings. Substitute olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice and yogurt for your favorite honey mustard. There are a plethora of recipes available online that are just as tasty without the added sugar.
- Swap your cereal bowl. Breakfast can be made with whole grain toast, avocado slices, and eggs, or green smoothies.
- Try extracts. Use flavors like almond, vanilla, orange, or lemon instead of sugar in recipes.
- Replace it completely. Spices, rather of sugar, can be used to enhance dishes. Spices such as ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg can be used.
- Limit Non-nutritive Sweeteners. Non-nutritive sweeteners may be a temporary remedy for appeasing your sweet appetite if you’re attempting to lose weight. But be careful! Make sure that substituting non-nutritive sweeteners for sugary choices does not result in you eating more afterwards.
What happens to your body when sugar is cut out?
Visible belly loss
According to a BMJ meta-analysis, additional sugar equals more calories and weight gain. You’ll see a smaller waistline and obvious weight loss as soon as you replace processed, sugary foods with high-fiber foods. That’s because if you don’t eat any extra sweets, your body will start to burn belly fat instead of carbohydrates, giving you the toned stomach you’ve always wanted. Start by avoiding these high-sugar restaurant foods.
Your cravings are managed better
Doughnuts, cookies, and white bread, which are high in simple carbs and processed sugars, can produce dopamine spikes, leading in constant sugar cravings. Sugar consumption may increase the number of and/or affinity for opioid receptors, leading to greater sugar consumption and possibly obesity. Weaning yourself off sugar can help you curb cravings and put an end to that destructive eating habit.
You’ll stay energized throughout the day
If your breakfast consists solely of bagels and pancakes, and you frequently grab for one too many cups of coffee, it’s time to reconsider your eating habits. Cutting out these added-sugar culprits and replacing them with slow-digesting protein- and healthy fat-rich snacks, like these best foods for energy, will help you maintain a consistent level of energy throughout the day.
Better dental health
Satisfying your sweet tooth too frequently might cause serious damage to your teeth. Sugar, whether found in food or drinks, is the leading cause of cavities and tooth decay in both children and adults, according to a study published in BMC Public Health. If you avoid the sweet carb, you’ll be able to retain your pearly whites.
More focused – increased productivity
A diet high in refined sugars, according to Harvard Medical School, can damage brain function and increase depression symptoms. While a pint of Ben and Jerry’s is unlikely to nourish your brain and contribute razor-sharp attention, these brain-boosting meals will.
We usually link salty foods with bloating because sodium holds water in the stomach and causes it to expand. However, once you master your sugar cravings, you’ll be able to say goodbye to bloat. Your stomach will react negatively if you have difficulties digesting sugars like fructose (a natural sugar present in fruit as well as processed foods) and lactose (found in dairy products).
Smoother, youthful skin
Trying to get rid of those breakouts and mend your blemished complexion? Sugar removal is one of the most powerful anti-aging therapies because a non-inflamed condition permits collagen to remain strong and malleable. Sugar also causes the skin’s collagen structure to become stiff.
Should you quit sugar completely?
“Should I quit sugar completely?” is one of the most prevalent questions that many individuals have when it comes to eliminating sugar. You don’t have to, as the answer is NO. The following are some of the reasons why eliminating sugar completely is such a bad idea:
1. Sugar occurs naturally in just about everything
Apples, bananas, and oranges are all excellent fruits that can be plucked and eaten right off the tree. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and, of course, sugar. Our bursting tiny grapes, luscious mango, and plump tomatoes are sweetened by sugar, not magic. It provides us with energy and is delightful. Sugar is present in grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, and honey, and none of these will harm you.
Your forefathers and mothers probably relished luscious peaches and spoonfuls of runny honey, and they were unconcerned about the impact on their glycemic index. You shouldn’t, either, unless a medical practitioner has specifically instructed you to do so or you have diabetes.
2. Advocating expensive syrups over regular table sugar is just plain stupid
One of the most illogical notions that many customers hold is that “regular” table sugar should be replaced with more expensive, natural “sweeteners.” Sugar cane or sugar beet is simply processed to extract sugar crystals to be sold to us, and the white thing we’ve been warned to fear originates from a natural product. Surprisingly, agave nectar, maple syrup, date syrup, and rice malt syrup are all processed natural chemicals that are used to make sweet items that are sold to us. Yes.
Don’t believe the hype; unless you acquire your “natural” sugar from actual fresh fruit or vegetables, it’s still processed, just like conventional white table sugar. Avoid using syrups or pastes in place of more cost-effective sweeteners.
3. It’s not realistic. Like, at all
You’ve probably seen a lot of success stories on YouTube about how some individuals can fully eliminate sugar from their diet in a year or more, and you’ve probably wondered how they do it so well. First and foremost, everyone is unique. It doesn’t mean you’d feel the same way just because it’s “attainable” for someone else.
Second, having no sugar at all causes severe cravings, and there’s a good possibility you’ll end up eating a lot more sugar as a result. There’s no sense to punish yourself so severely unless you can cut it FOREVER for the rest of your life.
4. Rich people get richer when you give up sugar
Gwyneth Paltrow and Davina McCall want you to eat less sugar and processed carbs and buy their book. Tom Kerridge and Joe Wicks would like you to buy their book and eat low-carb meals. Sarah Wilson and Robert Young encourage you to entirely give up sugar and purchase their book. The UK government imposed a sugar tax, although it only applied to low-cost soft drinks. Is there a pattern emerging here?
You’re likely paying money on an unproven idea if you invest into solutions that prominent individuals believe healthy. Robert Young is currently on trial for medicine without a license, because he believes his cuisine is a panacea for all human ailments. Isn’t it crazy?
Don’t be fooled by these wealthy “foodies'” pricey ingredients and equipment; fancy oils and artificial sweeteners will not make you live forever. Enjoy the food you can afford, don’t go hungry, and eat a vegetable every now and then; there’s no need to forego flavor or money for better health.
5. It encourages disordered eating
It is not a good idea to exclude any foodstuff from your diet without first seeking medical counsel. It is not admirable to refuse to order a meal in a restaurant because it contains sugar or processed carbs. It’s not healthy to “be good” and turn down a handmade cake from a family member or friend. Sugar-containing foods will not make you gain weight, sick, or unhappy.
Did you ever think twice about that chocolate croissant, lollipop, or soft-serve ice cream when you were a kid? I seriously doubt it. You don’t have to be a weak anorexic to have an eating problem; any self-imposed restricted diet for the sake of “health” or “appearance” is disordered eating.
Adding too much sugar to your diet might have a number of detrimental health consequences. Excessive consumption of sweetened foods and beverages can result in weight gain, blood sugar issues, and an increased risk of heart disease, among other things. For these reasons, added sugar should be avoided whenever possible, which is simple when you eat a nutritious diet rich in whole foods and gradually incorporate new habits and substitutes into your diet so that it feels less restrictive. Remember that no one is perfect. At the end of the day, what good is healthy eating if it doesn’t make you happy? It’s more about striking a balance and being thoughtful than it is about pushing yourself too hard. Don’t forget to follow PowerPAC plus to learn more!!!