Sugar is everywhere, from your morning latte to your afternoon yogurt snack. It’s nearly impossible to find foods without it unless you know where to look.
Here’s a quick hint, try avoiding the center aisles in the grocery store. Stay around the perimeters where you will find the fruits, veggies, and lean meats. I don’t mean the deli meats either, even those can contain added sugars.
While fruit is OK it’s important to not overdo it. Especially if your goal is to lose weight. It contains a lot of sugar but fortunately, the large amounts of fiber slow the digestion of the fructose sugar found in fruit.
The biggest benefit to cutting sugar:
By avoiding sugar-laden products you will instantly clean up your diet by avoiding processed and chemical laden foods. When you eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet you will have better control over your insulin levels. Insulin does a number of beneficial things in the body like regulating blood sugar levels and improved protein synthesis. What most people don’t realize is it will also cause your body to store fat and preserve the fat stores you currently have. This makes losing weight nearly impossible. Too much over time and your body will become desensitized to it leading to conditions such as type II diabetes.
More Reasons to Avoid Sugar
Sugar has quickly become the culprit of many health issues in the average person’s diet. Sugar has many effects on the human body. Some are beneficial but when it’s over consumed sugar can have many adverse effects. Here are some of the top health concerns associated with consuming too much sugar.
Increased Body Weight
All the research agrees, more sugar in your diet the more you probably weight. One study even found that people who maintained ate their regular number of calories but increased their sugar intake gained an average of 1.7 pounds in less than 2 months.
Hampered Sexual Function
I’d skip the dessert on date night “One common side effect of chronically high levels of sugar in the bloodstream is that it can make men impotent,” explains Brunilda Nazario, MD, WebMD’s associate medical editor. Excess sugar can affect your circulatory system, which controls blood flow throughout your body and needs to be working properly to get and keep an erection.
Your mom was right, Sugar can rot your teeth. Sugar-loving bacteria will put up residence in your mouth and multiplies like crazy after eating something sweet.
Sugar will make your skin age faster by attaching to proteins in your bloodstream. This creates harmful byproducts known as Advanced Glycation End Products also known as AGEs. They will age your skin by damaging collagen and elastin in your skin. These are essential proteins in your skin that keep you looking youthful. Just like staying out in the sun too much, when you damage these it causes saggy wrinkly skin.
Increased Joint Pain
Sugar causes inflammation in the body. When you consume sugar that inflammation can flare up in your joints. Not to mention, studies are starting to show that sugar consumption can increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Hardens your heart
The excess sugar resulting in excess insulin can cause the arteries in your heart to harden. When your arteries harden they lose elasticity adding to the stress on your heart. Over time this will lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. In addition, an elevated sugar intake increases blood pressure, another factor to heart disease.
As I stated above too much sugar will cause insulin resistance. This means your body cannot effectively regulate blood sugar levels. Excess blood sugar causes a number of damaging effects in the body. If the condition is bad enough you may have to take an extraneous source of insulin.
Decreased Pancreatic Function
Your pancreas is body’s insulin pump. When you eat your pancreas releases just the right amount to lower blood sugar levels. Since sugar naturally increases blood sugar levels the highest it causes your pancreas to work in overdrive. While this is OK to drop the occasional sugar rush, Too much causes the pancreas to become overworked. Eventually, your overworked pancreas will break down and your blood sugar levels will rise, setting you up for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
With decreased pancreatic function, excess sugar in your body will start to overflow into the kidneys and exit the body through your urine. Excess sugar in your kidneys will damage the capillaries and leave them unable to properly filter your urine. This can result in kidney failure.
So, Check the labels and avoid added sugars in everything you consume. That means your morning/afternoon coffee or snacks. Reach for healthier options like carrots, nuts, or legumes for an afternoon pick me up. It might not be what your craving at first but once your body is used to it you’ll be feeling much better.
Finally, don’t drink your calories! That means try to stick to soda water, still water, or unsweetened tea or coffee.
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