Need reasons to reduce sugar intake? Here are five to consider…
These days it seems one of the biggest culprits linked to a variety of health issues comes from one alluring substance – sugar. A recent study from the University of North Carolina shared the average person in America consumes about 300 calories each day just from sugar, and almost 20 percent of Americans are actually consuming over 700 calories each day of added sugar. And we aren’t talking about natural sugar you get from fruits and vegetables, but processed sugar that is added to cookies, breads, soda, teas, and items you may not even consider such as salad dressing and yogurt. With sugar seeming to take over so many of our lives, and causing a variety of side effects in the process, it is wise to learn about the benefits of cutting down on sugar and reasons to reduce sugar intake.
Though extensive research over the years highlights the health benefits of not eating sugar, you may be wondering how your health can improve by cutting out the sweet stuff. Here are 5 reasons to reduce sugar intake and the health benefits that will come along with it:
- Make your heart healthier – According to cardiovascular research scientist, James DiNicolantonio, cutting out sugar may reduce your risk of dying from heart-related issues. Not only can you see a decrease in LDL cholesterol of up to 10% in just a few weeks, but you can also balance out insulin levels, and potentially decrease heart rate and blood pressure.
- Lose the belly bulge – A 2016 Framingham Heart Study report of over 1,000 people highlighted that the more sugar-filled drinks one consumed, the higher percentage of visceral fat the person maintained. What is visceral fat and why is it dangerous? It is a deeper layer of fat that can build up around the pancreas, intestines and liver, it is hard to lose, and is known to be a major risk factor for developing diabetes and heart issues.
- You won’t have energy crashes – When consuming drinks or sweets that are made with added sugar, you are introducing simple carbs into your body. Simple carbs are digested quickly, meaning they enter the bloodstream fast and spike your sugar level. While you may get a quick burst of energy, you will then experience that “crash” feeling shortly after. This often leads people to reach for another soda or candy bar, thus repeating the cycle over and over again. If you feel you are in need of an energy boost, try fresh fruit paired with nuts and seeds, in order to introduce protein into your system, which slows the rate of digestion.
- Your focus will be sharp – Did you know that research has shown consuming too much processed sugar can weaken cognitive function, in addition to decreasing necessary proteins your body uses for memory recall and responsiveness? If you feel brain fog throughout the day, consider this reason to reduce sugar intake and see if your focus and attention span improves.
- You can decrease the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and more – Our body produces a chemical known as brain-derived neurotropic factor, BDNF for short. BDNF is known to help us form new memories and recall past events. Studies have shown that people who consume high amounts of added sugar have lower levels of BDNF, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and diabetes.
These are just a few health benefits of not eating sugar. Other advantages include reducing your risk of depression, keeping your skin looking youthful, lowering your chances of diabetes, and reducing risk of developing certain cancers. Learn more about the benefits of cutting down on sugar