We all love a delicious cake now and then, but unfortunately, sugary treats can be very damaging to your health if consumed often or in high quantities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults ingest 5 teaspoons more added sugar than the recommended maximum of 12 teaspoons on a daily basis.
You have probably heard that sugar and addictive drugs elicit many of the same harmful effects: uncontrollable cravings, bingeing, temporary “highs”, withdrawal symptoms, tolerance buildup, and physical and mental harm. What’s more, sugar is directly linked to conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, dental cavities, etc. If these facts or other reasons have led you to consider cutting out sugar, read about all the benefits of a low sugar diet.
10 Benefits of a Low Sugar Diet
1. More energy
You might think that sugar gives you lots of energy, but that’s not really the case. Quickly after you eat sugary foods and get that “sugar high”, your body metabolizes the sugar and you experience a “sugar crash”. Unless you keep feeding your body a steady stream of unhealthy sugar, you’re bound to experience many ups and downs throughout the day. Instead, replacing sugar with proteins and healthy fats will give you a healthier, more reliable energy source.2. Reduced cholesterol
Too much cholesterol in the body can cause plaque buildup in our arteries and lead to heart disease. Excessive sugar decreases the levels of good HDL cholesterol in our bloodstream that helps get rid of the bad LDL cholesterol. Thus, cutting out sugar means lowering your bad cholesterol levels.3. Less abdominal fat
High blood sugar and insulin leads to fat accumulating around your belly. These visceral fat cells are buried deep in the abdomen, and they often contribute to inflammation and disease. Cutting back on sugary foods will lead to fewer centimeters being added to your waistline, making it easier to get into shape and stay in shape.
4. Weight loss
Increased insulin caused by sugar makes your body’s fat cells store more calories. Cutting out sugar means that your insulin levels will be more stable and fewer calories will be stored as fat. With less fat around your body overall, you’ll experience decreased hunger and a faster metabolism. That translates to an easier time losing weight!5. Reduced risk for serious diseases
Unfortunately, overindulging in your favorite sweet treats can lead to many serious diseases, including: diabetes, lung, heart, liver, and gum disease. Below, discover the benefits of a low sugar diet in reducing your chances of getting one of these diseases.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Excessive insulin is released from the pancreas due to high sugar, causing cells to malfunction, and eventually leading to diabetes. Weight gain and excess fat is a big contributing factor in this type of diabetes. Since sugar plays a big role in fat and weight gain, cutting out sugar can help you lower your risk of diabetes and even reverse its effects.
- Lung disease: High levels of glucose can harm your lungs, and diabetes can also lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, a type of lung disease.
- Heart disease: Sugar can put a strain on the cardiovascular system. Those who consume lots of sugar have a higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who consume lower levels of added sugar.
- Liver disease: Similar to alcohol, too much refined sugar can lead to fatty buildup in the liver, which causes liver disease.
- Gum disease: You probably had to brush your teeth extra good after eating cake or cookies for dessert as a kid…and for good reason! Added sugar causes bacteria in the mouth to produce acid that damages teeth, increases the risk of cavities and gum disease.
6. Reduced inflammation
Inflammation from sugar occurs in our body’s soft tissue and can be felt via achy and painful joints. Decreasing sugar intake will reduce inflammation in the body, and make your body feel so much better!7. Fewer cravings
Eating sugar causes the release of the feel-good chemical, dopamine, in the brain. We want to continue to feel like that, which leads to cravings and continued sugar intake. Although it is very difficult, when we cut down on eating sugary foods, our natural dopamine levels will return to normal and cravings will be significantly reduced.8. Healthier skin
High blood sugar levels can cause reduced skin elasticity and premature wrinkles. Sugar also makes it so that your skin’s collagen doesn’t repair itself. Collagen strengthens and hydrates skin, and plays a big role in its elasticity. Cutting down on sugar can help reverse these problems, plus lessen sagging and signs of aging.9. Better sleep
As a child, your parents probably wouldn’t let you consume sugary treats before bed. You might have really disliked that, but it was actually for your own good! Consuming lots of sugar makes it harder to fall asleep and causes lighter, restless sleep. You’ll stay asleep and feel more rested if you opt for healthier foods throughout the day and before bedtime. Plus, good sleep leads to a stronger immune system and improved concentration.
10. Improved mental health
All of the factors above that sugar contributes to cause a strain on your mood, concentration, and overall mental health. Cutting out sugar will help improve your mental health and even lower your risk of depression. If you’re struggling with your mental health in Spain, talk to your doctor or one of the Caser Expat Insurance specialists.
Although sugar is delicious and occurs naturally in certain foods, overindulgence and added or artificial sugars make it easy to surpass a healthy daily intake of sugar. If you’re already experiencing some of sugar’s harmful effects, want to prevent a sugar addiction, or you simply want to live a healthier lifestyle, you should consider switching to a low sugar diet. You can be sure that by consuming less sugar, you’re sure to be feeling happier, leaner, sharper, and healthier than you have in years!
Consult your doctor if you’re worried about your sugar levels and before beginning any diet. If you live in Spain and are looking for specialized doctors and healthcare, discover Caser Expat Insurance’s healthcare offerings: