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9 Amazing Health Benefits of Lowering Your Sugar Intake

sugar

Chocolate, cupcakes, summer drinks, or pudding — one treat or the other can be an instant mood lifter for most of us. 

Sugar is love—the taste, the way it makes you feel — you can’t just let it go. However, lowering sugar intake has many benefits, such as low blood pressure, no tooth decay, weight loss, and overall improved body functioning. 

Unfortunately, escaping sugar is easier said than done. It is present in bread, croissants, and salad, so it isn’t easy to cut it out, even for health-conscious people. 

If you’re really determined to lower your sugar intake, you need to control your urges and keep track of your calories. While you can’t eliminate sugar from your diet, you can definitely take measures to reduce it.

Need help figuring out where to start? Keep reading this guide till the end to learn about some massive benefits of lowering sugar intake and how to do it properly. 

The 2 Types of Sugar 

Before we get to all the benefits that’ll change your mind about the next cupcake you want to gobble up, let’s talk about the types of sugar.

Two forms of sugar are present in our foods: naturally occurring sugar and added sugar.

Naturally Occurring Sugar 

As the name suggests, this type is found naturally in foods like fruit, milk, vegetables, etc. You don’t have to cut down on these food items, as natural sugar is harmless. It’s beneficial for your health.

Plus, you need a certain amount of sugar in your system anyway, and the best is if it’s coming from natural sources

Added Sugar 

This type of sugar is found in processed or prepared food, box juices, etc. You need to identify added sugar in your diet and work on cutting it down because it is the real problem.

However, cutting out added sugar will take work. You’ll need to give up many food options (even bread and other seemingly healthy foods!). 

The best way to deal with the situation is to follow the 10% rule. This means you should make added sugar account for less than 10% of your daily calorie count. 

That equals six teaspoons or 100 calories of sugar daily for women and nine teaspoons or 150 calories for men.

Effects of Reducing Sugar Intake 

Depending on your intake, reducing sugar may affect you in different ways. If you have a lovely tooth, you may experience the following:

  • Your energy levels may drop.
  • You will get moody as your brain won’t release as much dopamine and endorphins as before.
  • Some people also feel depressed and sad.

Sugar gives you an instant burst of energy, but the fall is also quite instant. There is a term called for this fall: crash, so you hit crashing energy levels once the sugar food is digested. 

The more sugar you intake, the more tired, anxious, and irritable you feel. 

Hence, instead of eating sugar, it is better to eat high-fiber foods or whole grains; these will keep your energy level consistent.

9 Key Benefits of Lowering Sugar Intake

Letting go of all the tasty treats may hurt a little, but there are so many benefits that they far outweigh the costs. You will be surprised how much you can gain by saying ‘no‘ to a Sundae.

Let’s look at the top 9 benefits of lowering sugar intake.

Low Blood Pressure 

People whose daily calorie intake constitutes 25% added sugar have twice the probability of getting cardiovascular diseases and dying (compared to those who take 10%.)

Why? That’s because sugar is a significant cause of high blood pressure. When the blood pressure rises, it loads the heart, making it function harder. This can cause permanent damage to the arteries.

So, it would help if you worked on your diet. Eat more fruit or other natural sugar instead of consuming sugary foods and drinks. This will help you meet your daily sugar requirements and cravings while being easy on the heart.

No Tooth Decay

Sugar is the worst enemy of teeth. When you eat a lot of sugar, the sugar molecules mix with your saliva, leading to oral bacteria. 

The tooth bacteria release an acid that can destroy the tooth enamel. The acid affects tooth health and further increases the chances of cavities. It can also cause gingivitis and gum disease.

Both conditions are hazardous and can cause serious health issues like stroke, cancer, heart attack, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. 

That’s all the more reason always to brush and floss your teeth!

To improve your oral health care, use fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and make an appointment to visit your dentist once every year. 

Better Brain Function 

You’ll be surprised that high sugar intake also affects memory function and thought processes. Sugar reduces the BDNF, or Brain-Driven Neurotrophic Factors, which are solely responsible for our memories and thoughts.

That translates to the fact that those who have diabetes have higher chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia in the later years.

Here’s a few things you can do about it:

  • Exercise for a few minutes every day or work out at least twice a week 
  • Drink plenty of water and catch up on your sleep 
  • Every time you crave chocolate fudge, have a fruit instead!

Helps in Weight Loss 

As we all know, research also advocates that those foods high in added sugars have a strong connection with obesity

The weight that mainly deposits on the waist is called visceral fat. This belly fat is a leading cause of many diseases. It can cause diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health problems.

So, instead of consuming foods with added sugar, go for the low-sugar added options or go completely organic. 

Try sparkling water instead of carbonated drinks, vegetables, and fruit instead of processed foods. A little attention to your diet can go a long way in managing your weight.

Helps Regulate the Blood Sugar

When there is excess sugar in your system, it may cause pre-diabetes or type II diabetes, so if you are a heavy consumer of sweets and drinks, the risk is relatively high. 

When sugar enters the bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin, which lowers the sugar level.

So, suppose you consistently consume a diet high in sugar. In that case, you become less sensitive to this insulin production, which can cause pre-diabetes. In this condition, the pancreas keeps producing insulin as blood sugar levels rise.

As a result, they start wearing out faster due to the extensive work. 

Cutting down on sugar can have a positive effect on insulin resistance and pre-diabetes and can also prevent type II diabetes.

Of course, you can also improve your insulin sensitivity by following a regular exercise program and reducing your sugar intake.

Healthier Heart 

Sugar is directly and indirectly linked to heart disease. Suppose your diet contains over 20% sugars in the total calorie pool. In that case, you will probably have high levels of triglycerides in your system.

These, too, can cause heart problems.

Reduces Depression

Sugar has a significant impact on our mood. When we eat healthy food options like fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, or grains, we have a lower risk of developing depressive moods.

Sugar can even be more addictive than drugs, as per research! 

So, the earlier you act to control your sugar intake, the better for your future. Next time you find yourself looking for a soda bottle, grab a water bottle instead.

Improves the Skin 

Sugar can cause inflammation, even chronic inflammation. The skin, being the body’s largest organ, can also be affected by sugar. It increases the production of oil or sebum, which can cause acne. 

Sebum can block out your pores, increasing the likelihood of bacteria that can lock the dust particles inside the pores, resulting in acne and other skin problems. 

So, avoiding sugar will help regularize your sebum production. Reducing sugar can also slow aging since it contains elements that can affect collagen and elastin production. It may cause premature aging, wrinkles, and fine lines on the face.

Improves Liver Health

High levels of sugar can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

It is important to note that metal poisoning, viral infections, or alcohol consumption do not cause NAFLD. It only occurs when the liver breaks down fructose. Excess fructose in the system, such as from sweet beverages, becomes liver fat and hence causes this disease.

So, foods and drinks containing sugar have a high glycemic index. That means they are faster to digest. So you don’t feel full for longer after having sugary treats, which makes you eat more. 

This will increase your daily calorie count, and you are more likely to put on more weight.

Wrap Up

If you have a sweet tooth, adapting to the change in diet will take your body longer to adjust. Now that you know the benefits of lowering sugar intake, give yourself time to adjust.

Remember that reducing sugar is difficult, but the benefits outweigh the cost. Take baby steps if that’s what it takes, and limit your intake gradually.

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