Sugar is a sweet that’s hard to beat. As if being the number one cause of dental decay and a major culprit behind diabetes isn’t reason enough to cut back on it, here are 8 more reasons why you should cut back on the sweet stuff to not just improve your health, but your overall quality of life.
1. Sugar affects your mental health
Sugar, despite the initial short lived high you get from enjoying your favorite sugary snack, has been linked to causing negative feelings in people, particularly anxiety and depression. This is closely interlinked to sugars roller coaster effect on our blood sugar, with the up’s and down not only affecting our blood sugar, but moods as well.
2. Sugar affects unborn fetuses
Mother’s-to-be who are adamantly avoiding sushi, raw meat, alcohol and caffeine in their prenatal diet should add sugar to the list as well. A study found that pregnant women who consumed significant amounts of sugar gave birth to children who had higher incidences of allergies, such as hay fever, eczema, and asthma.
3. Sugar accelerates brain decline
Studies have found that those who have chronically raised blood sugar levels, otherwise blood sugar constantly spiked by sugar intake, increased the risk of cognitive decline diseases such as Alzheimer's, and dementia.
4. Sugar dampens your immune system
Reaching for that candy bar takes a toll on your immunity. Too much sugar throws your microbiome, aka the ‘good and bad bacteria’ in your body off balance. Bacteria feeding on refined sugar has been shown to lower the immune system making you more susceptible to disease.
5. Sugar feeds cancer cells
As one of the top diseases that cause death, cancer is rightfully dreaded with people taking active roles in their health to prevent or cure it. A study found that when there are already existing cancer cells in the body, eliminating sugar is one of the first steps to recovery and preventing cancer cells from spreading seeing as sugar consumption feeds cancer cells and causes tumor growth.
6. Sugar causes hormone imbalances
We all know that sugar elevates and then drops your blood sugar levels. Your body’s natural response to this is to release the hormone insulin in order to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, chronic sugar consumption has lead to ‘insulin resistance’ which has a domino effect on other hormones in your body, negatively affecting the body’s ability to secrete a balanced amount of other hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol and testosterone.
7. Sugar ruins your skin
The old, now debunked, myth of ‘chocolate gives you acne’ had some truth rooted to it. While it wasn’t the chocolate itself that caused acne, it was the sugar contained in it. Each time our body releases insulin to balance our blood sugar levels, this ‘spike’ causes elastin-breaking, collagen-depleting, and acne causing inflammation.
8. Sugar causes obesity
It wasn’t too long ago that low fat diets were the prescribed ‘cure’ to losing fat, but modern nutritional science has shown that it wasn’t necessarily fat making us fat, but sugar. With sugar being filled with empty calories, it’s only too easy to load up on it in order to feel full. This unfortunately leads people to consume nutritionally devoid meals high in calories, with these excess calories causing inevitable weight gain and increasing the chance of obesity.