It’s hard to get away from all the evidence pointing to the dangers of sugar consumption. Even if you stay away from candy and yummy bakery items, sugar is hidden in just about everything including condiments, breads and even canned foods. But despite all the warnings, sugar consumption has skyrocketed in many households. Here are 5 reasons why you should do a total sugar detox.
Sugar Will Spike Your Insulin Levels
Within minutes of eating sugar, your blood sugar will become elevated. While your body needs glucose to function, too much of it is toxic to your system. Consistently elevated sugar levels will slow decrease the ability of your pancreas to make insulin. This causes the pancreas to overcompensate with the end result of elevated insulin levels. And over time, the pancreas will become permanently damaged. This process picks up speed as you pass age 40.
Consuming Sugar Makes You Gain Weight
The more sugar you consume the more likely you are to be suffering from insulin resistance. This causes the dreaded midlife belly fat which is extremely dangerous to your overall health, resulting in increased risk for high blood pressure, full blown diabetes and inflammation throughout the body.
Baby boomers grew up hearing health authorities advise consumers to lower fat intake. The food industry was happy to provide us with all kinds of low fat and fat free food options. But since these usually tasted awful, they had to add lots of sugar in order to keep consumers happy.
Next time you’re out shopping, compare regular and low fat or fat free salad dressing. You’ll notice that lower fat options have a lot more carbs and sugar. You may not taste it, but it’s definitely there. Our tastebuds are wired for more sugar. And since sugar is more quickly digested than fat, you’ll be hungry sooner after consuming a low fat meal and you eat again. It’s a vicious cycle, and the end result is unwanted weight gain.
Too Much Sugar Harms Your Body
With all that increased sugar and weight gain comes a higher risk for diabetes and a condition called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome is a group of symptoms and behaviors that put you at a much higher risk of developing heart disease and Type II diabetes. Untreated, this can lead to further damage including kidney disease, strokes, vision loss, nerve damage, poor circulation and slow wound healing.
You’ll be thankful to know that these conditions are reversible and the first step toward better health is to cut out the sugar. Take action now to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as you can.
Sugar Causes Tooth Decay
Sugar is terrible for oral health including tooth decay and gum problems. Untreated oral problems can also lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
Sugar Has Zero Nutritional Value
Finally, it’s important to remember that aside from a little boost of temporary energy, sugar doesn’t provide any nutritional value to your body. If you want something sweet, you’re much better off grabbing a piece of fruit than a cookie. That being said, sometimes you want that cookie no matter what. Read on to learn what you can do!
How Do You Get Started?
Learn how to cook low carb or Paleo style. Baked goods are typically made with almond flour, coconut flour and use honey or coconut sugar as a sweetener. A quick Pinterest search will give you dozens of yummy ideas. The food plan that I’ve been using, Trim Healthy Mama, recommends using stevia, erythritol or xylitol (note to pet owners…don’t buy xylitol. It’s toxic to your dogs.)
If you need to lose weight, the first thing you want to cut out is sugar and all refined carbohydrates. They will cause spikes in your blood sugar, which will make your body produce a large amount of insulin to pull the sugar out of your system (and convert it to unwanted body fat). The unfortunate effect of that process is that your blood sugar goes on a roller coaster ride that will leave you hungry and craving more sugary treats. It’s a vicious cycle but it is one that you can overcome.
It’s been said that sugar cravings are a form of chemical dependency. Be eliminating this toxin from your lifestyle, you’ll feel better, lose weight and enjoy improved overall health.
For further reading:
Trim Healthy Mama (I highly recommend their sweeteners!)
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