I used to be a sugar addict. Well, that’s not entirely true. Technically, I’m a RECOVERING sugar addict. Which means that I’m a work in progress and still salivate like Pavlov’s dog every time I hear the Mister Softee bell. Sigh. If you struggle like I do with giving it up, know that your pain isn’t in vain. I initially began my journey to ditching “the white death” because of the empty calories that were devoid of any nutrition. Although that’s a pretty good reason in my book, the benefits of being sugar free extend way beyond what I realized. Yea I knew that it was better for my waistline to eat broccoli instead of sugar, and probably also for some part of my blood or body that needed more vitamins and fiber or something. But I had no idea that ditching the sweet stuff would make my liver healthier and my brain better. Check out these 6 maladies sugar can contribute to and learn just how crappy it is for you. The sooner you give it up…or keep it in major moderation, the better.
Sugar is one of the most addictive substances on the planet and because it leads to decreased satiety (you’re not satisfied as you eat more of it), people lose control over how much they eat. Studies show that people who consume more sugar (as opposed to or salt) are more obese. This is especially true for people who drink a lot of sugary beverages.
For years it was believed that saturated fat caused high cholesterol and thickening of the arteries, but new studies show that it’s really sugar that may be one of the leading causes of heart disease. Studies show that in large amounts, sugar can raise: triglycerides, LDL, blood glucose and insulin levels and increase abdominal obesity (or visceral fat…the bad kind) in just over 2 months.
Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells. Insulin regulates this kind of growth and studies show that having high levels of insulin can contribute to cancer. Additionally, eating a lot of sugar can inflame your body, and inflammation is a known cause of cancer as well.
Insulin is a really important hormone that helps glucose enter the body and tells cells when to start burning fat. Too much insulin however is really bad for you and can lead to a condition known as Insulin Resistance which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your pancreas kicks out. The more it kicks out, the less it will be able to work. The less insulin works the higher your blood sugar rises causing a whole lot of harm. Once your blood sugar elevates to a certain level and stays there, you’ll begin to notice the signs that you have Type II Diabetes and all of the problems that come with it.
Large amounts of sugar in your diet can reduce the chemical inside your brain that’s responsible for the production of new neurons. Neurons are in charge of your memory and any change in them can affect the way you learn and remember new information, and can hinder your ability to make new memories.
Fatty Liver Disease
The liver is responsible for turning sugar into fat, where it is pushed out as cholesterol. Sometimes, if there’s a lot of it, not all of the fat gets pushed out and some particles can get stuck in the liver. Studies show that people with fatty livers eat up to 2-3 times as much sugar as the average person.