While sugar may taste sweet for a few moments on your tongue, its effect on your health could be quite unsavory in the long run. In fact, excess sugar consumption can lead to some serious health issues; this sweet substance can actually affect both your physical and mental health in ways that you may not have previously considered.
Unfortunately for those of us who savor sweets, too much sugar in your diet can increase your chances of developing diabetes and lead to joint pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and an unbalanced mental state. Though it can be a tough habit to kick, cutting sugar from your diet can result in major benefits to your health and wellbeing. Here are a few, impressive perks you’ll enjoy once you manage to eliminate excess sugar from your diet:
It comes as no surprise that sugar is no friend to your waistline. Refined sugar products tend to be higher in empty calories–meaning they have little to no nutritional value. By filling up on high calorie, sugar-laden foods, you starve your body of the nourishing vitamins and minerals that it needs to function at optimal levels. In order to meet your body’s nutritional requirements, food cravings will continue making it quite common to consume even more calories.
Foods and beverages that are high in sugar content also affect the body’s blood glucose levels, leading to feelings of hunger much sooner than if you had you consumed a low-sugar, high-fiber food. Eating less sugar drastically cuts your calorie intake, making it easier to lose weight and to keep it off.
Sugar makes your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria which creates an environment that causes cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks eliminates this problem, leading to better breath and more pleasant dental exams.
Another benefit of cutting sugar out of your diet is how it visually improves your skin, and the results are almost immediate. Excess sugar consumption accelerates the aging process, leaving behind dull, wrinkled skin. Prevention Magazine explains that glycation is to blame: “The sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (or, appropriately, AGEs for short). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop.”
AGEs go on to destroy the protein fibers known as collagen and elastin, which keep skin firm and elastic. Once you lower your sugar intake, your skin will noticeably bounce back from the ravages of AEGs. Use SPF in combination with a lotion that contains retinol to speed up the recovery process!
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Sugar can actually have negative effects on the way your brain works. According to Psychology Today, it causes a rush of dopamine in the brain, giving you a false sense of happiness after consumption. This can lead to a change in the way your brain functions as well as a heightened sugar tolerance that can lead to sugar addiction. A diet high in sugar has also been linked to depression, anxiety, and compromised cognitive abilities. Cutting the sweet stuff can lead to a noticeable change in your mood and improved mental health!
Replacing sugary foods with healthier, more nutritional alternatives can help eliminate that afternoon slump and help you to avoid that icky, post-sugar crash. Although sugary foods and beverages may give you a nice, initial burst of energy, sugar consumption results in a sharp drop in energy levels once the effects wear off. Eating healthy snacks midday allow for a more active lifestyle and less lethargy in general. This transition might be tough at first, but sticking with it and swapping cupcakes for healthy snacks will increase your energy throughout the day and in the long run.