When we start thinking about the amount of sugar we take in on a daily basis – it can be quite shocking. We often don’t realise how much sugar is in our foods, even those we do not consider sugary products.
We’ve all heard, more than once, that we should limit our sugar intake and stay away from those sugar-filled sodas we love so much. Apart from the high content of empty calories in sugar, there are various other health factors to consider.
A lot of research has been done around the effects sugar has on our bodies. We start off by feeling happy and full of energy, as our bodies go into a high caused by the spike in our blood sugar. And a short while later, this happy feeling is replaced by a sluggish alternative.
These are some of the important reasons why sugar is a no-go:
1. Sugar leads to insulin resistance
Eating an excess amount of sugar over long periods of time leads to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
2. Sugar makes us hungry
Foods high in sugar or refined flours (which convert to sugar), causes a spike in blood sugar levels, which is followed by a low drop in blood sugar levels. When we have lower blood sugar level our bodies are tricked into thinking we are hungry, leading to the sugar craving cycle to start again.
3. Too much sugar causes weight gain
When our diet has high levels of sugar, we tend to overeat… As sugar forces our bodies to produce higher levels of insulin, or other regulating hormones, which play a key role in stabilising our weight, stress and metabolism, are neglected.
4. Sugar has a bad impact on our immune systems
As we eat sweet foods, our pancreas releases higher levels of insulin, which in turn releases human growth hormone. This depresses the immune system, making it harder for our bodies to fight off viruses and infections.
Apart from diabetes, our chances of heart diseases and cancer also become higher with a lifestyle high in sugar.
These are only a few of the reasons we should take into great consideration when consuming sugar. It may be hard to break free from eating sugar, but our bodies will surely thank us.
If you are planning on quitting sugar, try eating a lot of healthy fats, fibre and protein to even your blood sugar levels. Avoid eating or drinking artificially sweetened products, as they may have the same effect on your insulin levels; and try not to trade the sugar high for a caffeine high.