By now, it isn’t news to anyone that refined sugars are terrible for your health. While we need natural sugars from fruits, grains, and veggies- those found in more processed food can not only wreck our health but also stack on useless calories.
For example, if you went to the store and bought a pack of Skittles, you would get a ton of sugar, 251 calories, 13% of your daily saturated fat needs, and a measly 7.4 mg of potassium. You could eat that entire pack and barely even feel a dent in your satiety because your stomach needs certain minerals to feel satiated. Conversely, you could eat an entire potato for 168 calories, 0 fat, no added sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 28% RDI of Vitamin C, 27% of Vitamin B6, 26% potassium, 12% Niacin, 12% folate, 12% magnesium and more. Not to mention that the fiber from the potato would tide you over, at least for a little while.
For readers interested in exploring the effects of sugar on health and practical ways to reduce sugar intake, “The Case Against Sugar” by Gary Taubes offers an in-depth analysis of sugar’s impact on our bodies and the benefits of reducing sugar consumption.
A diet filled with refined sugar is likely to equate to a diet low in the right vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary to keep you healthy and satisfied. With that being said, if you stopped eating all refined sugar, what do you think would happen?
Well, according to science, there are several health benefits involved. Here are 8.
1. Reduced cholesterol.
It’s a misconception that cholesterol alone is responsible for the build-up of bad cholesterol in the body. Not to say that cholesterol doesn’t play a role, but so does sugar. According to research, when we consume too much sugar it causes our good cholesterol to go down, which in turn causes our bad cholesterol to increase.
2. Improved heart health.
Consuming too much sugar also causes our triglycerides to increase, which can increase our risk of heart disease and stroke. By cutting back by just 20% you are lowering your risk of heart disease a pretty good bit.
3. Improved dental health.
Your dentist tells you to cut back on sugar for a reason. Eating tons of sugar may taste yummy, but it can also make your teeth rot. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth that is responsible for cavities and infection.
In supporting a healthier diet shift, “Sugar Detox for Beginners: Your Guide to Starting a 21-Day Sugar Detox” by Hayward Press provides a step-by-step guide for those looking to eliminate sugar from their diet and embrace healthier eating habits.
4. Lower weight.
Eating in a caloric surplus for an extended period can cause weight gain. And the foods that contain refined sugar (think of the Skittles mentioned above) are typically higher in calories with barely any true nutritional value.
5. Improved nutrition.
When we cut back on refined sugar (which is pretty much just empty calories) there is more room in your diet for healthier options, like nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit. All of these foods have the nutrients your body needs to function healthfully.
6. Improved skin.
I have always found it interesting that spends millions upon millions of dollars on expensive skin care also spends millions upon millions on crappy food. If you simply cut out the refined sugar from your diet, you could probably save a good bit on expensive skin care items and still have clearer skin.
7. Decreased chance of disease.
Those who have diets filled with refined sugar are also more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, and many other serious diseases. By cutting out sugar, you are alleviating your risk for many diseases.
For those looking for nutritious and delicious alternatives to sugary foods, “The 30-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for a Healthier You” by Amy Andrews offers a collection of recipes designed to help reduce sugar cravings and enhance overall health through wholesome and satisfying meals.
8. Improved mood.
A 2017 study found that eating sugar negatively impacts our psychological health. In turn, when you consume massive amounts of sugar, it can increase your likelihood of depression and even anxiety.