Sugar hits us highs, but then the fall is hard. And we have never been more aware of the amount of sugar our diets contain as we are now.
We all know that sugar is not good in excess, but what would happen if we left it completely? Nutritionist Jenna Hope throws some light on the subject:
1. Your skin could improve
The reason is that you will have lower levels of insulin flowing. The consumption of sugar causes the body to release insulin, which, according to Jenna, "causes inflammation and can cause the breakdown of collagen and skin elastin."
In addition, when sugar is digested it binds to collagen. If there is too much sugar in your system, it can negatively affect the functionality of collagen, increasing the risk of skin disorders and wrinkles. Without sugar, this will not happen.
2. You probably have more energy
"Foods high in sugar have a high glycemic index," Jenna explains, which means that it is released in the blood at an accelerated rate, "greatly increasing the level of blood sugar." This, in turn, generates an increase in energy levels, which fall rapidly when insulin takes blood sugar to the cells. The low blood sugar level you will experience means that you will lack energy and push you to quickly look for another high sugar.
"Getting rid of this dependence on sugar is enormously gratifying as your energy level becomes more stable throughout the day, without large peaks and valleys," explains the nutritionist. 'Opt for snacks rich in protein and healthy fats to help balance blood sugar.'
3. You will lose weight
Weight loss is not only related to sugar consumption, but it is usually a side effect by significantly reducing sugar consumption. "Sugar provides empty calories and stimulates the effects of ghrelin (the hunger hormone), which stimulates appetite, and increases the chances of overeating. Choose foods that are more satiating for a prolonged period," says Jenna.
In addition, the consumption of sugar calories is added quickly, especially when you add it to tea or coffee. Drinking 3 cups of tea a day with two sugars each equals an extra 9 2kcal. "That's about 5% of your total energy consumption without even realizing it," says the nutritionist. "It also provides 24 g of sugar, which is quite significant considering that the recommended daily amount of sugar is around 30 g per day," he adds. "Limiting sugar intake will reduce the amount of empty calories you are consuming and you will reduce the risk of consuming too much as a result of the constant sugar roller coaster," advises Jenna.
4. You will sleep better
"A high sugar intake will delay the release of melatonin in the brain, which is essential for sleep control," explains the expert. And lack of sleep, in turn, may increase the need to eat more sugar, continuing the cycle. "Research suggests that poor sleep can lead to an imbalance in blood glucose that stimulates the desire to consume more sugar," says Jenna.
5. You will have less cravings
This is because when blood sugar is uncontrollable, you will experience lows and rises in sugar permanently. "The drops lead you to want to quickly increase blood glucose and, as a result, you are more likely to look for foods high in sugar, which will get you to stay on the sugar roller coaster," says Jenna. Without the highs and lows of blood sugar, your body will forget about such unhealthy foods.
6. Your digestion will improve
People who consume high levels of refined sugar also tend to consume excessive amounts of saturated fat and low levels of dietary fiber. However, when dietary sugar is reduced, it is often exchanged for high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains that are excellent for the intestine.
"These foods contribute to healthy bowel function, as they help increase the amount of healthy microbiota in the intestine. In turn, this helps eliminate toxins, as well as increase the frequency of bowel movements and reduce transit time. "says the expert.
7. Your mental health could improve
Who knew there was a relationship between sugar and mental health? According to recent research there is a link between the two. "High sugar intakes have been associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems," according to nutritionist Jenna.
So the link between sugar and anxiety is particularly clear, he says. "While sugar intake is not necessarily a cause of anxiety, the constant roller coaster of blood sugar and the release of adrenaline and insulin can contribute to increased feelings of anxiety in those who suffer from it. It is important to keep in mind that changing the diet will not necessarily cure anxiety, but it will help reduce some of the symptoms associated with it, "says Jenna.
8. You can experience better moods
All this has to do with hormones, and sugar control influences. "It has been shown that sugar suppresses a hormone called BDNF that is required to produce new neurons. People susceptible to low moods have a lower BDNF, so suppressing it by sugar can affect the state of encouragement and depression, "explains Jenna. Eliminating sugar means that BDNF levels will return to normal and, as a result, mood can improve.
9. Your liver function will improve
"Excess sugar (particularly in the form of fructose) and sugary drinks is closely related to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease," says the nutritionist. "Excess fructose cannot be metabolized by the liver without glucose, so fructose is stored in the liver. Limiting sugar intake will help reduce the risks of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease."
It seems we should all reduce the amount of sugar in our diets, right?