I know, I know. Sugar tastes pretty darn good and it’s everywhere. Is it really worth it to try to avoid it? “Maybe I’ll try next tomorrow,” you say. “I need my morning macchiato to get me through today. Oh, but tomorrow Linda is having a party and she’s getting cake from this bakery I love. So, the day after that. Unless the staff meeting has donuts…ah, you know what. I don’t need to give up sugar, I’ll just work out a little more and eat right otherwise.”
Realistically, we can’t be the picture of health and indulge freely in sugar. We can’t have our cake and eat it too, so to speak. I’m not going to try to convince you that cutting down on sugar is worth it...I’LL LET SCIENCE DO THAT. I’m not offended, I trust doctors over me, too. Here are the reasons that may motivate you to give up or at least limit, sugar.
Reason #1: Sugar increases risk for disease.
Subjects who consumed high fructose corn syrup in excess show increased levels of LDL cholesterol and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Cancer and bacteria feed off of sugar.
Overdoing it on the sugar intake is also linked to:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Nerve damage
- Kidney failure
- Premature wrinkles and aging
- Poor dental health
- Low energy
- Accelerated cognitive decline
- Increased risk of gout
Reason #2: Sugar, specifically fructose, wreaks havoc on weight loss goals.
I want to go back to the link between sugar and extra weight for a little bit, because things are more complicated than you might be willing to believe. Sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas, sweet teas, and juices (Yes! That giant glass of juice that you think is a great idea to start your day with!) are chock full fructose, a simple sugar. Fructose actually increases hunger more than glucose, the sugar in starchy foods. Excessive consumption of fructose can also cause resistance to leptin. That’s the hormone that regulates hunger and says to your brain “hey buddy, you’re full.” So, what does this all mean? When you have sugar, especially sugary drinks full of fructose, you’re consuming all of the liquid calories without much of the nutritional value and satisfaction of being full, not allowing leptin to do its job.
Reason #3: Do you need another reason?
Sugar is a lot more dangerous than many of us realize, and I hope that you accept our help in weaning yourself off of it and onto healthier choices. Until next time, be well!