Many foods naturally contain sugar. However, processed foods typically contain a lot of added sugar that can easily lead to disease, health problems, and even mental health issues. A low sugar diet will help you avoid all of these problems and allow you to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. At Naples VItality in Naples, FL, we can help you learn how to cut back on your intake of sugar and can give you information on being the healthiest version of yourself.
Physical Benefits of a Low Sugar Diet
There’s no way around it. Sugar is a diet killer. Sugar is empty calories, and excess calories cause weight gain. When you are choosing the types of calories to put in your body, you should be opting for items that have nutrients that give you energy and make your body healthier. Sugar does not fit this criterion.
When you cut back on sugar, you will be cutting back on calories. If your body is used to taking in sugar on a regular basis you are almost sure to see a loss of weight. This could be significant if you are replacing the sugar with low-calorie, highly nutritious foods.
When you take in an excessive amount of sugar, your HDL, or good cholesterol, levels drop, and your LDL or bad cholesterol levels, are raised. Bad cholesterol interferes with the way your blood moves through your arteries, and good cholesterol helps keep the blood moving along.
Triglycerides are lipids that are not technically cholesterol but play a similar role. They are deposits of fat that store calories you have not consumed. They move through your bloodstream to be used when you need more energy. Too many triglycerides in your blood can be dangerous to your heart.
Cutting out added sugar is generally beneficial to your heart, and there are several reasons. The cholesterol and blood pressure connections play a part, but so does your liver and inflammation response. People who consume less sugar are less likely to die as a result of heart disease.
Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Eating sugar doesn’t cause type 2 diabetes, but it does help set up a situation in your body where your risk of developing diabetes is greater. This is because of your insulin response when you consume sugar. Your liver may be damaged due to sugar consumption, and you may be overweight because of the excess calories. These are problems that can lead to diabetes.
Lower Blood Pressure
Eating less sugar will naturally lower your blood pressure, and keeping blood pressure at appropriate levels will help prevent heart problems and strokes. Proper blood pressure is required for pushing blood through your veins and arteries as it travels through your body and to and from your heart. When your arteries are clogged or damaged, your heart has to work harder.
Sugar contributes to high blood pressure by raising uric acid levels that decrease nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is critical to keeping blood vessels elastic and moving freely. Sugar can also lower magnesium, which is important for proper blood pressure control.
Decreased Risk of Liver Disease
Sugar can increase fatty deposits in the liver. The result of this is liver disease. This is especially true of fructose and high-fructose corn syrup. Eating a diet low in sugar can keep your liver safe and even reverse the damage that has already been done.
Sugar consumption increases inflammation n the body. This can lead to all kinds of health problems as well as contributing to problems like arthritis and even asthma. When you consistently eat sugar, your body develops chronic inflammation.
Eating a healthy diet is one key to the tone and texture of beautiful skin. Sugar specifically increases inflammation and an imbalance of hormones that can cause acne to flare. When you cut added sugar, you are likely to see clearer skin.
Lower sugar can lead to youthful skin as well. That’s because sugar can interfere with the skin’s natural ability to create collagen, a protein that the skin needs to keep its youthful structure. Collagen is responsible for plumping the skin and promoting its elasticity. Without adequate collagen, you’ll see wrinkles and hallow areas appear.
Sugar can cause problems with your respiration. This is especially true if you already struggle with lung disease. When your blood sugar levels rise, your challenges with respiration can get worse. People with pulmonary disease must be especially careful about sugar consumption. Diabetes can also cause complications with your lungs.
You’ve probably been hearing about this since you were a little child. Sugar is terrible for your teeth. Sugar raises acid levels that make your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Make your dentist happy and cut back on sugar.
Eating sugar raises your blood sugar levels. Afterward, when blood sugar levels plummet, your body screams out for more. Cravings for sweets can be overwhelming and hard to resist. You can keep from having to fight these battles by choosing not to eat sugar in the first place.
A healthy diet including fruits and vegetables is essential to keeping your body’s immune system in top shape. In contrast, your body’s natural defenses are weakened when blood sugar levels are high. When your immunity is compromised, you are opening yourself up to disease. When you do catch a virus or other ailment, your body has a harder time fighting it off. Symptoms may be more intense and last longer.
Sugar can cause problems with your digestion. Fructose in particular is not easily released from your gut. Instead of being flushed out of the body, it stays and causes problems like bloating. It can also interfere with your lower intestine’s ability to effectively absorb water. That can create the right conditions for diarrhea. Finally, sugar can increase painful inflammation in your gut.
Balanced Sleep Cycles
Sugar can change your ability to enjoy healthy sleep cycles. Eating too much sugar can keep you up at night. Your body responds to this insomnia by craving more sugar. When you aren’t sleeping well at night, you are more tired during the day. You may respond to this by eating more sugar in the mistaken attempt to create more energy. The slump will leave you tired but unable to sleep. When you finally do get to sleep, you may have a harder time waking up in the morning.
People who eat a lot of sugar also tend to more restless at night. You may be tossing and turning and unable to get comfortable. You will also sleep less deeply with your sleep easily distributed. If you are overweight, you may also be more likely to struggle with sleep apnea which is a condition where you stop breathing in your sleep.
Sugar is known for giving you a quick rush of energy, but the downside is destructive. When your blood sugar falls, your energy disappears. The more you continue this cycle, the more energy you lose.
Over time, sugar can seriously weigh you down and keep you from participating in the physical activity your body needs to stay healthy and strong. When you have no energy to move, your increase the effects that cause your body to crave more sugar. The cycle can be extremely dangerous and difficult to break.
Excessive sugar consumption can contribute to depression. Too much sugar can cause an imbalance in the chemicals in your brain, affecting your mood and your ability to maintain a consistent, even temperament.
Inflammation can also play a part in depression, and sugar increases the inflammation in your body. If you are a person who struggles with problems like depression and anxiety, cutting back on added sugars can help keep your mental health better under control. You will be giving any medication you use the best shot at being effective for you.
Less Mental Irritation
The highs and lows of sugar can wreak havoc on your physical body, but they can affect your ability to handle your mood as well. When your blood sugar drops and you don’t feel well, you can find yourself lashing out at the people around you. Eating a low sugar diet will help you avoid these outbursts and feel better about your relationships.
When blood sugar levels drop, you will feel tired and you may also find that it is difficult to focus. This often happens an hour or two after lunch. Unfortunately, many people deal with it by consuming something sugary that starts the cycle again. They experience a temporary burst of energy only to be exhausted an hour later.
It is a better idea to eat something with protein in the afternoon to raise your energy levels and keep your concentration.
Eating less sugar will save you money. Processed sugary foods are not inexpensive, so sticking to natural unprocessed choices is a better economical decision. You will also find that you are spending less money at the dentist and on visits to the doctor. You will also be saving money on treatments for chronic diseases you do not develop.
Sugar Is Energy
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, and it is broken down into glucose and fructose in your intestine. The sugar moves into your bloodstream and is carried all over your body to be used for energy. If they are not used immediately, they are stored for later.
Sugar content in your blood is what raises your sugar levels and leads to the cycle of raised and then plummeting energy. If you choose to eat foods that contain natural sugars, such as fruit, your body’s responses are more gradual. This allows you to avoid the spikes and falls that are so hard on your body. When you cut out added sugar, you are more able to control and use your body’s natural responses to stay healthy and strong.
A Low Sugar Diet Is the Healthy Choice
If you want to feel your best physically and mentally and avoid dangerous diseases, following a low sugar diet is easily the right course of action. High sugar consumption may give you instant energy, but the negative consequences are just too high. The nutritional choices you make have a big impact on how much enjoyment you can get out of life and will help you anticipate many more years filled with adventure and fun.
Contact us at Naples Vitality, in Naples, FL, to get more information about nutrition and to register for online classes and videos that will teach you how to live the healthiest lifestyle you can. We can help you thrive and generate more energy as you get older.