4 Reasons to Get Sugar Out of Your Life

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

bowl-of-sugar-cubes

Are you eating a diet high in sugar? If so, consider two of many health costs. As you chew on that sugary snack, those empty calories could be increasing your waistline and lead to a fatty liver (one thing that could lead to permanent damage). [1] Sugar is in practically everything these days, from your peanut butter to a loaf of bread. What’s worse, high fructose corn syrup has quickly replaced pure sugar, leading to even further complications. Could cutting sugar out of your life completely be the answer to your health concerns? Well, there’s one thing–it certainly might help.

Why You Should Sugar ‘Detox’ Your Life

Reducing or cutting out sugar consumption could do wonders for your lifestyle. Not only could it support your energy levels, but it may also support healthy aging. Here are just 4 reasons you need to get sugar out of your life.

1. Sugar Causes Obesity

With the way many Americans drink sugary beverages, it’s no surprise the latest report suggests sugar is a factor in the obesity epidemic–especially when it comes to kids. The Obesity Society estimates Americans consume about 6 to 7 percent of their calories in sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). [2] SSBs are brimming with empty calories, and cutting these out of your diet can only make a change for the better.

2. Sugar Causes Cardiovascular Disease

It’s not just weight gain that’s a possible concern, though; sugar could even add to your risk for heart disease. [3] In a recent study, sugar was linked to changes in blood pressure and in the body’s lipids. This latest finding only adds to evidence that continues to suggest there’s no such thing as a “safe sugar habit.”

3. Sugar is as Addictive as a Drug

The latest research even suggests sugar could be as addictive as a drug. [4] Sugar addiction could be a throwback to a distant time when food supplies were scarce, and people weren’t worried about empty calories. They were just eating enough to survive. At the time, our brains might have been wired to overload on carbohydrates, mostly fruit and grains, in order to maintain an energy storage during times of famine. In this day and age, however, finding food isn’t the problem: it’s mindlessly eating sugar.

4. Sugar Affects Memory

Certainly SSBs could be doing more harm than good to our physical health, but a recent finding even suggests they could be damaging the memories of kids and teens. [5] Drinking SSBs in excess before adulthood leads to metabolic changes, affecting the “brain’s ability to function normally and remember critical information.” That’s one more reason to cut sugar out of your life!

One Final Thought

Sugar can be bad news for our bodies, but sugar substitutes aren’t really that much better. The brain perceives artificial sweeteners as overly sweet, and this perception can still lead to overeating, just like the kind mentioned in point three. [6] So we’re back to square one, it seems. With the rising sugar crisis, some have even suggested sugary foods need a warning label. [7]

What do you think? Is cutting sugar a step in the right direction? Tell us in the comments.

References (7)
  1. Koopman, K. E. et al. Hypercaloric diets with increased meal frequency, but not meal size, increase intrahepatic triglycerides: A randomized controlled trial. Hepatology.
  2. Skinner, A. C. & Skelton, J. A. Prevalence and Trends in Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Children in the United States, 1999-2012. JAMA Pediatrics.168 (6).
  3. Te Morenga, L. A. et al. Dietary sugars and cardiometabolic risk: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of the effects on blood pressure and lipids. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 100 (1).
  4. Nieh, E. H. et al. Decoding Neural Circuits that Control Compulsive Sucrose Seeking. Cell. 160 (3).
  5. Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages during adolescence impairs memory, animal study suggests. ScienceDaily.
  6. Antenucci, R. G. & Hayes, J. A. Nonnutritive sweeteners are not supernormal stimuli. International Journal of Obesity.
  7. Capewell, S. Sugar sweetened drinks should carry obesity warnings. BMJ. 348.

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