September 26, 2018
From salad dressings to canned soups, sugar is in almost everything. The FDA recommends 50 grams of sugar per day for the average person, which adds up to about 10 percent of our total daily calories. While this may sound like a lot, it’s easy to meet this limit without even going through a full day of eating and drinking. A 12-ounce bottle of cola, for example, contains 39 grams of sugar — a whopping 78 percent of your daily allowance. It’s getting increasingly difficult to limit our intake of sugar, even with the FDA including information on labels about added sugars.
However, cutting back on your sugar intake can be well worth the effort, extending beyond a decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes or shedding a few pounds. Here are some of the additional health benefits you may experience:
Research has linked sugar to high blood pressure, raised levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol,” as well as an increase in triglycerides, or blood fats. The extra toll that these things have on the heart can possibly lead to stroke, heart disease, and even a heart attack. Doctors say for every extra soda or sugary drink you consume, you may raise your risk of heart disease by up to 25 percent.
Added sugars reduce the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) — a chemical that helps form new memories and promote your ability to recall. Low BDNF has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sugar can weaken the immune system. A suppressed immune system is bad at fighting off bacteria, and if bacteria are allowed to persist in the body, they inevitably clog pores, which leads to pimples. Sugar can also break down collagen — a protein found in the skin that keeps it tight and youthful — which could make wrinkles more pronounced.
Sugar feeds some bacteria — specifically, the bad bacteria. Our mouths are full of good and bad bacteria, and the bad kind use sugar to stick to the enamel on our teeth and create acids which erode their surfaces and create decay.
Remember: any effort to reduce your sugar intake should be gradual at first, in order to avoid causing a shock to your system. Not everyone experiences the same reaction to quitting sugar, but the first week without the sweet stuff might cause a few side effects, including headaches, decreased energy and alertness, and even gastrointestinal issues. This reverses itself during the second week, when people have reported increased energy levels and alertness. If you’re still feeling withdrawal symptoms or struggling to kick the cravings, try taking the edge off by focusing on natural sugars.
It’s always important to consult your physician before dieting, detoxing, or cutting anything out of your daily routine to ensure safety. By carefully examining labels and focusing on natural sugars, you can improve your overall quality of life.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information on this web site is for general information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider on any matters relating to your health.