What Will Happen If You Give Up Refined Sugar?
We have all heard sugar is bad, but we often give into its sweetness. If you have a sweet tooth that needs yet another bite of that chocolate or just a sliver of that mouth watering cake, well, you are not alone. Been there, done that!
Sometime back I came across some articles on the astounding benefits of cutting back on refined sugar ranging from improved heart and brain health to better eyesight and sleep cycle.
Our cabinets are filled with sugar coated breakfast items, refrigerators with chocolates, self baked cakes & stocked up tubs of ice creams; thanks to the pandemic lockdown, we’ve been indulging into our guilty pleasures more so now than ever.
Question remains how guilty are you? Are you guilty enough to eliminate sugar from your diet or at least try reducing its intake? Well, once you know what happens when you stop eating refined sugar, I’m sure you’ll be convincing others!
I have tried it – successfully! I feel better, I look better, I am better.
Let’s get to it and check out the changes you’ll notice once you stop consuming refined sugar.
1. You will improve your brain power:
Numerous studies have shown sugar is a hindrance when it comes to learning and memorizing. It’s better to stay away from sugar when you are preparing for that exam or memorizing that presentation that you have to give tomorrow at work. Apples keep you alert and focused; works better than that coffee or energy drink researches have proved.
2. You will be less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease:
Not only your brain power is improved, but you will cut the chances of having Alzheimer’s disease by more than half. There is chemical in the brain called the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It’s a protein that promotes survival of nerve cells (neurons), growth, maturation and maintenance. This means ability to make new neural connections, storing memories, recalling it depends on BDNF. While, consuming excessive amounts of sugar have shown to have a drop in the BDFN, leading to greater chances of Alzheimer’s disease. More on this in the research paper – Jeanneteau F, Chao MV. Are BDNF and glucocorticoid activities calibrated? Neuroscience. 2013;239:173-95.
3. You will overcome a serious addiction:
Needless to say it’s an addiction. How serious it is? A study with lab rats was conducted to test this. A pack of rats were given cocaine until they had become addicted to it. Once addicted, they were put in an environment where they could get refined sugar and cocaine. 94% of rats switched to refined sugar and become addicted to it in no time.
4. You will not have bad breath:
If you have ever baked anything, you will know; when we use activated yeast in the recipe we mix in warm water/milk add sugar. This is done because, the warm liquid awakens the yeast bacteria and sugar gives it food to grow. A human mouth contains anywhere between 500 to 1000 bacteria. There, you have it, sugar – bacteria – mouth – smell. Not to mention the decays, cavities, bleeding gums and what not. And yes all that smells too.
5. Your skin will improve:
Acnes are inflammatory skin condition. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that giving up refined sugar may result in decrease in inflammations of the skin, thus reducing the acnes. Remember the rollercoaster of emotions you go through when that one little bugger pops up on our face, say bye to that.
6. You will be able to sleep better:
Excessive sugar intake messes up your energy levels. You might feel a high and burst of energy throughout the day but that’s just not normal. Your body has a day/night cycle and once you give up on sugar it will slowly get back to its natural balance. You will automatically feel sleepy when bed time comes. Beauty sleep returns!
7. Your heart health will improve:
A can of 300 ml soft drink can contain 35g of sugar. Its proven that high sugar intake leads to all kinds of unwanted issues like coronary artery disease which might lead to stroke or heart attack. Giving up sugar means your heart rate will drop to normal, which also leads to reduced blood pressure, thus saving your precious life.
8. Your bad cholesterol will reduce:
Talking of heart health isn’t complete without talking about cholesterol. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called the “bad” cholesterol because it collects in the walls of your blood vessels, raising your chances of health problems. Researchers have proved that high sugar intake raises levels of bad cholesterol. Do I need to say more?
9. Your eyesight will improve:
Cholesterol in blood vessels damages your blood vessels, which in turn leads to many other problems. You will be surprised to know fluctuations in insulin and blood glucose levels lead to decrease in blood supply to eyes, damaging the optic nerve. Give up excessive sugar to have healthy eyes! Read up on diabetic retinopathy whenever you have time.
10. You will lose weight faster:
Heard this a million times, haven’t you? Well I lost 4kgs in 2 months by cutting out on table sugar alone. Refined suagr is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream , tricking your brain to feel hungry and crave more of it resulting in overeating . This forces your pancreas to produce more insulin. In the process, production of other hormones that regulate metabolism, digestion and weight is neglected. This pattern leads to fat accumulation, which will reduce if you regulate consumption of refined sugar, leading to faster weight loss.
Well most of you are now convinced, willing to give up on refined sugar for a better you. For those of you are still on the fence, here’s a little push.
11. You will save a lot of money:
Well yes! Not only will your grocery bill dramatically drop down by not buying those insane amounts of chocolates, biscuits, ice creams and other sugar loaded goodies; but you will have saved money due to reasons mentioned above. No more spending on dentists to deal with you cavities, fewer doctor visits due to over all better health, no more acne creams and other cosmetic creams and no more late night ordering of food.
There, that ought to do it. Hope these reasons will make you give up refined sugar right away or gradually give it up starting today. What to replace your sugar with? Well, that one’s for another time.
Share your experiences and stories if you have tried or will try giving up sugar in the comments below. Keen to hear from you.