Unless you don’t care about your health at all, you know that it’s important to cut back on sugar. For most people who are busy and don’t make the time to cook, this can be a daunting task.
Most restaurant food, including savory options, has added sugar. Seemingly healthy, benign sauces used to savor meat and fish are often packed with added sugar. Same goes for ethnic dishes: If you think about it, Asian entrees are often surprisingly sweet.
Then there are the packaged foods that make eating on the go easier. Even when we try to cook at home, sugar pops up in everything from salsa to peanut butter to salad dressing.
Things get even more difficult when you realize that diets high in processed carbs are just as bad for health as those with added sugar. High-carb, low-fiber foods are metabolized in the same way as sugar, spiking blood glucose and producing high insulin levels. It’s this combination that makes sugar (and processed carbs) so bad for you.
When you have high levels of sugar circulating in the blood, something rather obscure called advanced glycation endproducts (known by the acronym AGEs) form. As a result, cells and DNA are damaged, blood vessels become less flexible, and plaque builds up in the arteries. AGEs also harm collagen in skin and visibly accelerate the aging process.
The bad news about sugar doesn’t stop there. Here are 25 more reasons to make the effort to eat less sugar.
#1: Sugar suppresses the immune system, increasing your risk of illness and chronic disease.
#2: Sugar and refined carbs are associated with fat gain, especially the dangerous kind that circles your waistline.
#3: Sugar causes fatty liver, a metabolic disease only seen in alcoholics until recently when sugar and processed carbs took over the food supply.
#4: Sugar raises triglycerides, fat molecules circulating in the blood that are a primary predictor of heart disease.
#5: Sugar negatively impacts sleep and increases your risk of insomnia.
#6: Sugar increases gall and kidney stone formation.
#7: Sugar increases risk of all cancers, partly due to how it impacts insulin and causes inflammation but also because it increases obesity.
#8: Sugar increases risk of vitamin and mineral deficiency, especially magnesium chromium, and copper.
#9: Sugar changes the architecture of your brain, making you crave foods high in refined carbs and added sugar.
#10: Sugar increases stress, impacting release of cortisol and making you feel overwhelmed.
#11: Sugar increases risk of osteoporosis and incidence of fracture.
#12: Sugar decreases testosterone levels.
#13: Sugar lowers fat burning hormones such as growth hormone.
#14: A high intake of sugar and refined carbs literally shuts down the body’s ability to burn body fat by raising insulin.
#15: Sugar negatively impacts cholesterol levels, lowering protective HDL and raising the small molecules of LDL that are linked to heart disease.
#16: Sugar increases organ size, which leads to liver and kidney disease.
#17: Sugar causes digestive issues, increasing risk of constipation.
#18: Sugar compromises cognition and leads to lower academic performance in school.
#19: Sugar negatively impacts glucose metabolism in the brain, leading to plaque deposition and memory problems and ultimately, Alzheimer’s.
#20: Sugar raises blood pressure and not just because it makes you fatter but by harming the flexibility of blood vessels to dilate and relax.
#21: Sugar and refined carbs activate a network of transmitters in the brain that make you sluggish, while slowing energy expenditure.
#22: Sugar increases tooth decay and risk of developing gingivitis (bad breath).
#23: Sugar negatively impacts neurotransmitters and is linked with depression and low mood.
#24: Sugar ages the skin, causing wrinkles and skin tags.
#25: A high sugar intake makes it harder to lose body fat or make significant lifestyle changes that are necessary to overcome obesity and get healthy.
In case you need some help in cutting back on sugar, here are Ten Undemanding Tips For Eating Less Sugar