According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 100 million U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the insulin in your body doesn’t work properly, which causes your blood sugar levels to soar. If it isn’t treated correctly then type 2 diabetes can lead to other serious health conditions such as heart disease or premature death.
Lowering your sugar intake might be able to reduce your risk of developing prediabetes or diabetes. Read on to find out more reasons why you should cut back on processed sugar.
10 Reasons to Cut Down on Sugar
Eating too much processed sugar not only increases your risk of developing diabetes but it also has a variety of other negative health impacts. Now, we are all a little guilty of reaching out for some delicious sugar cookies when it comes to snack time instead of having a piece of fruit. However, this small choice might be impacting your life and health in more ways than you know.
1. Lower Your Risk of Having a Heart Attack
One reason you should think about cutting down on processed sugar foods is that it can help to lower your risk of having a heart attack. People with large sugar intakes are more at risk of experiencing heart problems.
Having a healthy heart is one way to ensure you stay healthy and live longer. Cutting down on sugar may seem difficult, but even trading in sugary soda drinks for water or other drinks that have no sugar could help to save your life.
2. Lower Your Blood Pressure
Reducing your sugar intake can also help to lower your blood pressure. High blood pressures are linked to several serious health conditions, such as strokes, kidney diseases, heart diseases, and artery diseases. When a person has high blood pressure, their heart and arteries are having to work harder which puts more strain on them.
A simple switch from granulated sugar to monk fruit sweetener in your tea or coffee might be able to help lower your sugar intake and your risk of developing high blood pressure.
3. Enjoy Better Cholesterol
Those who consume less sugar are also likely to have better cholesterol, which means that they’re less likely to develop heart disease. Diets containing too much sugar make a person’s liver to increase the amount of bad cholesterol in their body and lower their good cholesterol. Having high levels of bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol leads to clogged arteries and blood vessels.
4. Fight Off Depression
Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet can also help you mentally and may help you fend off depression. Your brain needs a steady and regular flow of chemicals such as glucose and insulin to function properly.
However, when you consume too much sugar, this causes your insulin to become immune to the effects of glucose. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to episodes of depression and anxiety. If you want to avoid feeling low, make sure you switch that candy bar for a healthier snack.
5. Lower Your Chances of Developing Dementia
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) helps your brain to make new memories and enables it to remember past memories. However, eating a diet that is high in sugar can prevent your BDNF processes from working properly, which may put you at risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
People who suffer from diabetes or have prediabetes often have low levels of BDNF and are thought to be more at risk of developing dementia.
6. Feel More Energetic
Sugar causes insulin levels to shoot up, which can help to make you feel more energetic. But this is only a short energy boost and often is accompanied by a drastic drop in energy levels.
Ditching the sugar when you feel tired and like you need energy might actually help to make you feel more energetic. Don’t grab a soda or a candy bar, instead, go for foods that have natural sugar (such as fruit) and that have protein, so your energy levels last for longer.
7. Improve Your Focus
If you’ve ever sat at your desk unable to concentrate it might be because of your diet. Too much sugar can impair the cognitive functioning of your brain and reduce the proteins in there that is needed for keeping you alert and able to remember things.
So eating a diet that has less sugar in it might also be able to make your brain more responsive and help to keep you more focused.
8. Show Off Younger Looking Skin
You might want to cut down on sugar if you care about your appearance and want to keep looking young. Diets with too much sugar can lead to premature aging and wrinkles.
Over time, eating too much sugar can make your skin look dull and gain more wrinkles. Sugar can cause your skin to lose its firmness, resulting in skin sagging. Those who eat too much sugar are also more vulnerable to skin damage from the sun.
9. Save Money
Cutting down on sugar may also help you to save money because sugar is addictive which means your body will keep wanting more of it throughout the day.
Foods that are high in sugar are also low in fiber, which means that you won’t feel as full after eating sugary foods. Foods that are high in fiber help to keep your feeling fuller for longer and so you won’t need to buy as much food.
10. Improve Your Sleep
Reducing the sugar in your diet might also be able to help you get a better night’s sleep. Those who have a high sugar diet are more likely to experience light and disruptive sleep because their body is struggling to digest the sugars.
Foods that are high in sugar might also interrupt your sleep because they can impact your sleep hormones. So if you want to improve your sleep it might be a good idea to reduce your sugar intake.
Eat Healthier and Live Better
Making simple and small changes to your diet and reducing your sugar intake can have a wealth of benefits. Not only will you lower your risk of developing serious health conditions, but you will also get to save money and sleep better at night.
Check out our lifestyle and family articles for more information about how to stay healthy and keep your family well.