Giving Up the ‘Sweet’ Life

With the New Year rapidly approaching, that means we are all thinking about what New Year’s Resolutions we will be making and how we are going to stick to them! One of the most popular forms of nutritional abstinence these days is no sugar. Now, before you think I’m crazy, there are a lot of reasons why giving up sugar, even for a month or two, can have amazing effects on your body and mental well-being. Here are the top 5 reasons to consider going sugar-free!

1. Happy Heart = Happy Health

  • Cutting sugar our of your diet can reduce your risk of heart-related deaths threefold and can even lower your LDL cholesterol by 10% & your triglycerides 20-30%, according to research from James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid-Atlantic Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO. How does this work you ask? More sugar means higher insulin levels which increases your blood pressure and heart rate. So this is one big reason to cut out the sweets!

2. Keep Clear of Diabetes

  • This is one of the more obvious ones. Eating added sugar promotes the buildup of fatty deposits around your liver. These deposits contribute to insulin resistance and undermine the work done by your pancreas, which normally stalls the production of insulin, says Robert Lustig, MD. Lustig found that eating 150 calories of added sugar is 11 times more likely to contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, compared with 150 calories from protein or fat.

3. The Sleep Train is Back on Track

  • We all know about sugar crashes! The crash from a sugar high leaves you with mid-day sluggishness and an itching need for a nap. Also, added sugar triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which interferes with slumber. That means that giving up sugar can keep you from random bouts of sleep during the day and more regular, deeper sleep at night.

4. Brain Fog Forgotten

  • A UCLA study concluded a diet high in added sugar hinders learning and memory. Over time, eating lots of sugar may actually damage communication among your brain’s cells, the study shows. Essentially, you are clouding up your mind by packing in the doughnuts for breakfast, not just your arteries.

5. Weight Loss Goals

  • When cutting out sugar, the foods you’re not eating generally get replaced with healthier and more nutritious options. Instead of an apple, you’re having almonds. Instead of granola, maybe you’re sticking to an omelette. Either way, you’re getting in better nutrition. Also, people who cut out sugar generally eat fewer calories meaning you’re in a great position to lose those last few pounds you’ve been trying for.
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