Top 7 Reasons to Limit Sugar for Better Health
In the United States, sugar accounts for up to 14% of children’s daily caloric intake, and 17% for adults. That is a disturbing number, especially when we consider how sugar negatively impacts health, and that dietary guidelines suggest keeping under 10%.
Science shows that sugar consumptions is a major factor behind a number of chronic diseases, as well as obesity. Here are the top 10 reasons why sugar is bad for your health:
Increases the Risk of Disease
Eating a lot of sugar is linked to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, as well as certain cancers. It has also been associated with fatty liver, kidney disease, gout, and cognitive decline.
Leads to Vitamin and Nutrient Deficiencies
Consuming a lot of sugar can lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. Partially because we aren’t getting enough nutrient-rich foods when so much of the diet is comprised of sugar and processed “foods,” and partially because sugar impacts absorption and proper functioning of our body. Higher sugar consumption is associated with lowest intake of essential vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamins A, B12, C, and calcium. Chromium, which helps regulate blood sugar levels, is another of many nutrients that Americans are deficient in because of our overconsumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. These deficiencies are especially concerning in children and teens — who consume the most sugar, and yet need the most nutrients as they are developing.
Impacts Blood Sugar and Hormone Levels
Prolonged elevations in blood sugar can cause weight gain and severe health issues including inflammation, insulin resistance, and impairing cell function. Unstable blood sugar levels can also cause fatigue, headaches, and mood swings.
Causes Weight Gain
Sugar is full of empty calories, and impacts blood sugar and hormones. Foods that are high in sugar are also less filling, and often displace healthy foods in our diet.
Furthermore, sugar decreases appetite-suppressing hormones and increases hunger-promoting hormones, and research suggests it causes us to crave more sugary, calorie-laden foods, leading us to overeat.
Sugar = wrinkles and sagging skin. Eating too much sugar causes decreased skin elasticity and premature aging.
Causes Tooth Decay and Gum Disease - Which Can Lead to Heart Disease
Sugar causes tooth decay more than any other food. It also plays a huge role in chronic infections and dental issues, which in turn play a role in the development of heart disease according to research. Cut back on the sugar for dental and heart health.
Impacts Cognition, Mood, and Stress
When your blood sugar drops after eating large amounts of sugar, stress hormones raise to compensate for the drop. This causes irritability, anxiousness, and even shakiness in some cases. Furthermore, one major study examined what reducing sugar and artificial coloring would do to academic performance — rankings increased 15.7%.
The verdict is in: it’s time for sugar to get out.
Focus your overall nutrition on whole foods — and limited sugar and processed junk for better health.