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8 Reasons to Ditch Refined Sugar

8 Reasons to Ditch Refined Sugar

Benefits of giving up refined sugar: 

  1. Easier weight loss 
  2. Reduced inflammation  
  3. Improved sleep quality
  4. More stable energy levels & increased overall energy
  5. Improvement in skin’s appearance 
  6. Fewer mood swings, less irritability 
  7. Relief from blood-sugar-related headaches
  8. Boosted immune system 
All sugar is not created equal. If you cut out just one food in the new year, make it refined sugar. 

Refined Sugar vs. Natural Sugar

Table sugar a.k.a. refined sugar is one of the least nutritious, most insidious foods you can eat, and it is NOT the same thing as the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit and vegetables- fructose.

Fruit and vegetables contain loads of vitamins, minerals, fibers, enzymes, and other naturally occurring compounds that slow the rate at which sugar enters the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes and energy crashes while providing highly absorbable nutrients that your body will soak up immediately.

On the other hand, refined sugar offers NO nutritional value, promotes weight gain, leads to unstable blood sugar and energy levels, triggers inflammation, and exacerbates disease. Worse still? Refined sugar is as addictive as cocaine, acting on the same part of the brain. 

Many commercial food companies add refined sugar to their products to increase their addictiveness and keep consumers coming back for more. Refined sugar is hiding in all sorts of seemingly harmless foods- canned soups, granola bars, breads, salad dressings, breakfast cereals, yogurts, breads, sauces and more. 

Refined sugar has an array of monikers that can serve to cloak its true identity on ingredient labels including:

  1. Corn syrup
  2. Cane juice
  3. Dextrose
  4. Sucrose
  5. Brown sugar 

Sugar is a drug! 

When you eat refined sugar, it impacts the reward system in the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin, causing surges of dopamine. Much like a drug, the more refined sugar you eat, the higher your tolerance gets, and you will have to increase your intake in order to trigger the same feelings of pleasure in your brain. Plus, it causes blood sugar spikes that result in intense energy bursts and crashes, leading to cravings for even more sugar. 

Sugar & Inflammation 

Need another reason to give up sugar? Refined sugar feeds bad bacteria in the body and worsens inflammation. Chronic inflammation is now recognized as a common root cause of a seemingly endless list of diseases from heart disease to cancer to autoimmune disorders.

The good news? 

Sugar addiction can actually be broken very quickly- in as little as a week or two! You may notice a difference in your cravings, energy levels, sleep quality, ability to concentrate, and even in the appearance of your skin within just a few days of not eating sugar.  

What happens when you cut out sugar?

If you are addicted to refined sugar, you may experience withdrawal symptoms in the first couple of days after giving it up. After withdrawal symptoms pass, you should start to feel an overall improvement in how you feel, and your cravings for sugar should lessen or go away.

It’s likely that you will experience a boost in your energy, mood, and mental clarity a few days into going sugar-free. When your diet is laden with refined sugar, your blood sugar is on a roller coaster of highs and lows that make your energy spike and then crash. Once the sugar is out of your system, your blood sugar will stabilize and so will your energy levels. Sugar addiction and cravings cause irritability and mood swings which also may diminish once your physical dependence is broken.

Another physical change you may experience once you get past the withdrawal symptoms is relief from frequent headaches and migraines that are caused by wild blood sugar fluctuations.

Cutting out sugar can also have a positive effect on your weight loss goals. Once your blood sugar and your insulin stabilize, your body will be more readily able to let go of weight.

You may experience an improvement in the appearance of your skin soon after cutting out sugar. Sugar has a highly inflammatory effect on the body, and out-of-control inflammation is the root of an endless list of physical maladies including chronic acne. Sugar also breaks down collagen which leads to wrinkles and skin aging. 

No matter who you are or what your health is like, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving up refined sugar!  

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