From your tongue to the toilet – gross, we know – there are a few positive side-effects that come with ditching sugar. Take a look at 5 of our favourite fringe benefits and what they mean for your long-term health.
Your taste buds adjust.
You’ll start to notice the natural sweetness of fruits that once seemed dull compared to chocolate and lollies. You might even be surprised at how sweet some veggies like peas, corn and beans taste. You’ll also start to enjoy more wholesome foods as you find those sugar cravings start to fade. It’s estimated to take a few weeks for these cravings to stop, though you could have a strong foothold in the fight against sugar addiction within just 10 days.
The symptoms of sugar withdrawal will differ for each individual, though the most common include cravings, headaches and temporary low mood – but don’t worry, the latter won’t be a problem for long – we’ll soon explain how your mood will change for the better after weaning yourself off sugar.
After quitting sugar, your bowels will start to run better – excuse the pun. Research has shown that fructose is one of the main causes of chronic diarrhoea and other bowel conditions. This is because the sugar that our bodies can’t break down will end up sitting in the bowels, fuelling bad bacteria and causing a gas build-up. Take a look at a few of the consequences this may cause:
- Trapped wind.
- Excess flatulence.
- Cramping and pain.
- Diarrhoea and constipation.
So, you’ll take a load off – literally – when you quit sugar.
A decreased risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
We all know how sugar throws our blood-glucose levels out of whack, so it’s no surprise that quitting the stuff will greatly reduce your chance for developing metabolic diseases. Here’s why. Obesity has been on a dramatic incline since the mass increase of added sugar into processed foods, with rates having tripled in the past 47 years and over 1.9 billion people living with obesity.
Studies prove an alarming link between obesity and excessive sugar consumption. One of the main reasons for this is that the fructose in sugar leads to the development of visceral fat. This is the kind of fat that which wraps around the abdominal organs, making it more dangerous than subcutaneous fat, which is found between the skin and the external abdominal wall. This also raises the risk for conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, with sugar shown to cause insulin resistance, leading to the former. The rise of sugar, namely high-fructose corn syrup, in commercial products has seen a sharp increase in cases of diabetes, according to research.
Innocent-looking products like yoghurt, cereal and muesli bars can be harbouring excess sugar, despite what the labels may say.
Giving your liver a break.
Excess sugar consumption is one of the biggest drivers of fatty liver disease – the culprit? Fructose. Our livers are put under the gun to metabolise this sweet stuff, and the results of overwhelming the liver are not the most appealing.
Affecting 25% of the population, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the most notable conditions associated with fructose intake. People who steer clear of alcohol may be shocked to learn that their dietary choices can cause this condition. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is projected to become the become the leading cause of cirrhosis within the 10 years, and it’s safe to point the finger at sugar.
Your liver will be the first to thank you for laying off the sweet stuff and cutting your chances of developing visceral fat and liver disease.
Mental health improvements and risk reduction.
It’s no secret that sugar does a number on your mental health, both short-term consequences like low mood and motivation from sugar crashes, and the long-term consequences like anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown found the incidence of depression to be higher in people who consume more sugar. Many become locked in a vicious cycle of seeking the dopamine hit that comes with sugar, and as a result, worsening their mental health symptoms. Another study shows anxiety is increasingly reported in people over 60 with high sugar intakes and this is no coincidence – further research draws the link between anxiety and sugar, as it found that those who drank 2 soft drinks a day had cortisol levels 22% higher than those who didn’t.
One of the first things you may notice is that the fog of low mood is lifted after quitting sugar, and your risk for developing mood disorders like depression is drastically reduced.
If you like the sound of these benefits, but don’t know where to start, we have the solution. We invite you to join us for our 8-Week Program where we’ll be ditching sugar and learning the ins-and-outs of proper nutrition, staying fuller for longer and managing sugar cravings. Sound good? Sign up HERE.