Everyone knows sugar is one of the most damaging things to anyone’s health which is why it’s recommended that we avoid it as much as possible! But what are the amazing effects of staying away from it for a whole month, according to new research?
Cutting down on your added sugar intake can have really great effects that you should know about, especially if you’ve been on the line about doing this for a while.
Of course, it can be hard if you are someone who has a sweet tooth.
First of all, you should understand that you are not alone as many people struggle to give up or even cut down on sugar.
As per the American Heart Association, American citizens consume around 77 grams of added sugar every day, which is actually three times the recommended daily amount!
To help you visualize just how much sugar that is, 77 grams is slightly less than half a cup!
It might sound impossible to consume so much of it every single day but the American Heart Association has also learned that most of it comes from sweet beverages, especially from soda, followed closely by desserts and other sweet snacks, so it actually makes a lot of sense knowing how much added sugar is in such products.
Added sugar, as opposed to natural sugar, is added during the preparation or processing of food and it makes it taste delicious, of course, but is also extremely damaging to one’s health whether it’s physical or mental.
Harvard Health Publishing, for example, has reported that high sugar intake is directly responsible for all kinds of diseases including obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease.
Given how used we are to consuming so much added sugar, completely cutting it out for a whole month may seem daunting at first but it’s all worth it!
The benefits are a lowered risk of developing diabetes, better gut health and even less anxiety, to name just a couple!
Other, less known benefits are:
- Lowering the Risk of Developing Cancer
That’s right! According to a dietitian at Sporting Smiles by the name of Allison Tallman, giving up on sugar may be seriously lowering your risk of certain cancers.
He explains that “Some research suggests that sugar consumption ‘feeds’ cancerous cells even with those that already have cancer. Those who consume excess sugar may be replacing nutrient-dense foods with this empty-calorie food, leading to a poor-quality diet.”
- Lowering Inflammation in the Body
Based on a study from back in 2006, sugar may be connected to chronic inflammation, a problem that affects almost 125 million American citizens and which is directly linked to other illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
In other words, if you start cutting added sugar from your diet, you are on the right path to avoiding all of these illnesses and more, which is obviously great!
- Improving Your Gut Health
If you find yourself struggling with bloating and have a rather unpredictable digestive system, you will definitely benefit a lot from lowering your added sugar intake.
Cutting out sugar for only 30 days can help you achieve a more balanced good gut bacteria.
The president of The Nutrition Clinic for Digestive Health and an integrative and functional dietitian, Jenny Askew, shares that “Sugar and refined carbs feed bad bacteria in the gut which can lead to digestive problems.”
These digestive problems include a variety of issues such as bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea.
Askew goes on to add that “This can [also] contribute to inflammatory conditions—think acne, headaches, and rashes.”
- Increasing Your Energy
Tallman mentions that “While sugar is a source of energy, the type of source, aka the quality, is the most important thing.”
She goes on to stress that refined sugar which is mostly found in processed foods, in chips, cookies, cake and more, is responsible for you feeling lethargic and unproductive.
“By giving up these foods, and therefore sugar, we’re likely to increase our energy and feel better than ever.”
- Lowering Anxiety and Depression
Consuming sugary foods and drinks may feel like a quick fix for anxious episodes for instance, which is why eating disorders are super common among those dealing with mental health problems but it definitely does more bad than good in the long run.
In reality, giving up on sugar for a month is just as good for our minds as it is for our bodies.
For example, one study says that higher sugar intake is related to a higher risk of depression.
Another research from 2019 proved that a diet high in added sugar can cause neurobiological brain function changes.
Another finding was that it can also cause anxiety and altered emotional states.
- Improving Your Dental Health
This is something most people are well aware of as we’ve been told this ever since we were just children – sugar can cause cavities!
Healthy Food America confirms this is indeed the case, stating that adults who drink one or two sugary drinks every day have 30 per cent more risk of developing dental disease.
Furthermore, they also report that kids who drink sodas regularly have almost twice the risk of dental decay when compared to kids who do not.
- Improving Your Skin
One study that took place in France observed more than 24,000 adults to determine whether their diets had any effects on their acne problems and found that those who consumed a diet full of fat, animal products and sugar were more likely to deal with adult acne.
In other words, if you are also struggling with this skin issue, you might see a real improvement after staying away from sugar for a month.
- Lowering Your Risk of Diabetes
A recent UC San Francisco study determined that “increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher type 2 diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.”
The most common form of diabetes is type 2 and it sounds like you can significantly lower your risk of developing this illness if you cut added sugar from your diet for 30 days.