Eating too much sugar can lead to unhealthy eating habits and sugar addiction. Because sugar improves mood – it releases dopamine and serotonin (the hormone of happiness and pleasure) in the reward center of the brain. The instant “high” we get from sugar is one reason many people turn to sugar during times of stress, adversity, celebration, or when seeking comfort or reward. This is also the reason why people who eat a lot of sugar are constantly looking for foods that will create those good, positive feelings over and over again. As children, we are constantly warned about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. But rarely do people warn us about the health and addictive properties of sugar.
How does excess sugar affect the body?
Refined sugar affects our brains, making us more likely to be overweight or obese if we consume it regularly. Sugar is full of empty calories and lacks essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, high-quality fats, and protein, so it can beat the feeling of fullness.
Another reason sugar contributes to obesity is that food manufacturers have found clever ways to hide the word sugar in the ingredients list, which unfortunately makes it difficult to recognize. You can read more about it on the blog Discovering Hidden Sugar. From there, I’ll delve deeper into where to find hidden sugar in foods and provide a comprehensive list of all the gimmicky names manufacturers use instead of the word “sugar.”
Some of the negative health effects that too much sugar can have on our bodies include:
Gastrointestinal permeability increases
Increased risk of heart disease
lack of blood sugar
Deficiency of vitamins and minerals
The risk of cancer increases
Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
In addition, the risk of other diseases such as inflammation of the liver and intestines, arthritis, and mental decline increases.
But the good news is that you can immediately prevent much of the damage caused by sugar simply by eliminating refined and added sugars from your diet.
If kicking a sugar habit is hard work, I’ll be honest with you – it can be hard.
Sugar is addictive and some people experience withdrawal (detoxification) symptoms when taken cold turkey. Your mood may change, and some people may experience anxiety, anger, headaches, or fatigue.
Some artificial sweeteners also have withdrawal effects, so it’s best not to use them as a way to reduce your sugar intake. If you’re struggling to reduce your sugar intake (even if you’re on purpose), I recommend seeing a professional doctor or nutritionist for guidance.
If you need more motivation to ditch the addictive white stuff, read on.
What happens to your body when you cut sugar out of your diet?
Reduces inflammation and improves immunity
Studies have shown that eating 100 grams of sugar can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria by up to 50%, lasting up to 5 hours. Sugar contributes to chronic inflammation, which reduces our immune system’s ability to fight colds and flu. So what happens to your body when you stop eating sugar? Your immune system will improve, you’ll be less likely to catch colds and flu, and help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
You will sleep better
If people eat something sweet before bed, their blood sugar levels will drop and they will experience night sweats. Eating sugar before bed increases stress hormones and makes it difficult to fall asleep. What happens when you stop eating sugar? Within 2-3 days of kicking the sugar habit, you’ll start to sleep better.
Your mood will improve and symptoms of depression and anxiety will decrease
You might think that a bowl of double chocolate ice cream will put you in a good mood, but in reality, it can be quite the opposite. There is a strong correlation between high sugar consumption and other mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Sugar doesn’t cause these mental disorders, but it can make symptoms worse and reduce your ability to cope with stress. Although cutting out sugar alone won’t cure anxiety and depression, it can reduce symptoms, increase energy, and improve mood and physical ability to cope with stress.
Gut health will improve
There are many ways that sugar can affect digestion. When your body has too much sugar to absorb into the bloodstream, the excess sugar passes through your digestive system. Gut bacteria feed on sugar and produce gas. It’s stomach ache