Cutting back on your sugar intake is a vital part of any weight loss plan. Sugar is basically just empty calories, devoid of any nutritional value, that is dumped into your bloodstream very quickly. Since you usually won’t use that energy right away, sugar usually ends up stored in fat cells, making it difficult to lose weight if you consume large amounts of sugar.
But even for those who aren’t significantly overweight, sugar can be dangerous. It’s not all about weight loss; removing sugar from your diet can also improve your health in other ways! The following are just some of the negative effects of sugar.
Sugar stresses the liver. Fructose goes straight to the liver, where it is turned into liver glycogen if stores are low. But since liver glycogen usually remains fairly level, the fructose is turned into fat instead. Some of it goes to other parts of the body, but some also stays in the liver – where it can build up over time and lead to Fatty Liver Disease.
Sugar can cause insulin resistance. Insulin is an essential hormone. It signals the cells in your body to burn blood glucose (sugar) instead of fat. But when you regularly consume large amounts of sugar, you can develop insulin resistance. This in turn can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.
Sugar is bad for your skin. Through a process called glycation, the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form advanced glycation end products (AGEs). As AGEs accumulate in your system, they damage proteins in your body such as collagen and elastin. As you know, collagen and elastin are responsible for keeping your skin youthful and elastic; when they are damaged, lines and wrinkles set in prematurely.
Sugar intake can contribute to cancer. Insulin also plays a role in regulating abnormal growth (cancer) in the body. Constantly elevated insulin levels, along with the inflammation known to result from a high-sugar diet, can contribute to the development of cancer.
Sugar is addictive. Sugar activates the same brain response as heroin and other hard drugs! Eating sugar actually triggers cravings for even more sugar; not a healthy habit that you want to get started! Quitting sugar can be difficult, but it is worth it for the long-term health benefits.