When you begin a weight loss plan, you will quickly learn that sugar means empty calories, and is therefore your enemy. But aside from adding unnecessary calories to your diet, sugar actually impacts your health in a number of other ways. Here are five things you might not know about sugar.
Sugar depresses your immune system. Each time you eat sugar, it triggers inflammation and keeps your immune system busy for at least a few hours. Having a single cookie once in a while might not have a huge impact, but if sugar is a part of your regular diet then you risk a lowered immune response to colds and flus.
Sugar can lead to heart disease. At least one major study linked a diet high in sugar to an increased risk of heart disease – regardless of weight. Even those who maintain a healthy weight face a higher risk of heart disease simply because sugar is damaging to the cardiovascular system.
Sugar can lead to depression. Sugar has repeatedly been linked to mood fluctuations, and can lead to depression and anxiety. This effect might be due to the fact that sugar depletes your body of zinc, chromium, manganese, and B vitamins over the long term – all nutrients that help to regulate brain function and mood. In the short term, sugar in the diet causes blood sugar fluctuations, which also sap you of energy and lead to crankiness and mood swings.
Sugar impacts your sleep. Sugar impacts the hormones that control appetite and sleep. Not only will you experience cravings for more sugar; you’ll probably wake up during the night more often, and find it difficult to sleep, even though you feel tired and groggy.
Sugar harms your complexion. High-glycemic foods, such as sugar, trigger inflammation in the body. This process breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin, leading to greater sagging and wrinkles. Acne and other skin conditions like rosacea often flare up on a high-sugar diet.
Clearly, you have more than one reason to ditch sugar from your diet! If you need help putting together an effective weight loss plan, give us a call. We can help you focus on the foods you should be eating, to promote weight loss, better energy, and improved health overall.