5 Reasons to Eliminate Sugar
Easter is right around the corner and the shelves are beginning to overflow with temptation! You want to treat yourself but you are also mindful of what damage too much sugar can do to your body and so you should be.
From a young age we have been warned about sugar. Whether it be rationed fizzy drinks, fears of rotting teeth or limiting sweets to a special occasion, we were always taught that too much sugar is bad news.
But then as we begin to make our own life and food choices, sugar somewhat became a reward or a treat. The reality is sugar does not become any less bad for us as adults, the difference is we can just choose to eat it rather than be warned not to.
It is far easier to limit your sugar intake if you really understand the in’s and outs of what it is doing to your body and how bad for us it really is. Have a read on these reasons why too much sugar is incredibly damaging.
- You don’t know it’s there
This is a problem. No one is saying that a little sugar here and there is completely awful, of course it is fine to treat yourself from time to time. The issue is that sugar is in A LOT of things that you might not even think about or associate as a sugary snack. We all know about the chocolate, cakes, cookies and biscuits. But what about the fruit smoothies, peanut/nut butters, jam, sauces and condiments, low fat yoghurt, fruit juices, granola, cereal bars, pasta sauce, tinned soup, baked beans….the list goes on. All things that we might seemingly think are good for us are really packed up with sneaky sugar. The best thing to do, check the nutrition labels! If sugar features in the top 3 ingredients, you are best looking for a healthier alternative. Check out this blog post ‘10 Ways to Eat Less Sugar’ for some inspiration.
- We eat FAR too much of it
There is no doubt about it, (most) humans are addicted to sugar. Research suggests that adults should be eating no more than 25g sugar (6 teaspoons) a day.
In Britain, most recent studies have shown that teenagers (11 – 18) consume a whopping 74.2g per day while adults (19 – 64) are consuming close to 58.8g per day, more than double the recommended value.
- The Long Term Health Risks
Now we all know sugar isn’t great for our health, but why?
- Weight gain
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some cancers
- Tooth decay
- Joint/ muscle pain
- Cognitive decline
Are just SOME of the factors associated with excess sugar on our health and wellbeing.
- It Can Negatively Impact Our Mental Health
We are taught from a young age the physical impact that too much sugar can have on our body and long term health but what about our mental wellbeing and how we feel? Sugar presents us with a rollercoaster ride. One minute we are energised and ready to take on the world, the next minute (quite literally) we experience lows, fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy. Excess sugar causes our blood sugar levels to spike. And believe me they plummet as quickly as they rise, often leaving us feeling irritable and cranky. Moreover, sugar does not actually fill us up or satisfy us due to its spiking levels. Too much sugar has also been associated with different levels of depression and anxiety.
We all deserve to indulge a little from time to time, we are only human! But we also deserve to feel healthy, energised and energetic with a clear, positive mental clarity and focus. Unfortunately, too much sugar just does not do us may favours with that, nor does it compliment the hard work we are putting in on the exercise mat!
- The More You Eat, The More You Want
Saving the worst and probably most irritating reason until last… Sugar affects our brain like an addictive drug. The more you eat, the more cravings you will experience. Moreover, the more sugar we eat the less sweet it actually tastes. We become accustomed to the taste and therefore do not appreciate it in the way we once did. If you take a healthy detox from sugar and stick to having it from time to time, you will be amazed at how sweet it tastes!
There is however a positive to this point. Like in the way the more you eat, the more you want. It is also the case that the less you eat, the less you want. Yes, it will be a challenge at first, but with a little willpower and determination, you WILL be able to limit your sugar intake and stick to it every now and then rather than every day. You will be amazed at how much better you feel both physically and mentally.
So instead of reaching for the biscuit tin next time you are feeling a bit tired and groggy, why not reach for something that can ACTUALLY contribute and help you feel great, not only in the right now but the long term too. Grab a carrot with houmous or roast some kale….it really is a delicious alternative.
Read next: ’10 Ways To Stop Eating Lots Of Sugar’