How Sugar Negatively Affects Your Body
- The Negative Effects of Sugar on Your Body
- The Health Benefits of a Sugar Detox
- The Stages of Quitting Sugar
The Negative Effects of Sugar on Your Body
Whether you are just looking into cutting back on sugar, or have started and are looking for motivation to keep going, one important thing to do is learn why you should cut back.
This starts with having a better understanding of what sugar is actually doing to your body.
Here are some of the more common negative effects a lot of added sugar can have on your body.
It Can Overload Your Liver
This is probably one of the most common adverse side effects that added sugar has on your body.
Your liver is put in jeopardy if you consume too many foods with added sugar, since fructose can overload it.
Sugar will be broken down into fructose and glucose, and your liver can only metabolize so much of it at one time.
This may lead to issues later on with your liver.
It is important to note that the amount of fructose needed to overload your liver is only possible with an excessive amount of added sugar, so fructose found in fruit is likely not nearly enough to cause this.
You May Gain Weight
Having too much sugar in your body can also trick your body into holding onto weight or gaining weight, making it very difficult to manage a healthy body.
When you have too much fructose in your body, it doesn’t stimulate insulin properly.
This ultimately causes your hunger hormone to work in overdrive, which is why you tend to eat more or feel hungrier after you have eaten foods with a lot of added sugar.
When you keep feeling hungry, you eat more to be satiated, and thus have a much higher risk of gaining weight.
It Can Increase Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
While sugar is not the only culprit for type 2 diabetes, it can definitely help it progress further.
This is due to insulin resistance of your body when you consume high amounts of sugar.
As mentioned previously, your body becomes resistant to insulin when it is trying to digest a lot of fructose, which can cause mismanaged levels of blood sugar.
This in turn may increase your risk for diabetes, or accelerate it to where you notice its effects much sooner.
Sugar Can Exacerbate Mood and Mental Issues
If you are someone who suffers from mood swings or mental health issues, you might notice that they become worse when you consume a lot of sugar.
Sugar causes a short-term boost of energy that leads to a much longer sugar crash.
This in turn can make it harder when dealing with mental health issues like depression, as the crash often mimics a depressive episode.
Too much sugar can also cause severe mood swings and irritability.
The Health Benefits of a Sugar Detox
Before you start a sugar detox or any type of diet change, it is important to understand why you are doing it.
This helps keep you motivated as you can keep those advantages in the back of your mind when you hit moments where you have intense cravings.
Here are some of the top health benefits of doing a sugar detox.
Your Skin Will Improve
If you have been struggling with acne or are showing wrinkles and sagging of your skin, cutting back on sugar can help tremendously.
It is an amazing lifestyle change to make when you don’t want to spend a lot of face creams and injections.
For many people, sugar reduces the collagen production in their skin, which can lead to premature signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging.
For others, their complexion starts clearing up. Sugar may also be contributing to flare-ups of chronic skin conditions like rosacea or psoriasis, so there is another big benefit.
You Can Increase Your Energy
Have you been feeling a bit sluggish or unmotivated lately?
Contrary to what people think, sugar is not helping! In fact, you might get a short period of lethargic energy right after consuming sugar, but then you get a much longer crash.
This is why afternoons are difficult for so many people.
Stop the roller coaster and reduce sugar so that you have sustained energy throughout the day without dealing with those afternoon crashes.
It Provides a Healthy Immune System Boost
Who doesn’t want a more natural way to boost their immune system?
By cutting out sugar, you just might be able to reduce how often you get sick will illnesses like the cold or flu.
Some studies have shown that sugar can reduce your immune system by leading to inflammation in the body.
Try at least reducing sugar in your diet for a few months, then see if you are able to avoid the same illnesses everyone else around you is getting.
There are many other health benefits, from being able to lose weight and keep weight off, to helping lower your blood sugar levels to reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.
The list of health benefits of giving up sugar far outweigh the few benefits you get from continuing to eat it.
Keep these benefits in mind when you have cravings or if you go through a withdrawal period when you cut back on your sugar intake.
The Stages of Quitting Sugar
When you quit or cut back on sugar, your body and mind will go through many changes.
These stages are similar to when you cut anything out, though the withdrawal period might be worse than other lifestyle changes if you relied a lot on sugar-laden foods.
Here are some stages you can expect when you first cut back on your sugar intake.
This is probably one of the first things you will experience, though some people will have the headaches from withdrawal first.
Cravings occur when your body discovers it is not getting the same amount of sugar as it used to.
This could occur on day 2, or not for a week or so. It will depend a lot on how much sugar you were consuming before starting the sugar detox diet.
If you have ever tried to quit something cold turkey, like smoking or drinking caffeine, you know what the withdrawal headaches are like.
While they can affect what you are trying to accomplish during the day, be strong!
Take some pain relievers and just try to get through this phase.
If you cave, you will just have to keep going through these withdrawal symptoms over and over again.
Aches and Pains
Another stage of quitting sugar is when you get further into the sugar withdrawal period and you experience some aches and pains.
Like other symptoms, this might not be something everyone deals with.
However, if you start experiencing leg cramps or other odd physical discomforts, it may be your body’s way of reacting to lack of sugar you are consuming.
However, if it becomes severe, it is a good thing to discuss with your doctor.
Moving further into the later stages of sugar detoxing and the withdrawal is the mood swings.
These can come from a few different sources.
You are uncomfortable and might be having some bad headaches, so that will create some irritability.
The cravings are definitely making it worse, and when you feel like you are being told you can’t have something, it can play a lot of tricks on you.
This will pass just like all other stages of quitting sugar, you just have to be committed.
Body Shakes and Trembling
Some people will also experience more traditional withdrawal symptoms like body shakes, weakness, or trembling.
It is important that if you feel uneasy about it, you talk to your doctor to rule out other possible causes.