health

De-Sugar Yourself

Mikayla Borchert

Benovate Expert Blogger

Mikayla Borchert

Benovate Expert Blogger

5 Benefits of Cutting Unhealthy Sugars Out of Your Diet

How much candy do you eat? If the answer is little to none, you still might be consuming too much sugar. Unhealthy sugars are added to many of the foods we eat on a regular basis, and you can’t always tell by taste. Things like salad dressing and pasta sauce have added sugar even though they don’t taste sweet. Multiple organizations are in line with their recommendations for limiting sugar intake. For example, the American Heart Association recommends less than 25 grams of sugar a day for women and less than 38 grams for men, the World Health Organization recommends less than 5% of total calories (which is 25 grams for a 2,000 calorie diet), and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend sugars and fats to be a combined total of 5-15% of total intake. It turns out that the average American is consuming over 70 grams of added sugars per day, which is three times the recommendation! So if you can’t taste it, how can you tell?

To de-sugar your diet, one of the most important things is to actually read the label. Look for the number of grams of sugar per serving, and also check over the ingredient list.  Watch out for sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, fructose, anhydrous dextrose, and other ingredients ending with -ose. Those are just a few of the ways unhealthy sugars sneak into your diet. A single can of soda can have fifty-two grams of sugar, which is more than 10% of a typical day’s calories and double the amount of recommended daily sugar intake.

Here are five health benefits of saying goodbye to unhealthy sugars:

Healthier Weight

We’ll start with a more well-known side effect of sugar. Too much sugar leads to fat accumulation, particularly around the waist. Getting your weight to a healthy place and keeping it there has many benefits, from heart health to physical endurance. By replacing the added sugar in your diet with healthy, natural foods, your insulin levels will be more stable, and you’ll experience decreased hunger, increased metabolism, and an easier time losing weight.

Protect your Heart

Diets high in unhealthy sugars lead to more than obesity; they can also increase inflammation, blood sugar, and blood pressure, which are all risk factors of heart disease. By cutting back on sugar, you’ll have health benefits like lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and higher HDL (good cholesterol). Bad cholesterol clogs your arteries and puts strain on your heart. De-sugar to keep it happy and healthy with whole foods.

“Learn the difference between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar and what AHA recommends.”

Clear your Complexion

A more surprising health benefit of quitting sugar is smoother skin. The uneven blood sugar and insulin levels caused by unhealthy sugars lead to an abundance of androgen, oil, and inflammation. All of those factors can increase the frequency and severity of acne. Unhealthy sugars also react with proteins in your body to produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which harm the collagen and elastin that keep your skin stretchy and young. By skipping sugar, you can prevent acne and premature wrinkles!

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Energize your Life

Have you ever felt a sugar crash? When you de-sugar, that energy roller coaster stops being a problem. Instead of filling up on empty calories that burn you out, reach for complex carbohydrates plus a protein or a fat. These will digest more slowly and give you prolonged, stable energy. For breakfast try your favorite fruit and a handful of almonds, or opt for whole grains and a hard boiled egg. The fiber you get with fruit makes those natural sugars far better for you.

Smile Longer and Stronger

Much like in your digestive tract, some of the bacteria in your mouth are good and others are bad. Most of the digestion of your food happens in your gut, but the process begins with the good bacteria as soon as you take a bite. However, when that bite is full of sugar, the harmful bacteria kick into overtime. When these bacteria come into contact with sugar, they release acids that weaken the protective layer of your teeth (enamel). Eventually this damage turns into a cavity. Brushing your teeth and getting enough vitamins and minerals can help repair this damage, but the best way to keep your teeth strong is by choosing less sugar.

“Get a closer look at how sugar affects your teeth and how you can prevent tooth decay. (Healthline.com)”

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These are just five of the many health benefits of a sugar-free diet. If you’re interested in reading more or if you want some tips for eating better, log into your Benovate account.

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