300 Calories is the average calorific value of our daily sugar intake. It's no wonder then that dietician and weight loss (Learn more about weight loss) gurus across the world will advise you to quit added sugar as the first step of a weight loss program. Added sugar refers to processed sugar in the form of cubes, sugar crystals or powdered sugar and does not include natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables etc. Apart from cakes and sweets, we eat added sugar in a number of ways including a number of packaged foods like sauce and salad dressings.
If you consume a lot of sugar on a daily basis, quitting added sugar could leave you with withdrawal symptoms. Quitting added sugar is not easy, but here are a few reasons it is well worth the effort.
- You'll have fewer pimples: Sugar has inflammatory properties. This can trigger systemic inflammation leading to the acne. Thus quitting sugar can instantly reduce the number of pimples on your face and give you clearer skin (Learn more about Healthy Skin).
- It improves the health of your heart: Added sugar can raise insulin levels. This activates the sympathetic nervous system and increases blood pressure and heart rate. Stopping your consumption of added sugar can lower cholesterol levels and decrease the amount of triglycerides in the body. This lowers blood pressure and boosts cardiovascular health. (Know more about blood sugar level)
- A friendly weight scale: Replacing toffees with dry fruits will considerably reduce your calorific intake. Similarly switching packaged salad dressing for fresh homemade dressing can also make your salad healthier. Given that we eat added sugar in so many forms, making a conscious decision to quit added sugar can have a big impact on your daily calorie intake. Studies show that this simple step can lead to a weight loss of up to 10 pounds in six months.
- It'll make remembering names easier: Added sugar can hinder learning and memory. Over time, it can also damage communication between brain cells. Quitting sugar can boost both your short term as well as long term memory. You will also find it easier to focus on will be able to be attentive to something for longer periods of time.
- A good night's sleep: You don't just need 8 hours of sleep a day; you need 8 hours of restful sleep at the right time. Sugar makes blood sugar fluctuate and the crash that follows a sugar high can make you feel sluggish around mid-day. Many people find that if they have an afternoon nap, it becomes more difficult for them to fall asleep at night. Sugar also releases cortisol that interferes with sleep. Thus quitting added sugar can keep you alert through the day and help you fall asleep easier at the end of the day.