Added sugar is a hot topic in the health and wellness circles and for a very good reason. It also has a powerful negative impact on how we age!
Added sugars are enemy #1!
There are multiple studies showing the negative effects, on your health and aging, when consuming too much added sugar.
If we look at our parents or grandparents era, refined sugar was only added to a few food items. Fast forward to today and food manufacturers are adding sugar to just about everything. So, don’t be surprised when I tell you that your spaghetti sauce or crackers may have added sugars!
Since added sugar is in so much of what we consume and because of all the health risks that come from overconsumption, it’s critical that you know what the dangers are.
1. Premature Signs of Aging
Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles, discolouration, dullness, and even blemishes.
In simple terms, sugar attaches to proteins and lipids in your bloodstream in a process called glycation. Glycation creates harmful compounds called Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs), which can build up in your body.
Having too much AGEs targets and damages collagen and elastin in your skin. Collagen and elastin are responsible for keeping your skin firm, smooth, and youthful.
But when they become damaged, your skin’s natural defense system against free radicals is weakened, leaving it more vulnerable to signs of aging.
2. Energy Drain
Ever wonder why you feel sleepy and tired in the morning, even after having a good eight hours of sleep? Sugar has been shown to decrease the activity of orexin cells which are responsible for keeping us alert, energized, and moving.
Additionally, foods with added sugar are generally low in fibre. This combination of high sugar with little fibre can cause a sudden spike in energy followed by a crash. Doing this too many times plays havoc on your system!
Studies are confirming the link between added sugar and inflammation!
Sometimes inflammation in our bodies is a good thing. However, when we eat too much added sugar and processed foods, we can get long term inflammation which can affect our health in a negative way.
Chronic inflammation is linked to a number of serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimers!
4. Hormonal imbalances
Eating too much added sugars and refined processed foods can cause a hormonal imbalance.
When a resistance to insulin builds up in your body, it has a harder time to manage your blood sugar and can cause an imbalance with your hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol.
5. Brain Functioning
One of the worst and very scary side effect of consuming excess sugar is a decline in higher brain functions, such as memory and receptiveness. A study conducted by UCLA suggested that a high sugar diet can have a negative impact on your learning and memory.
High levels of blood sugar cause insulin resistance, which delays communication between brain cells and leads to slower brain activity. If you’re having memory troubles like forgetting where you put your car keys or if you left your coffee maker on, it might be time to reconsider your diet!
6. Detrimental to Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, be very mindful of foods with high sugar content and a high glycemic level. These foods will cause your body to produce an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase which promotes the storage of fat cells in your body.
Also, foods with a high glycemic index lack fibre which fills you up and helps prevent binge eating. What happens is you just keep on eating and craving sugary foods which can increase your risk of obesity.
8. Zero Nutritional Value
Last but not least, added sugars have zero nutritional value and zero health benefits! Added sugar will strip your body of its essential minerals, like potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium.
Compare that to fruits that have natural sugars. They are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fibre which your body needs to function.
There are plenty more reasons to cut sugar from your diet. Now that you know more about the negative effects of sugar overconsumption, are you convinced?
Let’s face it, it may seem hard to cut down your sugar intake at first because who doesn’t love a delectable dessert after dinner. But as soon as you start seeing and feeling the benefits of giving up sugar on your mental and physical health, you wouldn’t want to go back to your old lifestyle.
You can do it. Focus on the positive effects of your low glycemic diet to stay committed and indulge yourself with a sweet treat once in a while.
So, tell me, are you ready? Or do you have more questions? Let me know in the comments. I’m happy to help.
Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach
Certified Workplace Wellness Consultant
https://www.facebook.com/groups/anitasagingwithvitality/ (40 and over)
PS. Join Anita’s Aging with Vitality Facebook group and pick up some more tips and strategies to help you cut back on sugar.
PSS Starting Oct. 9, 2019, join me in a 6-week Focus on Healthy Eating and Mindful Living Program. Learn how to make lasting lifestyle changes that will have you feeling good, looking good and overall healthy! For more information, click the link below. Focus on Healthy Eating and Mindful Living Program
When I started the FOHE program I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am so glad that I decided to sign up! The program helped me to identify my food related challenges and work on them without cutting out all the food I love. I am walking away from the program with so many more tools (and drinking more water!) to continue living my 80/20 lifestyle! Definitely worth following.