If you stop eating sugar, you'll dramatically decrease your risk of heart disease, as excess sugar in your diet increases your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, three major risk factors for heart disease and cardiovascular decline. Consuming refined sugar causes a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Because of this, you may feel tired and lethargic. But if you stop consuming sugar, your energy levels are more stable throughout the day, and that improves your overall energy.
Refined sugars, also known as sucrose, are highly processed from sugar cane and sugar beet, Sara Siskind, certified nutritional health consultant, told INSIDER. Information about sugar detoxes abounds on the Internet, specifically on health and wellness websites that claim that eliminating that ingredient can drastically change your diet. Replacing those added sugar calories with complex carbohydrates, as well as foods with natural sugars and fiber, such as fruits, provides a longer and more stable energy supply. For this reason, it's not uncommon to experience mild withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, anxiety, and higher-than-normal sugar cravings for a few days, when you stop consuming sugar.
To put that into perspective, this is approximately 17 teaspoons of sugar a day; the maximum daily intake of added sugar should not exceed 9 teaspoons (150 calories) and 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for men and women, respectively. Researchers believe this is due to inflammation in the brain caused by the higher glycemic index of sugar, but it's important to note that research suggests that the intake of added sugars, not natural sugars or total carbohydrates, seems to be the main driver. However, if you expect that omitting sugar from your diet will result in rapid and significant weight loss, Glatter said it's key to eat more protein and follow a regular exercise routine that includes both cardiovascular and weight training. However, it's important to note that processed sugars are different from the natural sugars found in fruit, honey, and unsweetened milk.
As hard as it is to stop ordering a cold tail to accompany the hamburger or to keep your fingers from sprinkling the candy plate at parties, omitting sugar from your diet can have a significant impact on your health. Chronic inflammation is an abnormal and unhealthy immune reaction in the body that causes the immune system to overwork, and added sugars are a key component of the diet that is known to exacerbate this type of inflammation. Too much sugar in the diet can influence the likelihood of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and even heart disease. Added sugars come in many forms, including refined versions, such as white and brown sugar or corn syrup, and more natural-sounding versions, such as honey and maple syrup.
The natural sugars found in fruit, some dairy products and some vegetables come packaged with other nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins and minerals, and foods with natural sugars are not related to the health risks mentioned above. Significantly reducing or eliminating sugar is a smart decision for everyone, regardless of age and health status, but this doesn't mean eliminating all forms of sugar.