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. Eating foods and drinks that are high in added sugar often impairs blood sugar control and may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Excessive sugar consumption causes skin problems, such as acne and premature aging. Leaving sugar this way makes your skin look clean and healthy.
Reducing your intake of added sugar is a good way to lower your blood sugar and insulin levels, even if you only do so for a short period of time. If you decide to participate in a 30-day sugar-free challenge, use it as a time to discover what foods or drinks contribute most to your total added sugar intake. Diets high in these types of sugar have been linked to high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. If you stop consuming added sugar for 30 days only to return to a high-sugar diet, the health benefits of reducing added sugar will cancel out.
However, eliminating sugar from your diet can reduce your calorie intake, which can result in weight loss or better weight control. Reducing your intake of added sugar over time can benefit your overall health, helping you maintain a moderate weight and healthy blood sugar levels. Diets that limit added sugar, such as the paleo diet and whole-grain plant-based diets, have been shown to significantly reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (24, 2). For this reason, a less stringent, long-term approach to reducing added sugar is probably a more realistic option for sustainable blood sugar control.) However, if you eliminate added sugar for 30 days only to return to a high-sugar diet after the challenge is over, these benefits will quickly be lost.
Instead, try to transition to a diet low in added sugar and rich in healthy foods that you can follow for the long term. Information about sugar detoxes is abundant on the Internet, specifically on health and wellness websites that claim that eliminating that ingredient can drastically change your diet. Reducing your intake of added sugar can promote weight loss and improve several aspects of health, including blood sugar levels and heart, liver and dental health. For example, research suggests that diets high in added sugar may be related to anxiety and depressive symptoms, and that reducing sugar intake may help reduce these symptoms (26, 2).
A 30-day sugar-free challenge can help you discover which foods or drinks contribute the most to your intake of added sugar.