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7 reasons why you should cut down on sugar

Where does sugar come from? 

Refined sugar is made in the leaves of the sugarcane plant through photosynthesis and stored as a sweet juice in sugarcane stalks. Sugarcane is cut down and harvested then sent to a factory. At the factory, cane juice is extracted, purified, filtered and crystalized into golden, raw sugar. Natural sugar is the sugar you find in fruits typically as fructose and from dairy products as lactose. Your body is getting sugar from other sources, too. It breaks down carbohydrates—found in breads, pastas, potatoes and rice—into simple sugars, which then turn into glucose. The United States is a nation with a sweet tooth. Estimates vary, but some say the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of sugar daily, while an analysis from the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the average is as high as 34 teaspoons a day. These numbers are up to six times higher than those recommended by the American Heart Association, which suggests no more than six teaspoons (25 grams of sugar) a day for women and nine teaspoons (38 grams of sugar) a day for men. 

Here is our top seven reasons to cut down on sugar.

#1 – Weight Loss

Eating too much refined sugar causes your insulin production to increase, which can prevent your body from using fat as fuel. The flip-side, your body converts excess sugar into fat and weight gain can be a result. Several studies show that diets high in added sugar are associated with obesity and being overweight. In particular, diets high in added sugar are linked to belly fat. Also known as visceral fat, belly fat wraps around your abdominal organs. It is linked to chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. If you can reach for fruit, vegetables, seafood, nuts, grains, eggs and meat, which are full of quality protein, fibre, fats, vitamins and minerals, you will naturally feel more satiated and eventually break the cycle for snacking on sugar.

#2 – Lower your risk for depression

Apart from the fact it takes just 30 minutes to go from a sugar rush to a crash, long-term junk and sugary food consumers face an almost 40 per cent higher risk of developing depression than healthy eaters. This may be because too much sugar can be addictive: When you eat it, your brain releases endorphins and dopamine—hormones that make you feel good in the moment. Over time, this can impact your mood. The best thing to do is to take an honest look at your diet, figure out exactly how much sugar you’re consuming and aim to limit your intake and make healthier choices. Self awareness is the key to monitoring reactive state. A classic example is that if ever get the feeling of being “hangry”, it’s more than likely you are coming down from a sugar rush.

#3  – Increased risk of Diabetes

A high intake of sugar can lead to insulin resistance, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. The more sugar you consume, the more insulin your body has to produce to manage it. Over time, this can lead to a decrease in insulin sensitivity and increased risk of diabetes.

#4  – Increased risk of Heart Disease

A high intake of sugar can lead to an increase in triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in the blood. High triglyceride levels are a risk factor for heart disease. 

#5  – Skin Aging

Excess sugar in the bloodstream can cause a process called glycation, which damages collagen and elastin, two proteins that keep skin looking firm and youthful. Over time, this can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.

#6  – Poor Dental Health

Poor dental health: Sugar is a major contributor to tooth decay. When you consume sugar, the bacteria in your mouth feed on it and produce acid, which can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities.

#7  – Addiction

Sugar can be addictive, leading to cravings and a cycle of overconsumption. Cutting down on sugar can help break this cycle and reduce your dependence on sugary foods and drinks.

Overall, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of added sugars, which are found in many processed foods and drinks. Instead, focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to fuel your body and support your overall health. And ya know how we like to prioritize protein.

– Coach John

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