Sugar: Is It Really That Bad?

A Closer Look at Sugar

There are natural sugars in many different foods — fruits, vegetables and lots of other things. Sugar, in its natural form, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s the processed sugar you have to look out for, as well as over-consumption of things that are high in sugar.

It’s important to understand what sugar does to the body and what it does and doesn’t provide in order to incorporate it into your diet in a responsible, healthy way.

Sugar Turns To Fat 

One key thing to understand about sugar consumption is that sugar turns to fat when it’s metabolized in your body, so you should always watch the sugar content even if what you’re eating is labeled “fat free” or “low fat.” Just because it’s low fat doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about it.

The reason that sugar turns to fat so quickly in your body is actually quite simple — sugar lacks any vitamins or nutrients used to fuel the body. It’s essentially empty calories, meaning that blood sugar levels can rise quickly and cause insulin levels to increase rapidly.

Insulin regulates blood sugar levels, and if it’s not used quickly after consumption for energy it is ultimately stored as body fat.

Drinking Your Calories 

It’s been proven in recent years that consumption of sugary drinks is one of the more prominent causes of health issues and weight gain. Drinks can be anything from soda to sports drinks, coffee beverages and lemonade.

A new study, however, showed that replacing one sugary drink with water per day can have an incredibly positive impact on overall health.

Researchers at Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that whether subjects drank a small amount of sugar or a lot, they benefitted greatly from swapping just one beverage with water.

Consider the facts — one can of Red Bull has 27 grams of sugar, an 8-ounce can of Coca Cola has 26 grams and an Arizona Lemon Iced Tea has 26 grams. If those are your go-to drinks, even just once in a while, replacing it with water lowered the risk of obesity and diseases.

Detoxing 

Detoxing from sugar is a great way to feel the effects of a sugar-less life and feel more energized overall. It’s incredibly imperative for those who are addicted to sugar, or even food of any kind. Food addiction is all too real, and prevalent in people who consume large amounts of refined, processed food.

Overeating and over-consumption of sugar can lead to all sorts of health problems, including diabetes and weight gain. When you cut sugar from your diet and cleanse your body of that dependency, you’ll almost immediately feel more energized, more satisfied with your meals and ultimately clean of addiction to empty, bad refined sugar.

Of course, one of the most attractive effects of a sugar detox is weight loss. If you’re not allowing those empty calories into your body, it won’t turn into body fat to store for energy and you won’t gain weight.

In fact, if you’re cutting sugar from your diet and maintaining a healthy level of activity, you’ll lose weight because your body is using the energy you give it.

One other huge benefit to cutting sugar from your diet is a better sleep schedule. Sugar highs cause major crashes and can interfere with your sleeping habits in a very severe way. Giving up sugar will ultimately make you more alert and awake during the day.

Balance Is Key 

Ultimately, it’s perfectly okay to have a dessert or coffee drink every once in a while as long as you balance your diet with nutrient-rich food and a healthy level of exercise. It’s when you start over consuming sugar and indulging your sweet tooth that sugar intake can begin to have a negative impact on your health.

Strike a balance (and eat fruits for some sweetness) in your diet and you won’t feel the negative effects of sugar that can cause so many issues.

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