Here鈥檚 What Happens When You Stop Eating Sugar, According To Nutritionists – Fashion Lifestyle

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Here鈥檚 What Happens When You Stop Eating Sugar, According To Nutritionists
Nutrition Advice

Here鈥檚 What Happens When You Stop Eating Sugar, According To Nutritionists 

So, you鈥檝e heard that sugar is the devil and that merely glancing its way will cause all the bad things to happen to you. Okay, maybe that’s a聽bit聽dramatic, but still, eating too much sugar is associated with all sorts of health problems.

鈥淸Excess sugar] may contribute to heightened triglyceride levels, tooth decay,聽type 2 diabetes, and heart problems,鈥 says Amy Gorin, dietician and owner of聽Amy Gorin Nutrition聽in the New York City area. Whew! Are you out of breath reading that, yet? Because that鈥檚 a lot to take in.

So…how much sugar is okay?

First off, it’s important to note that all of this specifically applies to added sugar (cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar), not natural sugar found in dairy and fruit.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming less than 10 percent of calories from added sugars, a guideline that Gorin recommends sticking to. (She notes that, for a 2,000-calorie diet, this equals about 13 teaspoons of added sugar.) 鈥淭his is very doable, especially if you start to use no-added sugar ingredients that are sweet,鈥 she says. More on that in a minute.

Okay, but what happens when you stop eating so much sugar?

Whether cold turkey is your goal 鈥 or you鈥檙e just drastically cutting your sugar intake 鈥 here鈥檚 what you might experience (hint: good things ahead!):

1. Cravings may (temporarily) increase.

You鈥檙e used to having that after-dinner聽ice cream聽or some sour聽candy聽after lunch, so without it now, there鈥檚 a void. 鈥淵ou may notice that you鈥檙e still craving sugary foods at first, but if you give it time, that feeling will subside,鈥 says Gorin. The key is withstanding those first irritable urges 鈥 and knowing that there is light on the other side.

2. You won鈥檛 ride on the blood sugar rollercoaster.

If you replace the sugar calories with good-for-you,聽fibre-rich聽carbs like fruit and increase your intake of satiating protein and healthy fats, the change will help stabilize your blood sugar, says Young. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 the biggest effect to cutting back on sugar: with fewer highs and lows in your blood sugar, you may feel less lethargic and more energetic,鈥 says Young. Goodbye, afternoon slump.

3. Your moods may be better.

If you previously dealt with mood swings, stabilizing your blood sugar may help you feel more even-keeled, says Young. And if you previously reached for candy as a mental pick-me-up in the middle of a stress-filled workday, you鈥檙e best leaving that habit behind.聽A 2019 study聽that looked at carbohydrate consumption and mood found a sugar rush isn鈥檛 a mood-booster, but it does make you foggy-headed and sleepy within the hour.

4. Your tastes will adjust.

While it may seem like a downer to belly up to a bowl of raspberries and blueberries instead of a cupcake, over time, your tastes will change and you鈥檒l come to find that the聽fruit鈥檚 natural sugars聽are quite鈥elicious. 鈥淵ou鈥檒l be amazed at how you feel satisfied with a serving of fruit for dessert,鈥 says Gorin.

5. In the long-run, your heart will be healthier.

Don鈥檛 forget your heart in all of this鈥攏o matter your number on the scale. Adults who get 17 to 21 percent of their daily calories from added sugar have a 38 percent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who cap calories from added sugar to 8 percent of total calories, per a study in聽JAMA Internal Medicine. Whether you gain weight from your cookie habit or stay the same, the authors point out that excess sugar is associated with high blood pressure and increased triglyceride and 鈥渂ad鈥 LDL cholesterol levels, all of which tax your ticker over time.

How can I cut back so it actually sticks?

Truthfully, you don鈥檛 have to eliminate sugar completely or ditch the sweet stuff overnight. 鈥淒oing this gradually is the best way. If you鈥檝e been having several soft-drinks a day and it takes you a month to get down to one or zero, it鈥檒l be just as effective,鈥 says Young.

Here’s a few quick tips to help you on your way:

  • Pull back on adding sugar to your foods.聽Try sprinkling cinnamon in your coffee for natural sweetness, instead. Gorin also likes to add nutmeg and fresh fruit to聽oatmeal聽(rather than brown sugar).
  • Make fruit your BFF.聽When leaving added sugar behind, fruit will really help out with the process. A special sweet hack from Gorin: Cook frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, etc.) in a sauce pan with a bit of water, until some of the juices liquify into a delectable 鈥渟yrup.鈥 Or, go for a bowl of fruit for dessert, instead of cookies.
  • Watch out for sneaky sugar.聽Because sugar hides in many foods that you wouldn鈥檛 expect 鈥 like bread and pasta sauce 鈥 you want to read ingredient labels to make sure that the brands you buy are minimal or no-added-sugar versions. 鈥淚 doubt you鈥檇 even notice the difference in taste,鈥 she says.

When you do it sugar, make it count with something you really love 鈥 because, hey, sometimes you’ve got to treat yourself.

This article was originally published on Weight Loss.

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