Refined sugar is derived from sugar cane and sugar beet. It has no nutritional value, is high in calories, and causes consistent low-level damage to your body, reducing your energy levels, increasing headaches, and causing chronic inflammation.
Sugar is Addictive
Sugar isn’t just tasty, it targets the opioid receptors in your brain. This causes your brain to flood with dopamine. If you know a thing or two about neuroscience, you will know that the opioid receptors are called so because ordinarily they are triggered by opium, a highly addictive substance.
The dopamine flush gives you a sense of pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction. It will also hardwire your brain to associate that good feeling with the sugar itself, meaning that you become psychologically dependent on it.
There’s a correlation in history between rates of tooth decay and the discovery of refined sugar. High consumption of sugar erodes the enamel coating on your teeth. Not only that, but it causes your blood sugar levels to spike, which forces you to produce insulin to bring them back down.
This is what causes you to have that post-sugar-binge slump. The more you spike your blood sugar, the harder your pancreas has to work releasing insulin. This constant pressure can eventually lead to type two diabetes and other long-term health problems.
The problems do not end there. Sugar gets broken down into glucose, which is also sourced from carbohydrates. We do need glucose to respire and produce energy, however excess glucose, not used by the body is turned into fat. This means that eating too much-refined sugar can lead to obesity, which comes with a whole host of health issues.
These are not limited to: Cardiovascular troubles, joint pain, increased risk of stroke, increased chronic inflammation, and increased risk of cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Break the Chain!
Sugar is tempting. Breaking your addiction to it won’t be easy. In fact, studies have shown that coming off sugar causes withdrawal symptoms, not dissimilar from drug withdrawal symptoms. These can include fatigue, brain fog, headaches, irritation, and even stomach issues.
As you would with breaking any drug addiction, it is important to have measures in place to support yourself relapsing. The long-term benefits of sugar-free life hugely outweigh the cons, however.
The Benefits of Giving Up Refined Sugar
Not only does it improve your skin, making you less prone to acne and wrinkles, giving up sugar will improve your quality of life in other ways too.
One other long-term way in which a reduced sugar diet will help you is improved sleep quality. Foods high in refined sugar reduce the amount of Slow Wave Sleep you get each night. This sleep period is really important for resting the brain. It means you will wake up feeling far more refreshed.
You may find that cutting back on sugar leads to weight loss. However, the most effective way to lose weight is to get the majority of your calories from protein, and exercise regularly.
All in all, cutting out refined sugar will give you a sense of general wellbeing, reduce your risk of later-life illness and make you sleep better.
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