There was a time when everyone was telling us to avoid fat. We were led to believe that fat was bad for our hearts, that it would increase our weight gain and that it was responsible for a whole range of health problems.
And we believed this for a long time. But then the research took a closer look and gradually, we’ve discovered that fat was never the enemy. The ‘enemy’, such as it is, has always been sugar. Fat actually helps to improve our heart health, to reduce blood pressure and even to boost brain function – as long as it is the right kind of healthy saturated fat that we get from natural food.
Sugar meanwhile was the problem all along: causing a whole host of different problems and even getting us hooked thanks to its addictive properties.
It turns out there are countless good reasons to give up sugar – or at least to cut back on it to a large extent – and this list of ten surprising things that can happen to you will help you to see just why this is such a good move.
1. Your Teeth Improve
Most people stop eating sugar primarily because they want to get slimmer and they want to feel healthier. Cutting back on sugar will certainly do that, as we will see!
But don’t be fooled: lowering your sugar intake also has a ton of other benefits, some of which are obvious but you may have forgotten!
For instance: it can drastically improve your oral hygiene and the appearance of your teeth. This is thanks to the simple fact that the bacteria that cause plaque feasts on sugar. Remove the sugar and you remove their food source!
2. You Feel More Energetic
This is the big one and the one that should encourage a lot of people to quit sugar and to stay off of it.
When you eat sugar, it is immediately absorbed by the body into the bloodstream and then stored as fat. This is not true of fat which takes longer to absorb and as such, eating sugar is the number one way to cause this effect.
Unfortunately, this spike in blood sugar is followed immediately by the release of insulin, which tells the body to absorb the sugar and store it as fat. This is in turn what then leaves you with no blood sugar remaining… and you crash!
3. You Lose Weight
When you remove sugar from your diet, this also causes you to lose weight. The reason? Well, as we’ve seen, sugar gets absorbed and used by the body almost instantly, whereas fat can take up to 9 hours to slowly release all its energy.
This means that sugar enters the body more quickly than you can use it. And because of this, you’ll then be left with an excess amount that needs to be stored. As fat.
Not only does cutting out sugar reduce fat, but it also reduces visceral fat: the most dangerous kind that surrounds the organs.
4. You Reduce Your Diabetes Risk
Constantly spiking your insulin isn’t good for your energy and it’s not good for your body composition. But that’s nothing: what it’s absolutely worst for, is your risk of diabetes. Constantly using sugar and insulin-like this will eventually reduce your ‘insulin sensitivity’ and that in turn will leave you unable to react to increase sugar in the way that you normally would.
And because of this, you become less energetic and less effective at using sugar. Eventually, this leads to diabetes.
5. Food Tastes Better!
When you stop adding sugar, you remove some of the flavors in your food. That might sound like a bad thing at first until you realize that eventually, your taste will adapt to that reduction in sugar… causing you to require less strong flavors. Eventually, you begin to appreciate more subtle tastes and all your food starts to taste much better as a result!
Another benefit is that you’ll feel fuller faster, which is another reason that reducing sugar intake can help with weight loss. This is due to improved energy efficiency, which we will discuss more shortly!
6. You Get Smarter
Believe it or not, reducing your intake of sugar can actually help you to feel more vigilant, more alert, and more switched on.
Why is that?
Because when you reduce the amount of sugar in your body, your system is forced to rely on other sources of energy. This particularly means ketones that are produced in the liver and which can come from fat.
The brain actually prefers ketones for certain tasks and as a result, you feel sharper and more alert!
7. You Reverse a Range of Health Problems
There’s another reason that sugar can make your brain feel sluggish: inflammation.
The more sugar we eat, the more sluggish our brain feels because the more inflammation it experiences. And that same inflammation can also affect a range of other organs and functions of the body and it can lead to a range of health problems from arthritis to headaches.
On top of that, you’ll also be improving a range of health issues simply by reducing your weight. When you eat less junk food and sugar, you reduce the chances of diabetes, heart problems, depression, injuries, and much more!
8. Your Heart Health Improves
Another thing that inflammation caused by sugar can lead to is inflammation in the blood vessels. This can lead to increased blood pressure, which may eventually lead to heart problems. Likewise, the heart itself can also end up inflamed and this makes you more likely to suffer from heart disease.
This is one reason that reducing sugar in your diet can actually improve your lifespan! Seeing as heart disease and heart attacks are among the leading causes of health problems in the world, this should strike you as a positive thing indeed!
9. You Sleep Better
Reducing sugar intake makes you physically fitter. That’s because the less sugar you have available, the more energy-efficient your body is forced to become.
And what happens when your body becomes more energy efficient? The performance and number of mitochondria improve. Mitochondria are like energy factories in your cells and their role is to help you turn glucose into useable energy.
Improve the efficiency of your cells and studies show that you also improve your ability to sleep!
10. You Extend Your Lifespan
The only problem is that when you use mitochondria this way, it can actually cause the build-up of oxidants and free radicals. These are the unwanted by-products of the energy process.
Again, this is why it’s such a positive thing that switching to fat as your main energy source will improve energy efficiency. By doing this, you reduce the production of free radicals. And seeing as free radicals ultimately cause damage to the cells and contribute to visible signs of aging and increase your likelihood of cancer (because they can get through to the DNA and cause harmful mutations), it’s also true that reducing sugar will increase your lifespan.
Add to this the reduced risk of heart disease and your expectancy just went up considerably.