Refined sugar is so enticing. It is an amazing mood booster. It prompts the body to release dopamine and serotonin (our happy and pleasure hormones) and creates an instant little lift. This is why people will turn to sugar in times of stress, difficulty or when we crave comfort.
We have all been warned of the dangers of alcohol and drugs, but we have never been cautioned against the dangers of refined sugar.
So why is refined sugar so dangerous?
When we eat sugar, our blood sugar spikes and insulin is released. Then blood sugar rapidly drops, and we crave sugar again, like a drug addict craving their drug.
The good news is we can quickly reverse that craving by cutting refined sugars out of our diet. And, once we let go of sugar, our cravings will go away.
It won’t be easy. Sugar is seductive and you may experience some feelings of withdrawals.
And by the way, don’t think the difficulties associated with refined sugar will go away by using artificial sweeteners. They are even worse. These chemicals confuse the metabolism, cause the body to store fat improperly and come with the same if not worse withdrawal symptoms.
But not to worry because good things will happen when the sugar habit is kicked.
We will lower inflammation and boost our immune system.
A study found that eating 100g of sugar (equal to ½ of a Krispy Kreme glazed donut) lowered the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria by as much as 50% and this immunosuppression lasted for up to 5 hours. Sugar also contributes to chronic inflammation, which lowers our immune system’s ability to fight off colds and flu.
This means when we cut refined sugar out of our diet we will be able to fight off colds and flu better and may even reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
We will also sleep better.
Eating or drinking sugar before bed can supercharge stress hormones which can lead to not sleeping.
So, what happens to our sleep when we stop eating sugar? We will have better quality sleep within just a few days of kicking the habit.
Also, our moods will improve, and we will experience decreased depressive and anxiety symptoms. I know what you are thinking…..but, but, but…those salted caramel filled chocolates boost my mood.
Guess what? The exact opposite is what really happens.
Sugar tends to worsen depressive and anxiety symptoms and it also impairs a person’s ability to cope with stress.
While eliminating refined sugar alone may not cure anxiety and depression, it can help to minimize symptoms, boost energy levels, improve mood and the body’s ability to cope with stress.
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here.
There is so much information on this topic. The moral of the story is to learn how to crowd out refined sugar and add in sugar from the appropriate whole food choices.
If you are ready learn how to kick the sugar habit, I’ll be hosting a FREE 3-day Sugar Cleanse in just a few weeks. If you are interested, you can register here.