Sugar, in many forms, is one of the most harmful foods in our American diet today. While sugar is found naturally in healthy fruits and vegetables, it is a common ingredient in processed and boxed foods. I read a staggering statistic that many Americans eat the equivalent of 53 heaping teaspoons of white sugar every day!
The benefits of giving up sugar go well beyond weight loss. It is a lifestyle choice that can benefit your overall health, your attitude and energy, and even your skin. Here are my 5 top reasons to avoid refined (white) sugar:
1. Boost Your Immune System
Sugar is one of the biggest culprits of inflammation, which affects your immune system. In fact, sugar lowers the efficiency of white blood cells for a minimum of five hours. Your body has to fight harder to ward off any infections or disruptors including the common cold and allergies.
2. Get Rid of Brain Fog
Have you ever eaten a candy bar for lunch and a couple of hours later you feel like you can’t function? Sugar creates brain fog, and you find it difficult to stay focused or remember what you did five minutes ago. Stay away from the candy dish!
3. Energizer Bunny
Sugar may give you that immediate boost you were looking for, but you are bound to crash eventually. Your body burns through sugars faster than protein and whole grain carbohydrates. You’ll be more likely to have sustained energy if you eat foods with good fats (avocados are my favorite!) and lean proteins.
4. Radiant Skin
Of course there are treatments and products that can transform your skin on the surface, but you need to feed your skin from the inside out for optimal results. Sugar attacks the fibers in elastin and collagen, the proteins that make your skin firm and smooth. Sugar may also increase your risk of acne.
5. Less Risk of Chronic Disease
High sugar intake is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. To maintain a balanced blood sugar level, try some alternatives! Raisins, dates or honey are a healthier choice in sweetening your food. Opt for whole food combinations (I like a banana with almond butter) instead of the cookies that may be sitting in your break room.
**Carrie Zika is not a medical practitioner, and nothing in this article should be used as medical advice. If you do have a concerning health issue, contact your medical doctor for consultation.