Researchers have found that sugar can fool the brain into wanting more of it. However, Dr. Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist at the University of California (UC), Davis, noted that in moderation, the sugar found in whole foods like fruits and vegetables is good for you. Naturally occurring sugars also come with fiber, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.
Stanhope added that consuming less sugary foods is also linked to these six incredible health benefits.
The amount of sugary foods you consume affects the amount of sugar in your bloodstream, and studies have found that high blood sugar levels are associated with "a molecular domino effect called glycation."
Glycation refers to a process that may hinder the repair of collagen, which makes your skin look plump. This reduces skin elasticity and can cause premature wrinkles.
Consuming less sugar can help reduce sagging and other visible signs of aging. (Related: How to detox yourself from sugar: A day-by-day guide.)
Cutting back on sugary desserts makes it easier to manage your weight. This also helps lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
A diet with a lot of fast-digesting carbohydrates such as sugar makes your pancreas release lots of insulin. This constant demand can make your insulin-producing cells malfunction and result in diabetes.
Dr. David Ludwig, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, noted that increased insulin levels cause belly fat, which then puts fat cells all over the body into "calorie-storage overdrive." He added that replacing refined carbs and sugary foods with healthy fats help keep your insulin stable. This also ensures that fewer calories get stored as fat.
Following a healthier diet can decrease hunger and speed up your metabolism, so you can lose weight more easily.
Drinking soda daily can make you gain weight, especially around your abdomen. But abdominal fat is dangerous, especially since sweet treats cause your blood sugar levels to spike. This can cause a flood of insulin through your body, which gradually promotes the accumulation of belly fat.
Also called visceral fat, these fat cells deep in your abdomen are the most dangerous kind because they generate adipokines and adipose hormones. These two "chemical troublemakers" can travel to your organs and blood vessels, where they cause inflammation that is linked to conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Limit your soda intake to lose belly fat and lower your risk for heart problems.
Added sugars are simple carbohydrates, which means they are digested fast and enter your bloodstream quickly. Sugar can boost your energy, but this is inevitably followed by a sugar crash.
When your diet is full of sugary foods and drinks, you may be stuck on an "energy roller coaster" all day, especially since a lot of foods like salad dressing also contain added sugar, warned nutrition consultant Diane Sanfilippo.
To avoid a sugar rush, consume nutritious foods full of protein and healthy fat instead. The following foods will give you a steadier stream of energy that will last longer than the dreaded sugar rush.
A healthy heart ensures that you can easily go through a day full of various activities like school, the gym, and a night out with your friends. But if you're constantly snacking on ice cream and cookies, your heart probably won't be as strong.
According to a 2014 study, added sugar can negatively affect your cardiovascular system. The findings revealed that individuals who consumed 17 to 21 percent of their daily calories from sugary foods and drinks had a 38 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease, unlike those who kept their added sugar intake to only eight percent of their daily calories.
Exercise regularly, cut your sugar intake and follow a nutritious diet if you want to maintain a healthy weight and have glowing skin.