Well, Halloween candy has been on display since August, and we know what that portends for the rest of the year.
But why wait to get your health in order? Here are 10 reasons to quit sugar now – even if you think you don’t want to do it.
1. Quitting sugar can help you prevent or even reverse insulin resistance.
Mainstream thinking on insulin resistance is that overweight is the cause. That’s true, it can be — but it’s a limited view. What we eat can greatly influence whether or not we develop insulin resistance – or type 2 diabetes, which frequently follows it.
2. It can help you reduce your cholesterol.
Cholesterol synthesis isn’t necessarily the result of a high-fat diet. The rate-limiter in cholesterol formation is an enzyme (HMG-coA reductase) that’s triggered by insulin. Sugar can stimulate big insulin, so it’s a major factor in serum cholesterol. People now say that cholesterol doesn’t really matter – but Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions. If you have one, you probably have more. Keeping cholesterol down by avoiding sugar helps in general – especially if you combine that with preventing or reversing insulin resistance, an underlying condition for several metabolic disorders.
3. It can prevent premature hunger signals.
When sugar promotes high insulin production, glucose can drop pretty low and pretty fast. The speed it drops is the main factor in triggering premature hunger signals – making you hungry for food you don’t need simply because you ate sugary junk.
4. It can reduce “secondary fat consumption.”
Okay, I made up that name. But eating extra fat is something that happens all the time when we eat sugar – think of ice cream, chocolate, rich cakes, cookies. For one thing, fat makes sugar taste sweeter. Also, when you get a craving for sugar, you might reach for something with lots of fat in it, too.
5. It can make healthful foods taste better to you.
Eating sugar triggers endorphins (beta-endorphin). That changes food preferences so that healthy foods seem less appealing. When you quit sugar, eating good foods – like vegetables – will probably be more appetizing.
6. It reduces cravings.
Eating sugar can cause cravings. Yes, for more sugary foods, definitely. But also for other kinds of junk food that may have sneaky sugars in them.
7. It can reduce calorie intake.
If you’re not responding addictively to sugar – and eating more sugar and other foods because of that – it will be easier to watch your calories.
8. It can improve your health.
Sugar can impact health directly by increasing inflammation in the body through several mechanisms. Reducing inflammation can improve your health and decrease pain.
9. It can improve your mood and your energy.
People who are carbohydrate sensitive secrete more insulin than normal when they eat sugar. That can set up a “peak-and-valley” pattern in their glucose levels. When you’re at a peak, your energy and mood may feel optimal, but when you’re in a valley, things don’t feel good at all.
10. It can improve the overall nutritional value of your diet.
If you’re not killing your appetite with sugary junk, you’ll have room for healthful foods. If you’re not steered in a junky direction by endorphins, you’ll eat more healthful foods. If you’re not eating the usual sugary treats, you may increase the fiber in your diet. If you’re eating wholesome foods, your B-vitamin intake may go up and change your brain chemistry completely. That’s an even more significant mood-booster than glucose.
So it’s up to you and always will be. Will you quit now or wait? Will you quit at all? All I’m saying is quitting sugar can help in these ways – and in several other ways that are not on this list of 10.
Wishing you great health, great moods, great energy, great success in quitting sugar.