Sugar is an ingredient we find in many of our favourite treats, drinks, and even foods. The holidays were full of tasty, sugary things to eat and soon followed by Valentine’s day. Chocolate fills stores, office lunchrooms and is gifted to women and men alike.
It is easy to indulge in sweets, pastries, and all the cocktails and sodas around us because they are plentiful and appealing. Sugar is not great for our skin or organs and depletes our energy. Here at ScissorCut we always want to make sure you not only focus on your outer looks, but want you to feel good on the inside too, below discuss how sugar affects us negatively and some sugar alternatives.
Having sugar, especially a high quantity of sugar, in our diet can make our complexion and skin age faster, look ragged, and have a difficult time healing. Sugar cross-links two collagen fibers rendering them both incapable of easy repair. Having a lot of sugar in our diet also reduces elastin of the skin, which promotes wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Consuming too much sugar can be detrimental to our mental health by triggering chemical imbalances in our brains. In studies, sugar has presented a high correlation between sugar consumption and the annual rate of depression reported.
In 2017 a study on a group of men was done wherein they consumed a high amount of sugar. Of the group, 23 percent were more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression within a 5-year span.
In a study in which walking and sugar intake were tested to see which gives people more energy, the results were not surprising. The study showed within a couple of hours of having a sugary snack that the initial boost in energy it provided went away. There was a significant increase in tiredness, a decrease in energy, and an increase in tension.
When you experience sugar crashes, you tend to feel sleepy, are less likely to exercise, may not make healthy meals, and contribute to the cycle of unhealthy living.
Sugar has inflammatory proteins, which is a problem if you suffer from joint pain or arthritis. In addition to increased pain for those already suffering from joint issues or arthritis, sugar increases our chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis as well as other forms of inflammatory arthritis. Research continues to be executed to increase understanding of the effects of sugar on the joints, how it causes flare-ups, and discomfort for those who deal with arthritis.
We have discussed the biggest organ that sugar affects, the skin. But it isn’t the only organ we have to worry about when consuming an excessive amount of sugar. We also have to consider our heart, kidneys, liver, and pancreas.
When there is an extravagant amount of sugar in our diet, it can affect our heart by way of the arteries. The walls of the arteries grow thicker and stiffer, eventually stressing our hearts and damaging them. With time and poor diet, the damage to our heart and arteries can leave us susceptible to heart disease, heart failure, and heart attacks.
If you have diabetes, too much sugar can increase complications to kidney function. If the kidneys have too much sugar in them they begin releasing the excess sugar into the urine without filtering out waste.
Processed sugar can be high in fructose. The liver has a hard time processing fructose because the liver takes longer to process sugar in excess, and it may cause liver damage. Fructose breaks down into fat within the liver. This breakdown can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
When we eat, the pancreas naturally releases insulin, but when there is too much sugar in the body, the pancreas releases a much higher amount of insulin. When this happens, it can lead to our liver breaking down and blood sugar levels rising to a dangerous level. When this happens, we are likely to develop stage 2 diabetes or have a heart attack.
After all this talk about sugar in excess being bad for you, we would like to say that it’s not bad to indulge in some treats now and then. Have a chocolate bar or a piece of hard candy. Now and then, soda isn’t bad, it’s simply when you have it too much daily that it can become a real issue.
But we also want to share alternatives you can include in your diet that we like here at ScissorsCut.
- Soda: Some delicious replacements for this sugary drink are lightly flavored sparkling water, kombucha, sugar-free coffee, or tea.
- Dessert: If you make your own desserts, you can substitute sugar with agave syrup, fruit purees, dates, or coconut sugar.
- Pasta: Change out your noodles and pasta for whole-grain pasta. This switch will reduce sugar spikes in your body.
- Yogurt: Purchase unsweetened yogurt and add fresh fruit such as strawberries, bananas, and mango.
- Juice: Many juices are very high in sugar. Substitutes for sugary juice are juicing yourself, or if that is a bit too much work, look for juices that are 100% juice or whole fruit.
- Flavored Coffee: Try having coffee without any added syrups or sugar, if you want some flavor, add a little bit of sweetened plant-based.
You Won’t Miss Sugar
When you first start cutting out sugar, it may feel difficult to avoid it, and you might even crave it, but believe us when you say it’s just in the beginning. Once you have reduced your sugar intake for about a month you will notice you don’t miss it. Even if you have a soda or dessert, you’ll likely find it too sweet and unappealing.
We hope the new year has started on the right foot for you and that 2022 brings you an abundance of good health. We can’t wait to share beauty tips, trends, and more wellness information with you this year. ScissorsCut wants to be part of the reason you not only look good, but also why you feel good!