Avoiding sugar is a well known way to improve your health. Learn about the negative effects that sugar can have on your body and skin, and find out how to get it out of your diet!
Extra sugar can wreak havoc with your blood glucose levels and can have significant adverse effects on your health.
When simple sugars are consumed on a regular basis, you are at a higher risk for many chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, to name a few.
Not only will you be at a higher risk for health problems, simple sugars can affect your skin, causing rosacea, acne and wrinkles, too.
Simple sugars are those sugars that have been processes and contain no nutritional value. They are found in white sugar, processed foods, candies, desserts and many other unsuspecting places.
One of the major problems that too much sugar can lead to is a condition commonly known as hardening of the arteries, and medically known as atherosclerosis.
When your blood glucose levels become too high and remain there, it can cause damage to the lining of your arteries. This damage causes a weakening of the artery walls on a cellular level, which the body then proceeds to repair with plaque deposits created from LDL cholesterol.
Over time, a fatty buildup can develop, ultimately causing blockages in the arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Many other health problems can also result from these blockages, including kidney failure and memory loss.
When the blood glucose levels become too high, you are also at a higher risk for problems that stem from dangerous inflammatory processes, which include arthritis, intestinal problems, obesity and more.
Your skin is also at a high risk for problems when your blood sugar levels are too high. Because your skin requires collagen and elastin to keep your complexion smooth and keep your skin supple, you have to avoid things that can damage these compounds, including the ultraviolet rays from the sun, smoking, high cholesterol and high levels of sugar intake.
When the collagen and elastin begin to break down, your skin becomes very vulnerable to wrinkling and sagging. Not only will you get plenty of wrinkles, but you will also be at a higher risk for acne or rosacea, a condition causing redness of the skin that indicates inflammation.
Diet and stress are known exacerbators of these conditions. Strip the simple sugars from your diet to lessen your chances of developing any of these unwanted or unhealthy conditions.
Although there are plenty of ways that you will realize that you are adding sugar into your diet, like adding sugar to your morning coffee or tea, or grabbing for a donut, but there are probably some ways that you do not even know you are getting added simple sugars—in fact, you may actually think that you are making healthy choices!
For best results when it comes to good health, weight control and getting nice, clear skin, limit your foods to those that contain four grams of sugar or less per serving.
Here are some of the most common culprits of hidden sugars in foods:
Energy bars: often contain 30-50g of sugar per bar
Sports drinks: can contain up to 55g of added sugar per serving
Non-fat fruit yogurt: 40-50g of added sugars
Chocolate milk: 30g of sugar in one cup
Bottled salad dressing (fat free varieties): 2-6g of sugar per 2 tablespoons
Granola: up to 15g of added sugar per ½ cup serving
Fruit juice: 25 to 40g of sugar in one cup serving
Ketchup and barbecue sauce: often at least 6g of sugar per ounce
These are only a few of the common culprits when it comes to added sugar. Other foods that you should carefully check the labels on include frozen entrees, crackers, soy milk, instant flavored oatmeal, any fat-free diet products, and specialty coffee and tea drinks.
More often than not, these foods contain large amounts of added sugars that are going to wreak havoc on your body.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can make a difference and dramatically reduce the added sugar in your diet.
Try adding fresh fruit to a no-sugar-added Greek yogurt for a refreshing, protein filled and low sugar snack.
Prepare homemade salad dressing with oil and vinegar and fresh herbs, instead of pouring on the bottled variety.
Opt for whole fruit smoothies instead of ice cream or fruit juices.
Avoid sports drinks—they won’t really enhance your performance, just add a lot of unwanted sugar to your diet.
Focus on the foods that will keep you healthy and keep your skin looking young and beautiful! Cut out the sugar and you will be well on your way!
SOURCES: http://news.yahoo.com/15-sneaky-sources-sugar-152258517.html; Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net