sugar eliminateFor many people trying to lose weight, a good first step is to reduce or eliminate sugar from their diets.

But what if you aren’t trying to lose weight?

What if you’re just trying to live the healthiest life you can live?

The answer is simple – it’s STILL time to eliminate sugar from your diet!

Because sugar contributes to so many more health problems than just obesity.

Natural vs. Artificial Sugar

Almost every food has at least some naturally occurring sugar. Fruit is the most obvious one, but even nuts, eggs, dairy, and vegetables – all have sugars.

If you tried to eliminate sugar completely, you’d be left with nothing but animal protein and fat in your diet. So, it really is okay to have some sugar in your diet. The key is to keep it at naturally occurring sugar.

Yes, this means cutting out the sugar in your morning coffee, but it also means reading the labels. Foods you would never expect to have added sugar in them – ketchup, crackers, so-called “healthy” cereals - all have added sugar.

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

But WHY should you eliminate sugar for good? Is all the extra work really worth it? Most definitely -

1. Sugar affects your cardiovascular system. When you eat sugar, your insulin levels skyrocket, your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure goes up – your risk of cardiovascular diseases go up. But when you eliminate sugar, cholesterol levels drop, blood pressure goes back down, and triglycerides begin to level out. Up or down, it’s all sugar related.

2. Sugar increases your risk of diabetes. Given that sugar is linked to the obesity crisis in the United States, and obesity is linked to diabetes, it’s easy to connect the dots between sugar and diabetes. What’s surprising is how little sugar it takes to increase the risk of diabetes – only 150 extra calories of sugar per day increases your chances of diabetes. Eliminate sugar and eliminate the increased risk.

3. Sugar gives you brain fog – and worse. If you’ve been experiencing more senior moments recently, it might not just be aging. It might be sugar. In animal studies, sugar has been shown to affect cognitive function, in other words, how your brain works. Memory, concentration, the ability to focus may all be hurt by too much sugar. Plus, sugar has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, so it’s not just remembering a name or appointment that’s at risk.

4. Sugar spikes your anxiety and crashes your mood. Although sugar may make you feel better briefly, over the long-term, it can actually lead to higher levels of anxiety and depression. Sugar affects the way you deal with stress, but it also prevents your body from producing the feel-good chemicals that help! When you first eliminate sugar, you might feel a bit out of sorts, but in the end, you’ll feel much better.

5. Sugar makes you tired. Just like sugar may improve your mood in the short term before making you crash, it can give you an energy boost too – before making you crash. And that crash makes you sleepy and tired during the day, so you nap. Or reach for caffeine. Or more sugar. All of which causes you to be awake at night, when you’re supposed to be sleeping. So you’re tired all day tomorrow. Avoid the cycle by eliminating sugar. You won’t crash during the day, and you will sleep at night!

6. Sugar ages you. Not everything has to be a health crisis. Sometimes, you just want to look your best, and that’s okay. And one way to look your best is to eliminate sugar. Sugar creates a reaction that breaks down collagen. The same collagen that keeps your skin smooth, plump, and young looking. At the same time, sugar may increase acne breakouts. And who wants to deal with wrinkles and pimples, at the same time?

7. Sugar weakens your immune system. In case the rest of this list hadn’t made it obvious, you’ll just be healthier, all the way around, if you eliminate sugar. It’s easy: sugar causes inflammation, inflammation destroys your immune system. Give your immune system the boost it needs to fight back against colds, flu, and even chronic diseases by eliminating sugar.

Sugar tastes great. It does. But when you look at everything you risk just to satisfy your sweet tooth, it just doesn’t seem worthwhile any longer.

Grab a piece of fruit, eliminate sugar, and feel great again!