Whether you're trying to lose weight or just thinking about your overall health, sugar is a huge risk factor in the modern diet. For many people, sugar seems "safe" because it's so present in their every day life. It's in your vanilla latte, your soda, and your cupcake. Refined sugar is also added to countless food products during processing, from ketchup to pasta sauce to bread to salad dressing. Can the sweet stuff really be a hazard to your health?
Here's the hard truth: sugar affects your metabolism, making it hard to lose weight; your teeth, causing cavities; and your liver, your body's major filtration system. A high-sugar diet even reduces the quality of the collagen in your skin, making you look older. Sugar can cause insulin resistance, a stepping stone to Type II diabetes. And to make it even more difficult to forgo the sweets, sugar can be addictive for many people, causing a release of dopamine in the "reward centre" of the brain. The bottom line is that added sugars contain a whole bunch of calories and no essential nutrients.
Don't go cold-turkey
Even if you desperately want to shake the sugar bug, you might want to take a more gradual approach. Abruptly going sugar-free can cause intense withdrawal symptoms: headaches, anxiety, and mood swings.
Switch to natural, unprocessed sweeteners
Here are a few healthier alternatives to refined sugar so you don’t have to completely abandon your sweet tooth:
Other sweets you can eat
Many food products have sugars that occur naturally, such as fructose in fruit and lactose in milk products. Because the sugar in fruit is balanced with fiber and other nutrients, it doesn't have the