What’s all the fuss about sugar? There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about how important it is to look for snacks with no sugar added in order to cut back on your sugar consumption. Why is it so important? Here’s why you need to cut back on sugar:
Empty calories. Sugar is high in calories—but not the good kind. There is absolutely no nutritional value in sugar. Although you may love the sweet taste, it’s important to remember these are completely empty calories since you are not absorbing any vitamins or minerals from eating sugar. When you fill up on empty calories instead of the nutrients you need, you typically begin to gain weight.
Tooth decay. When you consume added sugars, you are promoting tooth decay. Sugar promotes the growth of bacteria in your mouth, and over time, the bacteria will multiply and start to wreak havoc on your teeth. Preserve your pearly whites by switching to snacks with no sugar added.
Liver damage. High consumption of fructose, which is found in both table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, can lead to fatty deposits around your liver. Why does this matter? Fat build-up around your liver can quickly turn into nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that was rarely seen until our diets became so heavy with sugar. Learn more about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease here.
It’s addicting. Just like smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, eating sugar can cause you to develop an addiction. When you eat sugar, dopamine is released into the brain’s pleasure center, making you feel instantly happier and more content. You may start to crave sugar during times of stress or sadness so you can relive that euphoric feeling once again. Over time, your body will begin to develop a tolerance to sugar, so you will need to eat more and more in order to get that feeling back.
It throws off your appetite. When your body is hungry, it will send a signal to your brain to let you know it’s time for a snack. After you’ve eaten enough, your body lets your brain know you’re full and don’t need to eat anymore. But, when you consume too much sugar on a regular basis, these signals can be completely thrown off, meaning your body will not be able to tell when you’re full. This leads to overeating and weight gain, two side effects of sugar consumption that can happen fairly quickly.
Energy crashes. Scarfing down a sugary snack will give you a short boost of energy, but afterwards, your body will crash—and crash hard. This is a result of your fluctuating blood sugar levels, and it’s not a healthy way to get energy. Instead, reach for a snack with no sugar added so you can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay energized all day.
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