Ice cream. Flaky pastries. Frappuccinos. Sugar is delicious AF. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably past the point where you’re supposed to be eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast — even if you are scarfing down a bowl for dinner after making three separate meals for your kids. (We’ve all been there.)
Even though sugary cereals and high-cal drinks taste oh-so-good going down, turns out the effects of sugar on the body are … not so great.
So, maybe set down that cereal spoon. Need more convincing reasons to actually stick to that low-sugar diet? Here are a few of the top low-sugar diet benefits.
1. Flatter Abs
No, we aren’t just talking about swimsuit season. More than fat in any other area of your body, excess fat around your waist is linked to some pretty scary health concerns like heart disease 1, diabetes 2, and the Big C 3.
A major contributor to that “spare tire” look? You guessed it: sugar, especially in the form of fructose 4. While we can’t promise six-pack abs by minimizing sugar, your body will thank you.
2. Weight Loss
The most well-known and well-hated sugar side effect? Weight gain.
Fortunately, the inverse of that is also true, and cutting your sugar intake is a great way to drop those extra pounds. By switching to a low-sugar diet with plenty of healthy fats and protein, you reduce cravings and keep your insulin levels stable. That means fewer of those good-for-you food calories turn into fat, so it’s easier to lose weight.
3. Breaking the Sugar Addiction Cycle
Those cookies make you feel so good, at least for a bit, because your body releases your “feel-good” neurotransmitter, dopamine. When that dopamine hit fades, you really, really want another cookie. Like really. While it might be tough at first, a low-sugar diet helps break the cycle and rewires your dopamine responses, so you can kick the cravings.
4. Energy Boost
Had a few donuts for breakfast before? Then you understand how a sugar crash works. You ride high … until you don’t. More specifically, you get that feel-good dopamine followed by a spike in blood sugar. When that spike falls, you’re likely to feel drained, hangry, and even shaky or anxious. 5
By keeping your blood glucose levels steady, a low-sugar diet benefits both your energy and your mood — and who doesn’t need that?
5. Lower Risk of Diabetes
While it’s unclear whether excessive sugar actually causes diabetes (researchers say it’s a bit more complicated than that), the disease affects the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels. And since avoiding excess sugar means a lower risk of obesity, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and so on — all of which can contribute to Type 2 diabetes — a low-sugar diet can help stave off a whole host of disease-contributing factors.
6. Younger-Looking Skin
Move over scary injections and microdermabrasion. We have an even easier anti-aging regimen: a low-sugar diet. Basically, too much sugar in your bloodstream damages your collagen and elastin-making abilities (yikes), leading to wrinkles, sagging, and dull skin. 6
The benefits of a low-sugar diet are pretty compelling, but that still doesn’t mean giving up your favorite sugar fixes will be easy. If you’re feeling motivated but need some help getting there, check out our 5 Tips for Cutting Down on Sugar.
And since we’re here, we might as well mention that we’ve got Zero-Sugar jerky and sticks that make reducing your sugar intake way less sucky. Get them on Amazon, in stores near you, or here on our site. Happy low-sugar snacking, friends.
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