Sugar-free Snacking: The Way Forward
Losing weight might be a form of motivation to cut sugar from your diet, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits that cutting sugar from your diet will bring to your body and mind.
Excessive sugar consumption results in health issues none of us want or need, including:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Stimulation of hunger hormones
We can give you plenty of good reasons to give up the sweet stuff and find alternative sugar-free snacks and better diet options.
Here are some of our top motivating factors:
Helps maintain a healthy body weight
Excess sugar consumption can lead to unhealthy weight gain, this is nothing new. But this is a catalyst which can lead onto other serious health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Choosing sugar-free snacks and alternatives will help regulate your metabolism. This then helps with cravings for ‘empty-calorie’ foods, as hormone that regulates hunger (leptin), stay consistent. If this hormone is not kept in check, it spikes. This will convince your body that you’re always hungry, as opposed to when you really are.
Boosts energy levels
It might seem counter-intuitive, given sugar is thought to give more energy, when you cut out the sweet stuff, your body remains more alert. While eating sugar will first give the brain a boost of energy by raising blood sugar levels, it also triggers insulin and tryptophan to release, which can make you sleepy. This is one reason why after the so-called "sugar rush" and subsequent crash, the body craves more to keep going. Without refined sugar the body and brain can stick to a more natural rhythm, getting fuel from the wholesome nutrients in other foods, and reap the benefits of exercise and sleep.
Aids clear, healthy skin
The idea that sugar causes pimples isn't completely an old wives' tale. Sugar raises the insulin levels in the body which can then result in inflammation and, in turn, make for blotchy skin. The sweet stuff also increases the production of skin oils which can contribute to clogging pores and creating pimples. Sugar also has been known to dehydrate the skin, which can lead to dark circles and wrinkles that make one appear older. Eliminating sugar isn't a guarantee for great skin, but it certainly will help.
Keeps hunger cravings at bay
When you cut out eating sugar, it becomes easier to curb strong cravings for other foods such as pizza, hamburgers, and other fat-dense foods. How does that work? Added sugar in the diet increases the appetite by stimulating one of three hunger hormones in your body. Unfortunately it's not usually fresh fruit or vegetables we crave, but high-fat and sugary foods. Eating less sugar will cause the body to want to eat less food in general.
Smile! Less sugar, healthier teeth.
From when we were children, we were taught to brush our teeth after we ate anything sugary. In fact we were told our teeth would discolour and fall out if we even looked at a chocolate bar. While the latter may be a scare tactic, there is truth in the fact that sugar accelerates tooth decay and is a major contributor to gum disease. A lot of cavity issues with can be resolved by brushing correctly and regularly, while eating less sugar can dramatically help the health of your teeth.
Prevents chronic disease
A spoonful of sugar does not make the medicine go down – in fact it’s medicine you want to stay away from. Having the occasional treat can be part of a healthy diet, but consuming a lot of sugar, on a daily basis, can increase the risk of disease. It can have a hand in developing cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Fortunately there are some delicious sugar-free snacks, that can still satisfy that sweet tooth.
Clears ‘mind-fog’ and increases mental clarity
It’s the epitome of a vicious cycle - the more you eat, the more you want. Sugar stimulates areas in the brain that make us crave more of it. The feeling of a sugar craving can also result in irritability, sluggishness, and even aggression. Studies show that sugar has a negative effect on memory and can heighten depression and even dementia.