Ditch sugar, your body will thank you for it.
IT’S BETTER FOR YOUR TEETH
Sugar acts like an acid that dissolves the enamel on teeth, and the bacteria in your mouth uses sugar as energy to multiply and attach itself to the surface of teeth. This becomes plaque that eats away at the tooth’s enamel, creating cavities.
IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN
Consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to the ageing of the brain associated with dementia. Blood sugar spikes can also be a trigger for headaches and migraines.
YOU’D BOOST YOUR PANCREAS
‘The pancreas is notably affected by over-consuming sugar,’ says Lila Bruk, registered dietician at Lila Bruk & Associates in Joburg. ‘Your pancreas secretes insulin, which helps to control your blood sugar. But if there’s too much sugar, it can overburden your pancreas,’ she explains. ‘The pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin or burns out completely, making it unable to produce insulin.’ Lila explains that this results in diabetes and the need to take medication to improve the body’s insulin supply, or to inject oneself with insulin to compensate for the body’s inability to produce insulin.
YOU’D SUFFER LESS THRUSH
A sugary diet has also been linked to bouts of yeast infections, such as thrush. In fact, doctors have found that women who reduce their sugar intake often see an improvement in their thrush symptoms.
YOUR LIVER WOULD LOVE YOU
Any kilojoules not burned off in the body are stored in the liver in the form of fat. Over time this can cause a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Some experts believe that eating too much sugar is as bad for you as abusing alcohol, when it comes to the liver.
YOU’D AGE SLOWER
When sugar is present in the skin, it forms cross-links with amino acids that may have been damaged by free radicals. These cross-links then inhibit the skin’s repair mechanism, leaving you with premature ageing skin.
YOUR BODY WOULD STORE LESS FAT
Your blood glucose level rises rapidly each time you eat sugar and this stimulates the release of the hormone insulin, signalling your body to store fat. And, the more sugar you consume at one time, the greater the rise in blood glucose and insulin and the longer you stay in ‘fat mode’.
YOU’D BE HELPING YOUR HEART
A 15-year-long study recently indicated that a sugar-filled diet may increase your risk of heart disease – even if you aren’t overweight. A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association revealed strong evidence that sugar can affect the way your heart pumps and increase your risk of heart failure.
YOU’D BOOST YOUR DIGESTION
Fructose is the sugar added to many processed foods and tends to ferment in the gut, causing wind, a gurgling tummy and diarrhea. Therefore, researchers believe that fructose causes digestive problems and worsens conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
YOU’D BE MORE ALERT
Scientists have found that sugar blocks the action of orexins, which are the brain cells responsible for alertness and energy burning. This explains why you feel like taking a nap after a carb-heavy meal, because these foods are quickly broken down into sugar in the body.