What Happens When You Cut Down On Sugar Completely? 5 Side Effects To Keep In Mind


We share a bittersweet relationship with sugar. While we love indulging in all things sweet and decadent, it is also touted as the main culprit for several lifestyle-related diseases including diabetes, obesity and more. Sugar and sugary foods are loaded with fat. As per popular belief, fat adds excess calories to our everyday diet. What if we say, it is not exactly how you think?! Days of hating on fat are long gone. Now, there are multiple pieces of evidence to support the fact that fat (one of the major macronutrients) plays an essential role in our overall growth and nourishment. In fact, eliminating sugar from our diet completely might come with several side effects.

In this article, we will look into how cutting down on sugar affects your body and how effectively you can include it in your diet. Let’s start with understanding what sugar is.

What Is Sugar?

Sugar, to most of us, is the food ingredient that we add to our meals. What we often fail to understand is the fact that sugar is actually a compound, which when crystalised, turns into a food ingredient. According to www.sugar.org, sugar is sucrose (a mix of fructose and glucose), “a simple carbohydrate that is produced naturally in all plants, including fruits, vegetables and even nuts.” For the unversed, carbohydrates help provide energy to your body and fuel the brain, organs and muscles to function and engage in everyday activities. Hence, experts from across the globe suggest, it is important to include sugar in our daily diet, but in moderation. “Sugar is simple, amazingly functional and it’s part of a balanced diet,” the website further reads.

Also Read: 5 Types of Sugar That Are Better Alternatives to Refined Sugar


Photo Credit: iStock

What Is Added Sugar?

Added sugar is any form of sweetener that undergoes processing, which further strips off the healthy nutrients from the food. According to American Heart Organisation, added sugar includes white sugar, brown sugar, honey and all the foods that are manufactured chemically with these ingredients.

5 Side Effects Of Cutting Down On Sugar:

1. Makes us feel low:

A cake or chocolate instantly uplifts our mood. Have you ever wondered why? As researchers, sugar is known to affect our brain’s reward system, further affecting our mood. A study, published in the journal nutrient, finds that sugar triggers the release of dopamine, which instantly gives us a sense of pleasure. When we eliminate sugar from our diet, it often leads to depression, anxiety, untimely cravings and more.

2. Lack of concentration:

Brain functions such as thinking, memory and learning are closely linked to the body’s glucose levels. When there is a lack of this fuel source, you might experience different cognition-related issues. As per studies, it might lead to a lack of concentration, focus and poor memory.

3. Sleep problem:

Sleep pattern depends much on our cognitive health that is directly linked to the body’s glucose level. According to a study, published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, people, who are on a sugar detox diet, lack glucose (in the body) and often experience changes in their sleep pattern.

4. Nausea and dizziness:

As mentioned earlier, sugar is fat, which is considered one of the macronutrients that our body needs. A lack of sugar often creates an imbalance, leading to weakness, nausea, dizziness and more.

5. Lack of energy:

By now, we all know, sugar is a potent source of glucose and glucose helps refuel us with energy. With quitting sugar, the body’s glucose level gets affected. This often makes people feel tired and lack energy for work.

How To Include Sugar In Your Diet Effectively?

1. Add fruits:

Sugar is naturally produced in fruits (and some vegetables). Hence, it is always advised to replace cakes and candies (that have added sugar) with fruits and dry fruits to include healthy fats in your diet.

Also Read: Fruit Juice Versus Whole Fruit; Which One Should You Choose?


Photo Credit: iStock

2. Swap sweetened drinks:

Colas and packaged sweet drinks are also high in added sugar. You can always replace these drinks with freshly pressed fruit juices or simple soda (with mint, lemon etc for added flavours) to enjoy the benefits to the fullest.

3. Read labels before buying:

Do you read the sugar content in packaged food every time you buy it? If not, then start doing now! Several foods and condiments sneak in added sugar that might affect our body negatively. Reading labels on the packet will help you understand the amount of calories you are adding to your everyday diet.

Eat healthy, stay fit!

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

Featured Video Of The Day

Best Pakoda Recipes | Easy Recipes by NDTV Food

Source link