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4 weeks without sugar can change your metabolism

28 marzo, 2024

The rich sweetness when it enters the palate is a sensation that cannot be described, however sugar can cause a lot of damage to health. Look here at the benefits of having 4 weeks without sugar in the body, you will surely be surprised.

Data suggests that daily sugar intake for 90% of Americans regularly exceeds the Dietary Guidelines recommendation, a statistic that illustrates how much sugar we consume. This intake contributes to obesity and can increase our risk of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and even some types of cancer.

Significantly reducing or eliminating sugar is a smart decision for everyone, regardless of age and health, but this does not mean eliminating all forms of sugar. Natural sugars found in fruits, some dairy products, and some vegetables come packed with other nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and foods with natural sugars are not associated with the health risks mentioned above. In fact, they are considered important components of a healthy diet when consumed in adequate quantities.

Instead, added sugars (those added to foods during processing, production, or cooking) are the ones that need to be addressed. Added sugars come in many forms, including refined versions like brown sugar or corn syrup and more natural versions like honey and maple syrup. But no matter the form, the result is the same. Added sugars add calories and provide few, if any, nutrients, making them unnecessary and harmful in excess. So what happens when you eliminate added sugars? It turns out that the effects go far beyond improving weight and blood glucose.

10 Things That Can Happen When You Eliminate Added Sugar: Sugar-Free Weeks

1. You will lose a few kilos

Eating the same foods, but without the added sugars they normally contain, means your total calorie intake decreases. An analysis of dozens of trials and observational studies published in BMJ showed that reducing added sugar in the diet (between 10 and 71 grams per day) reduced body weight. (As long as those calories were not replaced by others). Participants lost an average of almost 2 pounds without changing anything else in their eating habits. In two other studies that lasted 10 weeks and 6 months, subjects who consumed between 87 and 105 grams more added sugar daily they won6 pounds on average. The researchers note that there is probably nothing special about the effect of added sugars on body weight. It all comes down to excess calories, although the less satiating nature of simple carbs may also play a role. Another study suggests this may mean a 14% decrease in total calories, which may mean you consume 280 fewer calories when based on a 2,000-calorie day. Keep this up for a month and you can lose 2 to 3 pounds just by cutting back on added sugars.

2. You will reduce your risk of diabetes

Studies have shown that high sugar consumption, especially sugary drinks, can increase the chances of developing the disease. Scientists explain this in large part by the weight people gain when they consume too many calories in the form of nutritionally empty sugar. Being overweight or obese is often accompanied by problems with blood sugar control and reduced insulin sensitivity leading to type 2 diabetes.

Reducing added sugars makes it easier to control weight and keep blood glucose levels within healthy ranges, both of which reduce the risk of diabetes. This is due to the fact that added sugars help drive a cyclical cascade of effects that cause metabolic and hormonal changes that increase the risk of diabetes. Added sugars provide excess calories; excessive calorie consumption leads to weight gain; Weight gain, along with higher blood glucose levels from consuming added sugars, leads to insulin resistance; Insulin resistance leads to greater weight gain.

But the opposite is also true. In three large prospective observational studies of nearly 200,000 American men and women published in the journal Diabetes Care , researchers found that people who replaced one sugary drink or fruit juice a day with water or another type of sugar-free drink had up to a 10% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Therefore, reducing added sugars is a key factor in stopping this cycle and reducing risk.

3. The aging process of your skin will slow down.

Reducing excess added sugar and keeping blood glucose within healthy parameters can reduce the rate at which skin ages. A diet high in sugar leads to the production of AGEs (advanced glycation end products), and AGEs are associated with accelerating the skin aging process. In fact, research suggests that decreasing sugar consumption can delay the aging effects that AGEs have on skin aging by up to 25%.

4. You will be less likely to get sick.

Chronic low-grade inflammation has been linked to nearly every major lifestyle and aging-related disease, including arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and metabolic syndrome. Studies in mice have found that high sugar consumption changes the balance of bacteria in the intestine, increasing the type with pro-inflammatory properties. Evidence in humans is sparse and still emerging, but a 2018 systematic review of 13 studies with more than 1,100 participants showed that all types of added sugars (fructose, sucrose, glucose, HFCS) increased levels of C-reactive protein, a key marker of inflammation. Chronic inflammation is an unhealthy and abnormal immune reaction in the body that leads to an overworked immune system, and added sugars are a key dietary component known to exacerbate this type of inflammation.

On the other hand, a study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that a decrease of about 23 grams in daily added sugar intake was associated with a significant reduction in C-reactive protein. Eliminating added sugars can help minimize existing inflammation, as well as prevent new inflammation. This improves overall immune function, so the body can effectively fight pathogens, reducing susceptibility to disease.

5. Sugar cravings will decrease.

Frequent intake of sugary foods and drinks fuels more cravings. This is because sugar triggers the release of dopamine, which stimulates the brain’s reward center, similar to how addictive drugs affect the brain. Because of this, it is not unusual to experience mild withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, and higher-than-normal sugar cravings for a few days when you stop consuming sugar. However, put up with this for a few days and your cravings for sugary, high-carb foods will begin to subside significantly. To minimize side effects, consider gradually reducing your added sugar intake rather than stopping altogether.

6. You will reduce your risk of depression and cognitive decline.

Improved psychological health is another benefit that can be expected when eliminating sugar. This is because a higher intake of added sugar is associated with a significantly higher likelihood of experiencing episodes of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Researchers believe this is due to inflammation in the brain caused by sugar’s higher glycemic index, but it’s important to note that research suggests that the intake of added sugars, not natural sugars or total carbohydrates, appears to be the main driver. .

Reducing your sugar intake can also help keep your memory sharp as you age. In a 2020 cross-sectional study of 3,623 Americans over age 60 published in the journal Nutrients , researchers found an association between high sugar consumption and the presence and severity of memory impairment. (A similar link was also established with diets high in total fat and carbohydrates.) Some research suggests this could be due to elevated inflammation in the brain, leading to memory problems in the hippocampus. Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, two conditions that sugar has also been linked to, have also been linked to cognitive decline.

7. Appetite and hunger will decrease.

Leptin is a key hormone that regulates appetite. It tells the brain when to eat, when to stop eating, and when to speed up or slow down the metabolism. But when obesity and insulin resistance are present, research suggests that the body produces less leptin and does not use it as effectively. Improving glucose control slowly restores leptin activity in the body, and eliminating added sugars is a key component of making this happen.

8. You will have more energy.

An increase in overall energy is one of the most immediate benefits you may notice and is largely due to experiencing fewer highs and lows in your blood sugar. While sugar can give you an initial rush and burst of energy, what follows is a big drop in glucose, leaving you tired, lethargic and a little hungry. Replacing those added sugar calories with complex carbohydrates, as well as foods with natural sugars and fiber like fruit, provides a longer, more consistent supply of energy. Also adding to this energy may be the fact that you’re getting longer, more restful sleep, an effect seen in people who consume less added sugar and more fiber.

9. Your heart will be healthier

Some observational studies have shown that people who consume added sugar in excess have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, regardless of other risk factors, such as weight. And a key prospective cohort study of 31,147 American adults published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who consumed between 10 and 24 percent of their daily calories as added sugar (50 to 120 grams) were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than those who consumed less than 10 percent. A diet high in sugar can raise blood pressure, increase inflammation, and cause the liver to pump harmful fats into the bloodstream, all of which can contribute to the development of heart disease.

10. You will have fewer cavities.

You’ve heard it since you were a kid: sugar causes cavities. And studies have shown this repeatedly. Bacteria on the teeth metabolize sugar and produce an acid that removes minerals from the enamel and can eventually create a hole. There is evidence that consuming less than 50 grams of added sugar daily is associated with far fewer cavities. And if you eat less than 25 grams, the number drops even more drastically.