Additional Benefits of Reducing Your Sugar Intake
Last updated: April 2022
If you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then at some point, your doctor or registered dietitian likely recommended that you limit or cut out your sugar intake. Although it can be challenging, reducing your sugar intake can help you better manage your blood sugar levels. In addition, there are several other reasons why reducing your sugar intake may be beneficial.
Benefits of lowering your sugar intake
You might already be motivated to reduce your sugar intake as a part of your diabetes-friendly eating plan. If you feel like you need more motivation to let go of sugar, here are some additional benefits.
Typically, you might feel an energy spike after consuming sugary foods or drinks. This burst of energy only lasts briefly, and after the spike, you will likely experience an energy crash. Cutting down on sugar will help you feel sustained energy over a longer period.1
Reducing sugar intake can have benefits for heart health. Sugar can increase blood pressure and lead to chronic inflammation. A diet high in added sugars has been associated with a greater risk of dying from heart disease.1
Harmful effects of consuming too much sugar
High glycemic foods, like sugary foods, have been linked to causing acne and skin breakouts.2
Sugar is considered an empty calorie, and consuming it can turn off your appetite-control system. Even if you eat a lot of calories and grams of sugar, you won't feel full.
Chances are, you will eat more of the sugary food in an attempt to feel full. This pattern can lead to weight gain, and even obesity, over time.1
High amounts of sugar can overload the liver. The liver is an organ that converts dietary carbs to fat, and over time this can cause the liver to accumulate fat.1
How to reduce your sugar intake for diabetes
Making a big change in your regular eating plan is no easy task. Most of us were exposed to sugar early and grew up eating sweet foods and drinking sweetened beverages.
As adults, our taste buds are accustomed to sweet foods and sugar. With the help of sugar-free sweeteners and foods low in sugar, you can start to trick your taste buds and slowly let go of or cut down on sugar.
Try some sugar-free alternatives
To start your sugar-free journey, you might find it helpful to try out some alternatives. Try switching out sodas for sparkling water, sugar-free soda alternatives, unsweetened ice tea, and water infused with fruits and herbs.
Instead of buying baked goods at the store, experiment with baking using substitute sweeteners—swap sugary yogurts for plain Greek yogurt. Avoid coffee drinks with extra sweet flavored syrups, and instead, opt for sugar-free options.
Seek additional support
Stepping away from sugar is a huge task. To start, you can check out some sugar-free and low sugar recipes located in the recipes section on the site.
During your next doctor's appointment, ask your doctor for advice. If you have access to a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator, this is an excellent source of extra support.
How have you reduced your sugar intake? Have you noticed any significant benefits from consuming less sugar?
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