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People are sucking down more sugar than ever before. And it shows…
Diabetes, obesity and cancer are on the rise. And even if you don’t have a serious sugar-related condition, you’re probably struggling with excess weight, waning energy levels and generally “blah” health — largely because of an addiction to the sweet stuff.
But how dangerous is the average sugar addiction? And, more importantly, would it really make that big of a difference to give up (or drastically reduce) sugar in your diet?
Well, a recent study may answer both of those questions. And it’s an answer you’ll want to hear…
Say sayonara to sugar and regain your health
A study from researchers at Touro University California found that cutting back on sugar for even a short period of time dramatically improves your metabolic health.
Researchers tested what happened when adults and children tried cutting back on sugar intake for nine days. And they found that cutting back on sugar for even this short period of time reduces liver fat and lowers blood sugar.
Now, in case you don’t know, excess liver fat (a.k.a. a fatty liver) puts you on the path to diabetes. A fatty liver creates too much glucose. It also starts sharing its extra fat with the pancreas and having too much fat on the pancreas interferes with its ability to produce insulin. So, as you can imagine, too much glucose and not enough insulin creates the ideal situation for the development of diabetes.
But if you can keep the liver and pancreas from taking on that extra fat, then you can prevent (or even reverse) serious metabolic issues like diabetes.
And based on the results of this study, cutting back on sugar is a simple way to stop the liver from becoming fatty. Researchers observed in their study that when you eat less sugar, there’s less sugar for your body to convert from sugar to fat.
As a result, there’s less liver fat. And even a small reduction in liver fat, researchers say, is enough to prevent pre-diabetes and diabetes. In fact, several people in the study went from pre-diabetic to having normal blood sugar levels in just nine days.
Based on this study, researchers say cutting back on sugary drinks and added sugar is likely to have a swift impact on your health. And not just your metabolic health. They say it’s good for your cardiovascular health too.
And as you know, your metabolic health and cardiovascular health have a ripple effect across your entire body. Just look at the impact insulin resistance and high blood sugar can have on your brain.
Getting through sugar withdrawal
One of the hardest things about cutting back on sugar — even for a short period of time — is getting through the cravings and crankiness that come with sugar withdrawal.
You can support your body through the sugar withdrawal process with supplements like vitamin C, zinc, the trace mineral chromium, the amino acid L-glutamine, holy basil, alpha lipoic acid, astragalus root and cinnamon bark.
It would also be a good idea to supplement on regular basis with a special antioxidant with a reputation for abolishing fatty liver — pyrroloquinoline quinone or PQQ for short.
You can also try this mindfulness practice that works for people who are trying to cut back on alcohol and should work for sugar too.
Now, just so you know, you don’t need to cut out all sugar to notice a difference. Try to avoid added sugar whenever possible, but naturally occurring sugar in your food is okay. Keep your daily intake of added sugar to less than 100 calories per day if you’re a woman and 150 calories per day if you’re a man. That shakes out to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men.
Once you start keeping track of your sugar intake, you may be in for a shock. There’s added sugar in almost everything! Besides the obvious things like soda, cereals and sweets, watch out for sugar in:
- Processed meats
- Pre-made meals (frozen or fresh)
- Rice and pasta mixes
Pretty much any processed food is likely to contain some sugar. So try to stick to whole foods, so no unwanted sugar slips past you!
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- Short-Term Removal of Sugar Reduces Sugar-to-Fat Conversion in Liver — MD Magazine. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- M. Schwarz, et al. “Conversion of Sugar to Fat: Is Hepatic de Novo Lipogenesis Leading to Metabolic Syndrome and Associated Chronic Diseases?” — The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Aug. 2017; 117:520-527.
- Sugar 101 — The American Heart Association. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- The Weird Places Sugar Hides In Your Kitchen — Rodale’s Organic Life. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- Sugar Detox: How to Reduce Cravings and Manage Withdrawal — Mother Earth Living. Retrieved September 18, 2017.