Yes, you know how I stand on sugar. It’s bad for you.
But you know that already.
And admittedly, I link cutting back sugar to losing weight a lot.
Let’s assume for a second that you don’t need to lose weight. Or don’t want to.
Sugar tastes good. Everyone has their favorite treat, be it ice cream, cookies, cake or pie.
What’s the harm, Jeff?
Well… glad you asked.
Just for review, keep in mind that Americans eat at least twice if not 3x the amount of sugar they should. Some of us a lot more than that.
So what happens if you cut back? Even if you’re not the least bit concerned about your weight…
What say we start with blood pressure? Typically, we think of salt as the devil when it comes to BP, but sugar can be just as bad.
Added dietary sugars can raise your BP, and the downstream impact on your heart, kidneys, arteries… it’s not good.
If you cut your sugar intake in half, you cut your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease in half too. Funny how that works.
Plus, less sugar means brain protection. Sugar can impair your memory, and even alter the structure of your brain. Plus, a diet high in sugar reduces your body’s ability to produce a chemical known as brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF).
You know who have low levels of BDNF? People with dementia and Alzheimer’s, that’s who.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a zealot. I have cake on my birthday. And like I’ve said before, put a shoofly pie in front of me and I am there with a glistening fork.
But I also focus on avoiding sugar when I can. Both sugars that I can see (I take my coffee black) and those that I can’t (I pass on sugar-laden ketchups, sodas and salad dressings, for example).
It’s the little things.
And the thing about sugar is, once you cut back, your taste for it changes. You don’t crave it as much.
Reaching for an apple instead of a cookie sure seems boring. But if it means trading the health of my brain or heart for a sugar fix… I can easily take a pass.
I have an old friend who likes to “diet.” Now, I’m not one to use that term much. Putting yourself on a diet is typically a recipe for deprivation and rebounding.
But he’d announce he’s on a diet, then grab two cookies off the potluck plate.
When I’d ask him about it, he’d say “Well, normally I’d have 3. So… diet.”
You gotta start somewhere.
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance