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What Happens When You Quit Eating Sugar

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Written by Jackie Parker

Pay attention to sugar… and it’s evil twin sister, High Fructose Corn Syrup! It’s everywhere and making you sick, sad and fat. Yes, fat doesn’t make you fat – Sugar does! Sugar is even one of the main ingredients in even so-called healthy foods that you may not expect. But, despite its widespread use, it’s something you need to cut back on or even stop eating completely. Exactly what you’ll experience will depend on how much you consume.

So, here we’ll look at its dangers and what happens when you quit eating sugar. Then I’ll also give you some simple tips on what to eat instead to reduce your sugar consumption.

What Happens When You Quit Eating Sugar

#1. You’ll Feel Happier

You may be surprised to hear that cutting back on sugar can make you happier. After all, we often associate indulging sugary treats with positive and joyful emotions.

Yet, what you may not notice is that a few hours after eating sugar, your mood dips and you start to crave sugar again. The only way to satisfy this craving and lift your mood again is to eat more sugary foods which then starts the cycle again.

The long term result is that you experience a temporary boost in happiness after eating sugar followed by an extended dip in emotions. This ultimately leads to you depending on sugar for happiness and become addicted. In fact, studies have shown that sugar consumption can actually lead to depression.

What To Eat Instead

 
If you have relied on sugar to lift your mood in the past, you’re probably wondering what you should eat instead. The good news is that there are plenty of foods you can eat to enhance your mood in a stable and permanent way. The list below outlines five of the best foods you can eat for happiness:

#1 You'll Fee Happier

 Brazil Nuts

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Brazil nuts are packed with selenium – a powerful nutrient when it comes to lifting depression, anxiety, and your mood. In fact, Brazil nuts are the #1 food source of selenium.
 
Getting selenium from food sources is always preferable to supplementing!… So eat two brazil nuts each day for increased happiness and a reduced risk of depression.

#1 You'll Fee Happier

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 Oatmeal

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Oatmeal has a grounding, calming effect, smoothing out metabolic functions. It doesn’t just warm you up physically, it can also give you a mental feeling of warmth and happiness. The reason is that it contains high levels of fiber that regulate your blood glucose levels to keep you feeling consistently cheerful.

#1 You'll Fee Happier

Oysters

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Oysters have long been considered an aphrodisiac. That’s because they contain high levels of zinc – an important nutrient for brain health linked with improvements in mood and memory. They also contain high levels of tyrosine – a hormone which helps to keep depression at bay and enhances your mood.

Oysters are also low in calories and decrease inflammation. They are high in essential nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids.

#1 You'll Fee Happier

 Salmon

Salmon is a top source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. In fact, there are some studies that link low amounts of omega-3’s to mood disorders. Additionally, salmon has high concentrations of B12 and low B12 has been linked to depression as well. 

If I had to choose one food to boost your mood, salmon would be it! Just make sure the fish is not farm-raised!!

#1 You'll Fee Happier

Walnuts

what happens when you quit eating sugar

what happens when you quit eating sugar

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what happens when you quit eating sugar

Walnuts have protein to keep your blood-sugar levels stable. They are also a wonderful source of magnesium. If you are low in magnesium, there is an increased risk of depression. Walnuts also contain antioxidants and they are low in carbohydrates, so they won’t cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin. “Insulin spikes are a reason people’s moods crap out, especially late in the afternoon,” writes Dr. Drew Ramsey, co-author of “The Happiness Diet.”

#2 – You’ll Have More Energy

How Sugar Affects Your Energy Levels

 
Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source. So to hear that cutting back on sugar (the simplest form of carbohydrate) will increase your energy levels may sound confusing.
 
While it is true that eating sugar will boost your energy levels… This effect is only temporary and will inevitably lead to a crash in energy levels a few hours later.
 
Over time these sugar crashes become more and more severe and your overall energy levels decline. You also become dependent on sugar for energy and without it you feel tired and depleted. Thus, if you want stable, long term improvements in your energy levels, sugar is not your answer.

What To Eat Instead

 
There are lots of low sugar or sugar free foods out there which can improve your energy levels. The section below highlights five of the top foods and drinks you can consume for energy:

#2 You'll Have More Energy

Coffee

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Coffee contains no sugar and no calories and is magic when it comes to boosting mood.
 
It contains high levels of caffeine – a compound that stimulates your nervous system and gives you an immediate energy boost.
 
Coffee is a brilliant source of caffeic acid – a nutrient that stabilizes your blood glucose levels and helps you avoid any crashes in energy.
 
The key to coffee is moderation. Moderation is no more than 2 cups a day.

#2 You'll Have More Energy

Flax Seeds

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Flax seed (aka Linseed) is one of the rare foods that contains Omega-6 and 3 essential fatty acids in perfect balance for your body.

It is packed with fiber which slows the release of glucose into your blood stream. This ensures that your body has a constant, stable source of energy.

Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent inflammation and many degenerative conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

#2 You'll Have More Energy

Matcha Green Tea

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Matcha Green tea is another zero calorie, zero sugar energy drink. The caffeine in matcha green tea provides you with an instant energy lift. Meanwhile, its flavonoids support energy production to help maintain long term energy.

#2 You'll Have More Energy

Quinoa

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Quinoa is a favorite among vegetarians and there are plenty of reasons why. Not only does it contain large amounts of protein but it’s also rich in fiber and iron.
  • Fiber helps to keep your energy levels stable.
  • Iron keeps your blood cells healthy and ensures the cells can transport energy to the cells that need it.

#2 You'll Have More Energy

Bananas

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Bananas are a dependable energy food packed with natural glucose, fructose, and sucrose + fiber. Slice one into your morning oatmeal or top with almond butter for a sound snack that will keep you humming till lunchtime.

#3 You’ll Be Healthier

How Sugar Affects Your Health

 
Sugar is extremely harmful to your health and can damage many areas of your body.
 
It rots your teeth, destroys your blood vessels and can overload your liver. It’s also one of the leading causes of weight gain and obesity which further harm your body.
 
Add to this, various chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and liver disease. By cutting sugar out of your diet, you can avoid all these health problems and significantly enhance your health.

What To Eat Instead

 
Eliminating sugar from your diet is a great way to improve your health. But, to maximize your health, you should also ensure that your diet is rich in superfoods. The list below outlines five of the best superfoods for optimal health:

Avocado

#3 You'll Be Healthier

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Avocado is a top source of monounsaturated fat and also contains glutathione. The monounsaturated fats help to:
  • Regulate cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and protect against cancer.
  • Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radicals from harming your body’s cells.

#3 You'll Be Healthier

Broccoli

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Broccoli is an excellent source of B vitamins, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin C… By eating it regularly you can enjoy improved digestion, healthy eyes, and cancer protection.

#3 You'll Be Healthier

Eggs

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Eggs are rich in healthy fats, protein, and many different nutrients. The protein in eggs helps to build, maintain and repair all your body’s cells. Its nutrients boost your brain, regulate your blood cholesterol levels, strengthen your eyes and much more.

#3 You'll Be Healthier

Garlic

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Garlic is a great cooking ingredient when used in moderation. It’s also packed full of powerful nutrients which fight cancer and reduce inflammation in the body.

#3 You'll Be Healthier

Spinach

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Spinach contains high levels of over 10 different vitamins and minerals. Some of the main health benefits of spinach include a lower cancer risk, a healthier heart, and stronger bones.

#4 You’ll Lose Weight

How Sugar Affects Your Weight

 
Sugar is the leading causes of weight gain. While it contains the same amount of calories per gram as other healthier foods, sugar makes you more likely to gain weight.
 
First, sugar is a highly addictive substance that stimulates the areas of your brain that cause cravings. This makes you much more likely to overindulge and over-consume.
 
Second, processed sugary foods often contain very little if any other nutrients. As a result, eating sugary foods rarely satisfies your appetite, but still, adds to your waistline.
 
Finally, sugar is often added to drinks and consumed in liquid calories. This makes it very easy to drink hundreds or thousands of sugar calories in a day without even realizing. And be aware… If you drink alcohol, know that it contains large amounts of sugar!

What To Eat Instead

 
Cutting down on sugar is a fantastic way to start losing weight and you should start to see weight loss within a few days. But, if you want to speed up your weight loss efforts further… Try adding the following five foods and drinks to your diet as well:

#4 You'll Lose Weight

Brown Rice

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Brown rice is a tasty, versatile and filling food you can use in many different meals. It’s one of the best food sources of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are slowly released into your bloodstream to stop you from getting hungry between meals.

#4 You'll Lose Weight

Chia Seeds

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Chia seeds are low in calories, rich in healthy fats, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. They can even help you control your blood sugar if you’re diabetic. The makeup of chia seed causes your body to process food into sugars more slowly. This results in a more stable form of sugar that the body can use for fuel and repair. These little seeds don’t contain any form of sugar, so they are safe to include in diabetic diets.

#4 You'll Lose Weight

Chili Peppers

what happens when you quit eating sugar

The main ingredient in chili peppers is capsaicin. Researchers found just by adding the capsaicin from chili peppers into the diet of mice, it prevented weight gain. It is believed eating small amounts regularly, you can speed up the rate at which your body burns fat.

#4 You'll Lose Weight

Beans

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Beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils are packed with fiber and protein. These two ingredients have a satiating effect and help you to feel fuller for longer so you are less likely to overeat and gain weight. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that a daily serving of beans and other pulses can contribute to a modest weight loss and reduced cholesterol levels.

#4 You'll Lose Weight

Water

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Water contains zero calories and this makes it perfect for weight loss. By drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated you also maximize your body’s fat burning processes and lose more weight. Try adding a big squeeze of lemon. Not only does the lemon water boost your metabolism helping you burn more calories throughout the day, but the pulp adds an extra bit of fiber to your diet. 

#5 You’ll Look Younger

How Sugar Affects Your Looks

 
Many people aren’t aware that sugar accelerates the aging process. Yet, sugar speeds up the rate at which you age both internally and externally.
 
When you eat sugar, it causes a surge in your blood glucose levels. This spike in blood glucose is harmful to your blood vessels and vital organs. Over time, this damage makes your blood vessels and vital organs deteriorate and become less functional.
 
These elevated blood glucose levels also lead to inflammation which causes your skin to become dehydrated, stiff and inelastic. This results in your skin having a dull, dry and aged appearance.
 
By eating less sugar or avoiding it completely, you’ll ensure you remain healthy, vibrant and youthful internally and externally.

What To Eat Instead

 
There are plenty of foods out there that can slow down the aging process and help you look and feel younger. The list below highlights five of the most effective anti-aging foods you can try:

#5 You'll Look Younger

Cold Water Fish

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Fish is a food that gets mentioned often when it comes to anti-aging. That’s because sardines, salmon, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids which keep moisture in by strengthening skin-cell membranes.
 
Eating cold water fish once a week can reduce inflammation and keep your skin radiant.

#5 You'll Look Younger

Cinnamon

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Cinnamon promotes healthy blood flow within the body to reinvigorate the skin. It also slows down the aging of your internal cells and vital organs.

It also has a regulatory effect on blood sugar levels and simultaneously increases insulin levels in the body. Cinnamon helps prevent the storage of fat and enables you to lose weight.

#5 You'll Look Younger

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Extra virgin olive oil is a brilliant source of monounsaturated fats. These monounsaturated fats help to strengthen the heart and keep it youthful. They also promote skin cell regeneration and protect against age related chronic diseases.

#5 You'll Look Younger

Green Tea 

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Green tea has powerful antioxidants which can help to reverse the aging process. These antioxidants boost your brain and help it to remain functional as you age. They also reduce your risk of age related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

#5 You'll Look Younger

Kale

what happens when you quit eating sugar

Kale is one of the healthiest foods around. It has high levels of antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A, C and K.
  • Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy vision as you age
  • Vitamin C keeps your skin young and elastic as you get older
  • Vitamin K prevents various types of age related decline.

Summary 

Now that you understand what happens when you quit eating sugar, you can see there are plenty of reasons that you should ditch it today. (YES! Today! What are you waiting for?) So, I’ll leave you with five top tips you can use to reduce your sugar intake right now:
 

1. Check The Ingredients List On Your Foods:

One of the simplest ways to cut back on sugar is to check the ingredients list on foods before you buy them! Look for ingredients such as cane juice, dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, and syrup. If you see any of these high up on the ingredients list, the food contains high levels of sugar and is something you should avoid.
 

2. Ditch The Sugary Drinks:

Sugary drinks such as fruit juice, iced tea, and soda are easy to identify and drop from your diet. If you find that you’re getting bored with just water, try adding lemon or make fruit infused water.
 

3. Have A Healthy Breakfast:

Cereal is one of the most popular breakfast options but it’s also a major food source of sugar. To avoid the excess sugar in cereals, start the day with a healthy breakfast such as oatmeal, cream of rice or an omelet instead.
 

4. Use Sweet Spices:

Sweet spices are an excellent way to add a dose of sweetness while still avoiding sugar. Some of the best sweet spices include cocoa, cinnamon, citrus zest, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla extract.
 

5. Fill Up On Low Sugar Fruits:

Low sugar fruits contain are an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your sugar intake under control.
 
Some of the best low sugar fruits include:
  • Blackberries (3.5g of sugar per half cup serving),
  • Blueberries (7g of sugar per half cup serving),
  • Raspberries (2.5g of sugar per half cup serving) and
  • Watermelon (4g of sugar per half cup serving
 
 
 
what happens when you quit eating sugar

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what happens when you quit eating sugar

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About the author

Jackie Parker

8 Comments

  • sugar in everywhere I know it must be hard to start live without sugar even just for a few days. But after I read your story about “improved skin” I wanna try this challenge I give up crisps and sugar every year during lent. It always begins as a battle, but like you I find my stride after 2 weeks. I live a very normal office life and go to the gym when I can. I’m fit and relatively strong, but struggle to keep the spare tyre at bay. What amazes me every year is how much it improves my shape and might even show a bit of 6 pack (I’m 48). This doesn’t happen overnight but the slow and steady removal of the squidgy bits is almost guaranteed and it lasts. Thank you for sharing your article about What Happens When You Quit Eating Sugar 5 Reasons to Avoid the Unhealthiest Food on the Planet.

    • Hi Deanna,

      Thanks for connecting! We need the sweet taste in our diet, but from healthy sources like rice, barley, many legumes like beans and lentils, sweet fruits like bananas and mangos and certain cooked vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets. Keep up the good work!

  • Hi!

    This is by far, one of the best articles on sugar! I loved the amount of content that is packed on this post simply because it touches on a little bit of everything like carbs, fats, proteins, and SUGAR!
    I feel great that I took the time to read and comment on this because I picked up a thing or two that I can apply and pass on to others as well.
    I do agree that sugar does nothing but cause imbalances in your brain, making you crave garbage that is out there.
    Loved the way you provided with an ample list of alternatives along with a brief but powerful description on each food and drink.

    I’d literally read this post over and over just to re-educate myself on our health’s most important foundation; nutrition.

    Thank you for this.

    Cheers!

  • Your website is such a graphically inviting website. Such a great design and personally I love you have used full size graphics and not squeezed in between the texts. This makes the blocks of text really stand out but still making it much more visual to look at clearly.

    Each section is relayed very well and the formatting I can tell as you seperate each section has had much thought put to it. Your links are great too with direct url re-direction via the image and with such a variety of pages at the top you really provide such an appealing informative experience.

    The only one thing I would mention is the recurring e-book sign up which kept on re-appearing during my visit so maybe see if you could reduce its frequency, but otherwise amazing.

    • Hi Jonathan, Thanks for the feedback and I’m so glad you told me about the annoying ebook sign-up thing. We’re still figuring things out! 🙂 Thanks again for connecting. We love hearing from our readers!

  • What a great informative article! Of course I knew sugar was bad for you, but who knew all the benefits of cutting it out! I love how you list the reasons it’s bad for you followed by what you can eat instead. I did not see a list of real alternatives other than the image near the bottom. It would’ve been nice to visually see a list of alternative sweeteners that aren’t bad for you (Splenda). Which sweeteners do you recommend?

    • Hi Helen, Thanks for commenting and tip on moving the alternative sweeteners box up. 

      I use stevia, maple syrup, rice syrup, honey and coconut sugar. Pretty much everything I listed in the image. I also make some energy bars with dates. Take care 

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