Look good, feel better.
The average American eats 94 grams of added sugar a day. The government recommendation is 50. But don’t worry, none of this is about how bad sugar is. It’s about how cutting back can make you feel, well, pretty awesome.
Did you know that inflammation is one of the main causes of acne? Maybe. Did you know that excess sugar intake causes inflammation? Maybe not. Acne isn’t the only unfortunate side-effect from too much sugar, it can also lead to your skin sagging and wrinkling. The more sugar you eat, the higher your inflammation, and the worse your skin.
To do: Skip sodas. Yes, even the diet and ‘no sugar’ ones. While they might not contain sugar, a lot do contain substances like aspartame, which can trigger the same inflammatory response in the body.
I for one, had no idea what that sugar could keep me up at night, but the verdict is in and it’s true. Supposedly, a diet that is high in sugar engages our nervous systems making us wake up at random intervals, or stopping us from sleeping at all.
To do: Make your own sauces and dressings. It might sound like a lot of work (which it isn’t, we promise), but when you start seeing that even ketchup contains hidden sugar (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup), you’ll understand why we suggest it.
Who doesn’t want to lose weight! As mentioned above, you can find sugar in a lot of unlikely places – salad dressing, ketchup, bread, chips even (I got quite a surprise when eating my favorite chilli heatwave chips at Christmas – there was sugar in them!) – so limiting your sugar intake means there will be a lot of foods you can’t eat (or can’t eat as much of). The weight will go away without you needing to think about it, trust us, and the experts.
To do: Check labels on fruit and vegetables, and if you can, just buy fresh. Canned and jarred fruit and veg can contain anywhere between 1 and half times the amount of sugar that fresh fruit and veg do. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it can prevent you eating a lot more sugar than you realise.
/Femi, The Girl Who Hates Working Out
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