What Happens When You Follow a Low Sugar Diet?


Sugar… that delicious ingredient that sends our energy levels into orbit and then follows it up shortly with an abrupt crash.  But dang, is it yummy.  Cookies, baked goods, brownies, ice cream, coffee creamer, candy, pastries, cakes, pies, donuts, mmm… donuts.  Sugar can make anything taste good.  But, as we have all come to learn over time, it’s also detrimental to our health.  The unfortunate thing is that not many people understand how to follow a low sugar diet.

Sugar hides in many of the foods we all consume.  For that reason, it’s important to understand your nutritional needs and consume wholesome and nutritious real food that isn’t processed in any sort of way.

When you come to grips with your nutrition and decide to take the plunge and vow to follow a low sugar diet, you will notice MANY changes to your health and body.  Changes that will blow your mind while potentially adding years onto your life.  So, exactly what happens when you follow a low sugar diet?  Here are some of the amazing benefits.


  1. Weight Loss

When you follow a low sugar diet, you have the ability to manage your weight much easier than when you consume sugar throughout the day.  When you consume sugar, it triggers the brain into thinking you are hungry rather than satiated.  Think about what happens after you eat a donut, you want another one, right?  Sugar is the enemy when it comes to weight loss and when you learn to remove it from your diet, you will notice the number on the scale slowly start creeping down, even when you aren’t exercising [1].


  1. Lower Blood Pressure

Generally, those who consume a lot of sugar are holding onto some extra body fat.  That body fat can increase your blood pressure since the heart needs to work harder to pump blood out to the body.  When you are overweight, and especially when obese, plaque buildup in the arteries can cause blockages.  This can be extremely dangerous to your health.  Yet, even if you are a healthy body weight, sugar alone has been found to raise blood pressure, independent of your actual weight [2].


  1. Improvement in Cholesterol

Those who consume sugar regularly tend to have lower levels of the good cholesterol, HDL, and higher levels of the bad cholesterol, LDL.  Levels of triglycerides are generally also higher in those who consume sugar.  When you follow a low sugar diet, you can flip-flop these numbers and improve your overall health and blood profile.  When you have elevated levels of LDL in your body, you run the risk of clogging your arteries as well as the risk of heart disease [3].


  1. More Stable Energy Levels

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, sugar can spike your energy levels, but in the next breath have them drop like you were on a roller coaster ride.  When you follow a low sugar diet, you can better manage your energy levels with the help of whole food items such as complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.  A steady stream of energy throughout the day by utilizing healthy macronutrients will help you be more productive as well as keep your mind sharp and focused [4].


  1. Clearer Skin

This is something we have all probably seen and noticed as a child.  When you consume sugar, you run the risk of acne breakouts.  This is due to sugar causing hormonal fluctuations.  When you follow a low sugar diet, you have the ability to clear up your skin and maintain a clear and healthy appearance.  A clear mind and clear skin is always a good thing [5].


  1. Help Prevent Cancer

Some cancers have been found to be triggered by sugar, such as pancreatic cancer.  Additionally, cancer cells feed off of sugar.  When you have cancer and consume foods that are higher in sugar, the growth and speed of cancer can be exacerbated.  It’s for that very reason when someone is diagnosed with cancer, doctors have them limit their sugar intake if not eliminate it altogether.  So, why not be proactive and follow a low sugar diet now and potentially help prevent cancer from ever forming [6].


  1. Lower the Risk of Diabetes

When you consume a lot of sugar, you can become insulin resistant.  This is one of the most talked about topics when it comes to sugar consumption and the health risks.  What happens is that sugar cannot be removed from the bloodstream and shuttled into the cells.  This can cause you to run the risk of becoming diabetic if the body’s natural insulin production cannot control the sugars in the blood.  Diabetes can cause you to become insulin-dependent and can cause you to need insulin shots or mediation for the rest of your life depending on the severity.  If you follow a low sugar diet, you have the ability to drastically reduce the risk of ever having to worry about the disease [7].


  1. You Will Feel Satiated

Consumption of sugar releases the hunger hormone, ghrelin.  When this hormone is released, you will feel the sensation of being hungry.  This ties in with weight loss, due to the fact that if you can maintain satiety, you can manage the food you consume during the day as well as your cravings.  Focus on a low sugar diet so you can better manage the release of ghrelin into the system and not feel starved throughout the day and overconsume food – potentially leading to weight gain [8].


  1. Arne Astrup⁎ and Mads F. Hjorth
    Low-Fat or Low Carb for Weight Loss? It Depends on Your Glucose Metabolism
    EBioMedicine. 2017 Aug; 22: 20–21.
    Published online 2017 Jul 4. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.07.001
  2. He FJ1, MacGregor GA.
    Salt and sugar: their effects on blood pressure.
    Pflugers Arch. 2015 Mar;467(3):577-86. doi: 10.1007/s00424-014-1677-x. Epub 2014 Dec 30.
  3. DiNicolantonio JJ1, Lucan SC2, O’Keefe JH3.
    The Evidence for Saturated Fat and for Sugar Related to Coronary Heart Disease.
    Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2016 Mar-Apr;58(5):464-72. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2015.11.006. Epub 2015 Nov 14.
  4. Thayer RE.
    Energy, tiredness, and tension effects of a sugar snack versus moderate exercise.
    J Pers Soc Psychol. 1987 Jan;52(1):119-25.
  5. Apostolos Pappas
    The relationship of diet and acne
    Dermatoendocrinol. 2009 Sep-Oct; 1(5): 262–267.
  6. Andrea P. Myers, M.D. Ph.D.Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D.
    Sugar free, cancer free?
    Nutrition. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 Aug 19.
    Published in final edited form as:
    Nutrition. 2012 Oct; 28(10): 1036.
    doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.07.004
  7. Elias K Spanakis, MD, Philip E Cryer, MD, and Stephen N Davis, MD
    Hypoglycemia During Therapy of Diabetes
    De Groot LJ, Chrousos G, Dungan K, et al., editors.
    South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-.
  8. Yu Qing Low, Kathleen Lacy,† and Russell Keast†*
    The Role of Sweet Taste in Satiation and Satiety
    Nutrients. 2014 Sep; 6(9): 3431–3450.
    Published online 2014 Sep 2. doi: 10.3390/nu6093431
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