Dietitians reveal what REALLY happens to your body when you give up sugar – and the eight immediate benefits you’ll see after cutting it out for good
- Excessive consumption of refined sugar can lead to serious health issues
- Two Australian dietitians revealed the benefits of giving up processed sugar
- Sydney-based Chloe McLeod and Jessica Spendlove also gave tips on quitting
- Ms McLeod said many are unaware of the damage sugar does to digestive health
Many Australians admit to having a sweet tooth, but do we really know what processed sugar is doing to our bodies?
Sydney-based accredited dietitians Chloe McLeod and Jessica Spendlove revealed exactly what happens to your body when you quit refined sugar – and the eight immediate benefits you’ll see after cutting it out for good.
Speaking to FEMAIL, the experts shared tips on curbing sugar cravings and why everyone should consider cutting down.
Accredited dietitians Chloe McLeod (left) and Jessica Spendlove (right) revealed what happens to the body when you quit refined sugar
Before eliminating all sugar sources from your diet, Ms McLeod said it’s important to differentiate between refined or processed sugars and naturally occurring sugars like fructose found in fruit and dairy products.
‘Once you’ve cut out refined sugar, found in food like cakes, cookies, lollies and soft drinks, you’ll notice a change in energy levels almost instantaneously,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘Refined sugar is digested very quickly and causes an instant spike in blood sugar levels which gives you a sudden boost of energy, followed by a dramatic drop which is why we feel fatigued and lethargic.
‘By replacing refined sugar with more slowly digested, slow release carbohydrates, you’re getting a steadier source of energy throughout the day which means your concentration, stamina and focus will all improve.’
Refined or processed sugar causes a sudden spike in energy followed by a dramatic drop, causing fatigue and lethargy (stock image)
WHAT ARE THE EIGHT BENEFITS OF GIVING UP REFINED SUGAR?
* Improved energy levels
* Clearer, brighter skin
* Weight loss
* Enhanced concentration and ability to focus
* Less prone to mood swings
* Better digestive health
* Reduced risk of chronic illness like heart disease and type 2 diabetes
* Reduced inflammation in the body
Ms McLeod recommended swapping sugary lollies and soft drinks for fresh fruit, which we should be eating two to three serves of per day.
‘Contrary to what a lot of fad diets say, it doesn’t matter what fruit it is – berries, bananas, oranges, stone fruit – you should be getting your daily amount.
‘Fresh fruit will give you the sweetness you crave after quitting processed sugar. Milk and yoghurt are other good substitutes, so long as you choose the unsweetened versions.
‘Natural Greek yoghurt is a great snack for anyone trying to reduce their refined sugar intake.’
When it comes to cravings, Ms Spendlove said desire depends on how much refined sugar you are used to eating.
Ms McLeod (pictured) recommended swapping sugary lollies and soft drinks for two to three servings of fresh fruit per day
‘For people who consume large quantities of processed food every day, it can take a few weeks to fully leave the system.
‘Cravings occur when the brain and body are used to consuming certain amounts of a substance, usually at specific times so the brain learns to expect it at different points throughout the day.’
Ms Spendlove said quitting refined sugar can initially trigger fatigue, energy crashing, headaches and mood swings until the body adjusts, so it’s important to fill up on satiating food.
Cutting refined sugar out of the diet can initially cause tiredness, fatigue and headaches so dietitians recommend increasing your intake of fibre rich, satiating food (stock image)
‘Filling up on fibre is so important when you’ve trying to give up sugar, because it’s filling.
‘When you’re hungry, you are more inclined to crave.’
She also stressed that long-term over consumption can lead to chronic illness such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as lifestyle complications like obesity which can increase susceptibility to cancer.
Ms McLeod said it all comes down to finding the right healthy eating habits for you.
‘Make the best choices for you. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing the best you can.’