5 Reasons to Give Up Sugar This February
If you’ve seen Cancer Research UK’s ‘Sugar-Free February' Campaign advertised recently, you’ll know that it’s all about giving up sugar for a whole 28 days to raise money for charity.
Of course, if you’ve signed up to Cancer Research UK's version of sugar-free February, the biggest benefit will be that you’ll be helping to beat cancer sooner. Your money (and hard work) will go towards funding life-saving research.
But what are the other benefits of going sugar-free this February? Well, we’ve got 5 pretty good reasons below:
1) IMPROVED DENTAL HEALTH
Sugar is a major cause of dental diseases. For example, tooth decay occurs when sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque. This forms the acids that can break down enamel and cause a hole or ‘cavity’. Tooth decay almost always leads to fillings and often leads to teeth having to be extracted. Brushing helps to remove bacteria, but tartar build-up often forms, and our oral health suffers.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is therefore to limit the amount of sugar and starchy treats in our diets. Instead, try fibrous vegetables and fruits as well as cheese, yogurt and other dairy products as they contain calcium and phosphates to strengthen the teeth. To prevent cavities, we also recommend regular visits to the clinic, brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste and an Ollie & Darsh professional fluoride treatment.
2) FEEL GREAT AND BOOST YOUR INTAKE OF HEALTHY FOODS
Added sugar and junk food go hand in hand. Unfortunately, junk food and feeling healthy doesn’t! By cutting out sugar from your diet, you’ll likely to have more energy and feel less sluggish; have better concentration; and find more room for nutrient-dense foods.
When you're eating unrefined, whole ingredients that are naturally sugar-free, you are loading up on vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, water and proteins that fuel your brain and your body. This helps you to bounce through your day as opposed to dragging yourself from one sugar fix to the next!
Tip: Try foods like fruit, veg, whole grains and pulses for a nutritionally balanced diet.
3) KEEP A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Reducing your sugar intake helps you avoid extra weight gain and keeping a healthy weight cuts the risk of 13 types of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It’s all about making small changes that fit in with your lifestyle. This means it’s easier to stick to your healthy eating in the long term. Remember, you can still treat yourself every now and then. Just remember to practice moderation.
Tip: Even little changes can add up to a big difference overall.
4) BECOME A SUGAR DETECTIVE
While it’s no secret that chocolate, cakes and sweets are high in sugar, it’s startling how much hidden sugar can be found in supposedly ‘healthy’ food and drinks.
The last 30 years have seen a big focus on fat-free diets. The low-fat, low-cholesterol diet craze that eventually gripped the country arguably started with TV fitness guru Diana Moran in the 1980s.
Cashing in on obesity, the food industry sat up and took notice of what was a global health issue. Some of the world’s food giants opted to buy into the diet industry through low-fat, light, lean, diet, zero, low-carb, and low-cal products. The problem with a low-fat diet is that in many instances, people turn to refined grains and sugar instead. What’s more, nutrition labels and ingredient lists show that many of these ‘low fat’ products that line the supermarket shelves are instead packed with a lot of sugar.
The body actually needs fat…and especially 'good' fats such as Omega 3 fatty acids, which feed the brain, improve circulation and work against inflammation.
Be Mindful, Read Labels, and Pay Attention to Sugars.
There are many sugar substitutes that can be used to provide a hint of sweetness without the calories or ill effects of sugar. Whether it's a homemade salad dressing or baking from scratch, you will learn to be a better cook as well as a sugar-free eater by trying new-to-you sugar-free recipes!
5) IMPROVE YOUR WILLPOWER
Finally, we all know that sugar can seem addictive. Resist the temptation to have sugar this February and your willpower to avoid it will be much stronger by the end of the month. Say no to sugary treats, conquer those cravings and feel better than ever!
Have any questions about the effects of sugar on your teeth? Want to know how Ollie & Darsh can help prevent tooth decay and cavities? We’re always here for advice. Call us today on 0151 65 910 65.