It's no secret that sugar is bad for you, but the potential damage it can do to the body is more than more people comprehend. Instead of looking at this issue from a tsk-tsk, this-is-why-you-shouldn't-eat-sugar perspective, let's look at it from the vantage point of the positive effects of a sugar-free life. When one gives up the sweet stuff, the body immediately starts rejoicing, kicking in various healing processes, proving beneficial in both the short and long term.
Giving up anything that makes us feel good is always challenging at first. However, sugar is trickier because it is marketed under many different names, so a certain amount of vigilance is necessary. Other names for sugar include sucrose, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, barley malt, and high-fructose corn syrup (and this is just scraping the surface). To get the full, no-sugar diet effects, read food labels carefully and learn to recognize all the sneaky ways sugars are inserted into what we eat.
But first, it's important to examine what happens to the body when a person removes sugar from his or her diet, starting with the more immediate results and progressing to possible benefits that come further down the line.
The initial withdrawals will by no means feel like a benefit. It would be remiss not to caution that feelings of depression or irritability when first giving up sugar is common. This happens because the body is used to receiving a certain amount of sugar to burn for fuel and energy. When that mainline supply is cut off, it knows it has to conserve the little sugar it's getting (from other sources like fruits and carbs) to ensure all the essential body processes can keep working. It's a matter of prioritization.
As a result, the brain doesn't get all the fuel it needs right away, and depression and lethargy are the unfortunate side effects. The good news? It's only temporary.
It's common knowledge that a diet high in sugar dramatically increases the odds of developing diabetes. But what you may not realize is these odds drop almost immediately when you quit sugar. The pancreas doesn't have to produce as much insulin to handle all the sugars coming in, and the liver will begin to process the toxins it stored up instead of focusing on processing sugar.
Quitting sugar boosts your immune function. Sugar appears to have a direct impact on the white blood cells' ability to kill harmful bacteria. One study found this ability was reduced by as much as 50% for up to five hours after consuming sugar.
It stands to reason that removing sugar from your diet helps white blood cells do their job more efficiently, strengthening the immune system and protecting the body from colds and other illnesses.
Within 72 to 96 hours of calling it quits on sugar, the first visible advantages of your sacrifice may present themselves in a surprising place: your skin. Sugar dehydrates the skin, so with sugar removed from the equation, the skin immediately starts to rehydrate and replenish.
The color of your complexion will become healthier and heartier, oily skin will begin to clear up, dry skin will improve, and you may even notice fewer wrinkles.