Clean Eating 101: How Sugar Affects Your Physical and Mental Health
Now, before you think we're the bearers of some seriously bitter news, know that we have a plan; a non-sugary but still delicious plan (yes, that's possible).
Read on to find out how you can eliminate sugar and its harsh side effects and instead, opt for a diet full of nutrients that will energize your mind and body.
Clean Eating 101: The Side Effects of Sugar
Junk food is a name we can take at face value, because it really is junk!
It might taste good at the time, but unhealthy food takes a toll on your body in both short and long-term ways.
When we talk about avoiding sugar, we are talking about “added sugars.”
Added sugars are found in everything from honey, white sugar, brown sugar, agave, maple syrup, and molasses. Added sugars are also found in sugary drinks, like soft drinks.
On the other hand, sugars that occur naturally, like in fruits, are perfectly healthy.
The American Heart Association has laid out the amount of added sugar that is safe in a day.
For men, the maximum amount of added sugar you should eat in a day is 150 calories, or 9 teaspoons.
When you think about that in food form, that's a single Snickers bar or one can of Coke.
Eating more than the recommended dosage of sugar can lead to scores of unwanted health problems, including diabetes, obesity, heart problems and even cancer.
In addition to harming your body, an excessive amount of sugar takes a toll on your mental health.
Clean Eating 102: Your Mind on Junk Food
Some of the negative effects on our brain are obvious when it comes to sugar.
For example, eating sugary foods consistently causes intense cravings, which lead to even more sugar intake.
But some of sugar's negative side effects on our minds are much more serious and take longer to appear.
Impaired memory and slowed learning have been linked to excessive sugar intake, along with depression and anxiety.
In both cases, the way sugar interacts with neurotransmitters brain causes you to have unstable and variable moods.
Especially as we age, high sugar intakes are a bad idea.
It is linked to cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's, due to the way sugar interacts with insulin and blood glucose levels.
While the side effects of too much sugar can be scary, there is an easy way to prevent these problems in your life.
Clean Eating 103: Essentials to Clean Eating
Make sure that too many sweets aren't making your life sour! Design a diet that is free from excessive sugar.
The first thing you need to do for a sugar-free diet is take an inventory of what you usually eat and jot down the sugar in each of those items.
If your diet varies a lot from day to day, we recommend keeping a food journal that spans 7 days.
After that time is up, it's time to do some math!
Add up all of the sugar you normally consume in a day and average it out. If your average daily intake is above the recommended 150 calories, it's time for a change.
One way to cut down on sweets is by gradually changing each sweet treat to a healthier one.
A faster way to go sugar-free is by giving yourself a diet overhaul and following our free 1-day meal plan.
Using a method called the Perfect Plates, our free 1-day meal plan outlines everything you should eat, from breakfast to dinner.
This diet is free of empty calories like sugar and designed to fuel busy fathers through a full day.
Sugar-Free are We
Designing a sustainable diet plan is empowering. But do you know what's even more empowering? Sticking to it!
Every time you refuse the easy, unhealthy choice and make the more difficult, healthy choice, you are winning.
Health is not something that you can achieve and forget about. It is a goal that is always changing and challenging us, especially as we age.
Of course, it always helps to have friends and coaches along the way.
We invite you to join the Fit Father Project! You'll gain the tools, know-how, and accountability to help you transform your body and live longer.
With us, you will meet fathers who have the exact same challenges as you do. And you'll meet your match when it comes to coaches.
Join the brotherhood if you are ready to take your health to a new level.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi
Founder, The Fit Father Project
Brotherhood Nickname: “Mr. Results”
Bragging Rights: Has helped over 35,000 fathers lose fat, build muscle, & get healthy for their families
P.S. If you haven't seen my FREE 1-Day Meal Plan for Men over 40, I highly recommend you click here to get a free copy sent directly to your email. Remember: nutrition is a core foundation of weight loss for men over 40.
Small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info.