We’ve all heard it before — added sugar is awful for you. Large quantities can wreak havoc on your health and lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Despite the dangerous health consequences of consuming sugar, Americans are still eating it. Candy, sodas, ice cream treats, processed foods… The sugar addiction is real, and obesity has become an epidemic.sugar

The serious health damage being caused by sugar is preventable. Cutting back on sugar consumption can show immediate, positive effects on overall health and wellness. In a recent study, researchers were able to prove dramatic effects of cutting out sugar that appeared in just 10 days.

Dr. Robert Lustig worked alongside a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, in a study to show the effects of cutting sugar out of a child’s diet. In only 10 days, all of the children who participated in the study dramatically reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers were able to decrease triglyceride levels by an average of 33 points and drop LDL cholesterol levels by 5 points, also dropping diastolic blood pressure.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years — a scary statistic. According to a report from the University of North Carolina, the average person shovels in 300 calories of added sugar every day, and roughly 20% of Americans exceed 700 calories of added sugar on a daily basis. Elyse Powell, one of the report’s co-authors explained, “Not only are we getting added sugar from obvious places like cakes, candy and soda, but it’s also coming from healthier-sounding packaged products like salad dressing, pasta sauce and yogurt.”sugar (2)

So even if you’re not big on sweets, you might still be overloading on sugar that’s hiding in processed foods. Exactly what you’ll experience when you stop sugar intake will depend on the size of your addiction. Those who are in the habit of overdoing it when it comes to sugar may show withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and restlessness. Despite any temporary side effects, cutting back on sugar for 10 days has major health benefits!

1. Your Heart Will Thank You

According to James J. DiNicolantonio PharmD, cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid-Atlantic Heart Institute, kicking your sugar habit will cause your risk of dying from heart disease to plummet threefold! “Added sugar chronically raises insulin levels, which activates the sympathetic nervous system, increasing blood pressure and heart rate,” he explained, and added, “Within a few weeks time, you might expect to see a 10% decrease in LDL cholesterol and a 20-30% decrease in triglycerides.”

2. Your Skin Will Clear Up

Add inflammation to the list of sugar’s negative effects on the body. Sugar is a known inflammatory that can trigger breakouts. One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when non-soda drinkers consumed just one 12oz can of soda every day for three weeks, their inflammation levels increased by 87%! Save on expensive acne face wash, zit cream and concealer by cutting out sugar.

3. Your Mood Will Brighten

Ditching sugar can make you cranky for a while, but once you’ve gotten over your addiction, you’ll feel better than ever. A Columbia University study found that women who eat a diet high in added sugars and refined grains are more likely to experience anxiety, irritability and mood swings!

4. You’ll Get a Better Night’s Rest

A sugar high causes a crash later on, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish during the day. Sugar also triggers the release of cortisol, which can interfere with sleep cycles. Give up added sugar and you’ll be more awake during the day and get a better night’s sleep.

5. Your Memory Will Improve

A study conducted at UCLA concluded that a diet high in added sugar hinders learning and memory. Over time, eating an excess of sugar may damage communication among brain cells! Cutting out sugar will help save your brain cells from damage and keep your mind sharp.

The list of health benefits from cutting added sugar out of your diet is a long one. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also be healthier and help protect your body from disease and illness. Check out the video below for advice on how to ditch added sugar once and for all!

h/t: collective evolution