What we put into our bodies affects our health. Having a high sugar intake can cause so many issues within our body, and it’s an addiction I’ve tried to curtail within my own life (as evidenced by various Whole 30‘s!).
Let’s chat about some of the health impacts of too much sugar…
According to the American Diabetes Association, while eating too much sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, it is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes. This disease not only has an impact on your body’s ability to produce insulin, but it can also negatively affect your eyesight. According to this eyeglasses buying guide created by Mark Agnew, founder and CEO of eyeglasses.com, this is an impact of diabetes that is often under-discussed. He notes, diabetic retinopathy is quite common and is a type of eye damage familiar to many folks with diabetes.
The retina sends images via the optic nerve to the brain for processing. If you have too much glucose in your blood, it can cause irreversible damages to the delicate vessels which may mean poor vision, visual impairment or even blindness.
With our eyesight in mind, let’s take a look at some easy ways we can cut our sugar intake:
- Cut Back on Sugar-Filled Drinks – Instead of reaching for a can of coke when you’re thirsty, opt for water or sugar free juices.
- Avoid Sugar-Loaded Desserts – These may be cakes, ice-creams or lots of chocolate, they will be jam packed with processed sugars that just don’t bode well with our bodies in large quantities. Consider making from scratch and enjoying in moderation.
- Avoid Sauces With Lots of Sugar – Many sauces have sugars in them. Ketchup is one of the most famous for having lots and lots of sugar inside, so always read labels if you’re looking to lower that sugar intake.
- Eat Full-Fat Foods – Many “low-fat” versions of things like yogurts or cheeses make up for the lack of flavor by adding sugar.
- Eat Whole Foods – Eating single ingredient foods are a great way to steer clear of added sugar.
- Check for Sugar in Tinned Foods – Again, reading labels is key.
What foods are good?
There’s no need to fight those sugar cravings. They happen and they won’t go away until they’re satisfied. But, when they happen, you can make an effort to eat the right sugars. Instead of reaching for a cookie or candy bar the next time the craving strikes, grab a handful of fruit.
But, don’t grab just any fruit. You need a fruit that ranks low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index was created to rank the foods that cause high blood sugar. The food is typically ranked out of 100, with 100 being the largest blood sugar spike.
Here are some fruits that are low on the glycemic index and can be mixed with other things for a delicious snack or meal:
- Berries – Add them to some granola with honey and milk to create a sweet delicious breakfast with natural sugars.
- Figs – Eat them with crackers and cheeses or on their own. Full of goodness with a delicate flavor.
- Cherries – Great snack but beware of the pips; cherries are packed full of goodness!
- Pears – Oven bake pears and top them with a crumble or put them in pies!
- Apples – With peanut butter or almond butter for added elements, they are delicious and full of goodness.
- Peaches – Peaches can be enjoyed during spring and summer when they are at their peak.
- Grapefruit – Squeeze this into a juice if it’s not too bitter for you. Delicious for breakfast.
Our eye health is just one of many things we must be sure to take care of. Too much sugar can affect our skin, our liver, pancreas, and heart.
Overall, the key to maintaining health for ALL your body parts is regular exercise, a good sleeping pattern, and a balanced, healthy diet.
Skip the processed desserts, cut back on refined sugars you don’t need in drinks and foods, stop adding sugar-filled sauces to your foods — these small changes will make a world of difference in your sugar intake and help you see, function, and live healthier in the long run!
Stay healthy, friends! xoxo