Though we drool over scrumptious funfetti cookie bars and swoon over sweet novelty cakes, we’ve all been warned against refined sugar and how it negatively impacts our bods. But now, there may be even more reason to get rid of it, even if you do it for just under 10 days. A new study has found that restricting refined sugars can have a seriously good influence on your health. And it might not be how you’d think.
A recent study published on News Wise saw researchers at UC San Francisco and Touro University California gather 43 children between the ages of nine and 18 who were considered obese “and had at least one other chronic metabolic disorder, such as hypertension, high triglyceride levels or a marker of fatty liver.” The children were provided with nine days worth of food and beverages (all things from the grocery store that would be considered “kid food,” like turkey hot dogs and pizza) that restricted sugar but also added in starch to maintain the same levels of fat, protein, carbs and calories that the kids were used to at home.
The children were also each given a scale to weigh themselves daily in the hopes of weight stability, not weight loss. If they did start to lose weight, they were given more food to keep them at a steady number. “When we took the sugar out, the kids started responding to their satiety cues,” said Jean-Marc Schwarz, PhD of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University California. “They told us it felt like so much more food, even though they were consuming the same number of calories as before, just with significantly less sugar. Some said we were overwhelming them with food.” Hear that? Less refined sugar = Feeling like you have more food.
But that wasn’t all the researchers discovered. After a mere nine days on the sugar-reduced foods, “virtually every aspect of the participants’ metabolic health improved… Diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5mm, triglycerides by 33 points, LDL-cholesterol (known as the “bad” cholesterol) by 10 points, and liver function tests improved. Fasting blood glucose went down by five points, and insulin levels were cut by one-third.” All of this has them concluding that this is “the strongest evidence to date that the negative effects of sugar are not because of calories or obesity,” but instead, because of the sugar itself.
It looks like giving sugar a break might be something we each should give a go.
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(h/t Pop Sugar; photos via Getty and Brit + Co)