It’s widely known that too much added sugar is bad for you. It can mess with your energy levels, cause weight gain, and is linked to many chronic diseases.
So, because of sugar’s negative health effects, you may be wondering: How exactly can sugar affect my hormones? This post is going to answer exactly that question – as well as a couple of other things about sugar as it pertains to your hormonal health.
The Type of Sugar Matters
When we’re talking about sugar, it’s important to ask yourself: Is it added sugar?
Look out for things like high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and other processed sugars.
Simple sugars cause blood sugar spikes which can, in turn, cause hormonal issues. These are found in things like candy, sports drinks, desserts, and alcohol.
On the other hand, sugars from complex carbohydrates and fruits are a little different. They contain fiber which slows down the effect that glucose has on the body.
How Does Sugar Affect Fertility?
When you have a blood sugar spike, your body reacts with the fight-or-flight response.
In other words, your body thinks there’s an emergency when there’s not – and it responds by releasing cortisol.
Over a long period of time, too much cortisol can seriously mess with your hormones. And you can imagine what’s happening to your body when this is happening at every meal.
With these negative health effects in mind, here are some of our top tips to make quitting sugar an easier experience.
Quit Cold Turkey
Rather than dragging out the process of quitting sugar, it’s much easier to jump into the detox phase and get it over with.
It takes about two weeks to feel a difference (and to stop having cravings) after you quit.
Increase Your Dietary Fiber Intake
Eat regular meals filled with fiber, whole food carbohydrates, protein, and fat so you feel full.
Sugar cravings can be a lot worse when you’re not keeping your body fed.
That’s why it’s especially important to eat healthy, fiber-packed foods in those initial two weeks.
Drink Enough Water
Often when you’re dealing with cravings for sugary treats, you might just be dehydrated.
So, when you think you’re craving a sweet snack, try going for a big glass of water instead.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
While quitting sugar, you should avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose.
Don’t worry, though. You can still include natural sweeteners in your food. (I don’t expect you to go from sweetened coffee to black coffee and be happy about it.)
As an alternative, try going for things made with monk fruit sugar or stevia instead.
Don’t Use Snacking as a Coping Mechanism
Be mindful of when you’re subconsciously wanting to snack because of stress. Having a stress management system in place will be incredibly helpful here.
Additionally, you can try switching out may of your sweet snacks with low sugar alternatives.
The Bottom Line on Sugar and Hormonal Health
Reducing your sugar intake is an important way to support your hormonal health and fertility.
When you quit sugar, expect to go through a bit of a detox phase, where cravings may get stronger. It’ll be tough at first – but remember why you’re doing it. Your body will thank you.