Scientists have long understood that sugar is bad for the body. In fact, some of the most recent studies and research work published by the National Library of Medicine on sugar are focused on methods for individual and mass reduction of sugar consumption. While sugar itself is not the root cause of long-term ailments, the scientific consensus is that it is an inflammatory substance that is linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver issues, and other conditions.
Although it’s no surprise that reducing sugar helps avoid disease, what might surprise you is how personally reducing your sugar consumption can affect the overall healthcare landscape. As individuals, we are part and parcel of the global healthcare ecosystem, which brings us to the first key research-based benefit of reducing sugar intake.
Help Stem the Demand for Nurses and Other Health Workers
Consuming less sugar allows you to be healthier, directly reducing your personal impact on the American healthcare system. In the PBS documentary Blood Sugar Rising, experts reveal that diabetes and pre-diabetes affects over 100 million Americans. This costs the U.S. healthcare system a staggering $325 billion annually. Furthermore, the International Diabetes Federation’s findings reveal that 60% of the worldwide healthcare workforce are comprised of nurses. This underscores how nurses play a key part not just in the prevention of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes for at-risk patients, but also in the patient care of all types of diabetes. Unfortunately, this also highlights the pre-pandemic shortage of nurses, particularly specialist nurse practitioners trained to respond to specific diseases or conditions. Understanding the healthcare shortage is particularly crucial in the 21st century.
The good news is that e-learning has spurred new and streamlined avenues for producing in-demand specialists. As traditional brick-and-mortal nursing schools struggle to meet these demands, education empowered by online universities are helping produce the necessary medical specialists. This can be observed in how long-standing e-learning proponent Maryville University designed its online RN to BSN degree as a fully remote program to streamline the process for registered nurses. The RNs who complete the web-based bachelor’s degree can go on to fill highly in-demand positions not just as diabetes and pulmonary care specialists, but also as genetics nurses, nursing informatics managers, educators, or supervisors.
In short, the healthcare professions are coming up with innovative ways to stem the rising demand for frontliners, diabetes care experts, and public healthcare staff. And by simply reducing your sugar intake, you can do your part in this fight by not contributing to the growing number of patients with diabetes, obesity, and other diseases that are linked to sugar.
Avoid Bad Moods
Despite its physical ill effects, sugar is known as a mood lifter. However, a new study by the University of Warwick begs to differ. After collating the data from 31 published studies involving 1,300 participants, university researchers found that sugar had virtually no discernible positive effect on mood. In fact, those who consumed sugar throughout the different studies consistently reported feeling not just more tired but also less alert compared to those who didn’t consume sugar. This led the researchers to conclude that the so-called ‘sugar rush’ is a myth. And while sugar may not have direct psychological effects, their immediate physical effects can result in bad moods.
Improve Muscular Gains
Consuming lots of refined sugars will also limit your ability to put on muscle mass. Bones to Bulk details how refined sugars like sodas, many sports drinks, and candies can have devastating results on your lean muscle gains. This is on top of how sugar can significantly reduce your energy and alertness levels, thereby decreasing performance during workouts. If bulking up or developing lean muscle are part of your health goals, simply reducing your sugar intake can help you achieve gains faster.
Reducing your sugar intake is a matter of willpower. Remind yourself that by keeping yourself healthy and sugar-free, you’re doing your part to reduce the burden on diabetes and nurses. Keep your eyes on your long-term health goals. Look to alternatives like our Immunity Gum to reduce or avoid sweet tooth cravings. The research is in: there are plenty of benefits to reducing your overall sugar intake.
Written by Laura Peay