10 Reasons to Say No to Sugar

It’s no secret: sugar is one of the biggest health hurdles in our culture. Candy, jams and jellies, juices, and even dressings and sauces all pack a surprising amount of added sugar. If you’re struggling to kick your sugar habit, these 10 Reasons to Say No to Sugar might be the motivation you need!

Here’s an alarming fact: Studies show that sugar can be more addictive than cocaine.

It’s no wonder it feels nearly impossible to stop or even exercise moderation. Refined sugar is addictive because people get hooked on the “high” they get when they eat it. Sugar triggers the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that’s released in people with drug use disorder when they get their fix.

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In our opinion, sugar is more dangerous than cocaine or heroin because it’s so readily available and widely accepted. And it’s no mystery why–over 80% of packaged foods in American grocery stores contain added sugar.

Thanks to all of this hidden sugar, most of us have built a reliance on the quick energy refined sugars give us. But the cycle of peaks and valleys that comes from this dependency on processed sugar is wreaking havoc on our bodies.

What is sugar doing in the body that’s so harmful? To be clear, the human body needs sugar—more specifically, glucose—to function. Glucose provides your body with energy. It’s a power supply to your brain, muscles, and organs. You can’t survive without it.

But those processed sugary treats you rely on to meet our glucose needs? They give you a boost throughout the day, but ultimately keep you stuck on an exhausting roller coaster. By the end of the day, you’re wiped from the highs and lows of blood sugar spikes.

Those sweet treats you’re eating aren’t just a convenient energy boost. They’re also deeply ingrained in many cultural traditions around the world. Sugary treats are featured in all our holidays and celebrations.

Halloween is the best example of this, because it’s a holiday that actually revolves around massive sugar consumption. That’s why we view Halloween as the perfect time to examine all the ways sugar is not so sweet to us.

There are literally hundreds of scientific reasons to cut out processed sugar but below are our top 10 favorites.

10 Reasons to Say No to Sugar

  1. Sugar is the number 1 enemy of healthy elimination because it slows food’s travel time through the GI tract.
  2. Sugar causes blood sugar spikes and crashes, making us more susceptible to hypoglycemia, mood swings, pre-diabetes and diabetes.
  3. Sugar is linked to premature aging. Too much sugar leads to chronic inflammation, which produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. The result? Sagging skin and wrinkles.
  4. Sugar can trigger overeating by increasing leptin resistance–the hormone that tells us we’re full. Over time, sugar also damages the brain’s dopamine receptor sites, making us need more and more in order to get our fix.
  5. Overconsumption of sugar is the leading culprit of all our major health epidemics including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
  6. Several studies link refined sugar to suppressed immune systems, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia.
  7. Sugar can trigger food allergies and autoimmune responses by suppressing the immune system. This signals the body to be on high alert for foreign invaders.
  8. Sugar can contribute to hormonal imbalances, exacerbating premenstrual symptoms. Doubling over with cramps every month? Cutting back on sugar might make a huge difference.
  9. Sugar feeds organisms in the body like bad bacteria, Candida, and mutated cells.
  10. Excess sugar gets stored as fat in the cells, tissues, and even around the organs, making weight loss difficult.

If that list gave you pause, it may be time to consider taking a break from added and refined sugar.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Make sure you have some low-sugar alternatives on hand to help you transition. Try our favorite Decadent Raw Brownies or Jo’s Pumpkin Fudge.
  • Increase the amount of naturally-sweet fruits and veggies you’re eating–things like Granny Smith apples and sweet potatoes.
  • Swap in a natural sugar-free sweetener in your favorite homemade treats, like monk fruit or stevia.
  • Focus on boosting your healthy gut bacteria by adding in a high quality probiotic, fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, and getting more fiber.

Need extra support in your sugar journey? The Conscious Cleanse can help!

The 14-day Conscious Cleanse reduces your sugar intake and replaces refined sugars with natural sugars. While cleansing, you’ll get your sweet fix through the natural sugars in fresh fruit and natural sweeteners (in moderation) like stevia, honey, agave, and maple syrup.

You’ll eat delicious, whole foods, and learn more about your body along the way!

Our next Group Cleanse starts November 1st, and we’d love to have you there.

Join us to keep refined sugar off your plate for the next two weeks and see what happens to your energy levels. You may never want—or need—to go back!

Now it’s your turn: Are you battling the sugar demon? Are you ready to ditch sugar for good? Leave usa comment below!

With love and natural sweetness,

The Conscious Cleanse Team

If you liked these sugar-reducing tips, we invite you to join our online community! When you sign up you’ll receive regular healthy lifestyle tips and new recipes. As a welcome-gift, we’ll send you our free Conscious Cleanse Guide to Greens smoothies for some smoothie recipes that are great for busting sugar cravings.

Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here.

Yes! I would love the free Conscious Cleanse guide to Green Smoothies.

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Showing 6 comments
  • Michelle Wolffe

    The timing of this article could not have been more perfect! Just this weekend, my family decorated for Halloween. One of the items placed out was a small glass pumpkin candy dish. My daughter immediately asked if we had candy corn to put into it, so yesteday I filled it. Almost everytime I passed it, I grabbed one or two….even while I was roasting my veggies or sipping my green smoothie! Ack! Years ago, I did the Conscious Cleanse with wonderful results and educated myself with some great habits, but sugar without a doubt has a hold on me again. For over a month, I’ve been trying to cleanse on my own, but I can’t seem to last more than 5 days or so. Breads creep back into my diet, which leads to sugar. I remember that it took awhile to loose the sugar craving, but once it was gone, it was amazing….I’m just struggling with the full commitment side of things since I’m trying to do it alone. Having lost my job, finances are tight so I can’t join you all for the Nov 1 start, but knowing you are all “committing” starting that date, I’m hoping to join you all in spirit! :)

    • Julie Peláez

      Thanks for reading Michelle! And glad you’ll be cleansing with us in spirit. You know about our repeat cleanser discount, right? Just making sure. If not, be sure to email us!

  • Mary Tschumper

    I have tried all sorts of diets over the course of the past 10 years. After having my four children the baby weight did not drop off and this is the first time I have stuck to a healthier way of eating. My sister and I are holding each other accountable and the smoothies are a major reason I love this cleanse. We are on day 7 so far and I know I have found a new way to eat better and drink better. The lemon water is refreshing, so much so I don’t think I will go back to coffee. Thank you so much!

    • Julie Peláez

      Wow, Mary! Congratulations. Thanks for posting.

  • Megan Vasquez

    It is so hard to quit sugar. I have been cutting back to more natural sources of sugar like maple syrup and agave but I think I even need more than that. I have been a sugar addict for years and I finally started getting hives from eating it as well as developing food allergies to gluten and dairy. One of my problems is that I feel like I am missing out so much anyway, that the last thing I want to do is cut out sugar too. I feel alienated from society. I wouldn’t be able to eat out at all. Even when avoiding gluten and dairy in restaurants I inadvertently get sugar too. In surprising things, like fajitas!! I wish that our society would link diet to health and quit subsidizing sugar producers. A soda should not be cheaper than an apple, it teaches us the wrong idea. An apple shouldn’t be a luxury.

    • Jo and Jules

      Hi Megan, We totally understand your struggle and you are definitely not alone. In fact this is very common. During our cleanse we have a low sugar plan to help people break their sugar habit. It’s fantastic that you are back off even natural sugars. Agave still has quite a glycemic punch. We try to use small portions of honey or even better, dates when needed. Eating out can be difficult to navigate at first when trying to avoid dairy, gluten, and sugar, but it’s totally doable. As we teach our cleansers, it’s always best to check out the menu of the place you are going to first. Use their menu as a list of ingredients and create your own dish off of what they have. Smiling at the wait staff and letting them know that you might be a little difficult due to food restrictions goes a long way and likely you weren’t the first person to make these requests. Hang in there. You’ve got this!

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