Our hormones are temperamental. Something as unassuming as a sofa can upset their delicate balance, as our sister site Byrdie recently discovered. Unsurprisingly, foods have an immeasurable effect on our hormone health—so much so that Sara Gottfried, MD, based her career and best-selling book, The Hormone Reset Diet, on this "fork-first" philosophy.
The one food Gottfried would cut from everyone's diet? Sugar, especially artificial sugars like those found in processed foods. "Overloading on sugary foods can lead to insulin resistance, where your cells become numb to insulin," she told Byrdie. This essentially inhibits your body's ability to break down food into energy due to an influx of glucose. In the end, you're left with excess fat, potential weight gain, and possibly even a sugar addiction.
What's more, insulin resistance can lead to a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is a name for a cluster of conditions that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. "Metabolic syndrome [includes] increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels," explains the Mayo Clinic.
To curb sugar intake and cravings, try subbing out sugar for agave nectar, organic honey, or stevia. Advance your hormonal health by cutting out processed foods, and be sure to fill up on good fats, like those found in salmon, avocados, and almonds.
Have you cut sugar out of your diet? If so, share your success story and advice below!