Blog How can reducing sugar in the diet improve immune function?

How can reducing sugar in the diet improve immune function?
Tuesday, 14. November 2023


Sugar in high concentrations can negatively affect our body and its ability to resist disease. There are several reasons why reducing sugar consumption could help boost our immune system.

1. Limit inflammation: Sugar is known to increase inflammatory processes in the body. Although inflammation is usually a response to infection, if the body is in a chronic inflammatory state, it can cause our immune system to weaken and reduce its ability to effectively fight new infections.

2. Optimizing the gut microbiome: Recent studies have shown that there is a link between our gut health and our immune system, with experts claiming that up to 70% of our immunity resides in our digestive tract. A diet full of highly processed foods and sugar-rich drinks can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, which could negatively affect the immune system.

3. Supporting the maintenance of a healthy body weight:Excess sugar in our diet can lead to weight gain and obesity, which are associated with a variety of health complications, including a weakened immune system. Visceral fat, which is stored in the abdominal cavity around visceral organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines, deserves special attention. This fat can damage immune function for the following reasons:

a) Increasing inflammation: Visceral fat produces substances called cytokines that can increase inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of chronic disease.

b) Hormonal imbalance:Visceral fat also produces hormones that can disrupt the hormonal balance in the body and thus affect immune function.

c) Increased insulin resistance: Excess visceral fat can increase the risk of developing insulin resistance, which can lead to high blood sugar and subsequent problems with the immune system.

For these reasons, we should strive to maintain a healthy weight and reduce visceral fat through a healthy diet and regular exercise.

4. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels: High blood sugar levels can weaken our body's ability to fight bacterial and viral infections. So keeping blood sugar levels stable can help boost our immune resistance.

In general, reducing sugar in the diet is part of a healthy lifestyle that can help support a strong immune system. This also includes regular physical activity, adequate rest, and a balanced diet rich in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats.

Finally, we have prepared a few tips for you to reduce the consumption of simple refined sugar in your diet:

1. Limit your intake of processed foods: Many processed foods contain hidden sugar. Read food labels and avoid those high in added sugars.

2. Choose high-fiber foods: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins are packed with nutrients and generally contain less sugar than processed foods.

3. Limit sugary drinks: Drinks like sweetened sodas, juices, and energy drinks can contain a lot of sugar. Try to drink water, unsweetened tea, or coffee instead.

4. Use natural sweeteners: Instead of added sugars, try using natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or fruit to add sweetness to food and drinks while avoiding refined sugar.

5. Plan your meals: Planning your meals can help you stay in control of what you eat and prevent a sugar binge. The best defense against sweet cravings is a regular diet rich in protein, which will prevent feelings of intense hunger during the day. In such moments, the body most craves quickly available energy and often demands something sweet.

6. Reduce portion sizes: Instead of cutting out sugar completely, try reducing the portion sizes of sugary foods and drinks and gradually reducing the amount of sugar you consume.

Remember, the goal is to create a balanced eating plan that is sustainable over the long term, not to eliminate sugar. It is important to treat yourself to something sweet once in a while but in moderation.

Are you having trouble resisting the temptation of sweet treats? Are unwelcome extra kilograms bothering you? Register on our website in the "Become a member" section. This will give you access to our interesting webinars dedicated to health and weight loss. In addition, you will have the opportunity to consult your eating habits with our nutritionist through an online consultation. Write to us, we will be happy to help you.