Sugar is something which most of us crave for. While intaking such diets, we do not put on the limit because of its taste. We consume sugar mostly after meals like sweets, candies, and drinking products.
WHO’s new draft guidelines suggest daily sugar consumption should be limited to 5% or less than 10% which means women need 6 teaspoons (100 calories) of sugar a day and men need 9 teaspoons (150 calories) of sugar a day.
Most of people rely on processed food and drinks for their meals and snacks which contains added sugar contributing more calories intake in a day.
Why do we love sugar?
According to Professor Susanne Klaus, a biologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, craving for sugar in human is inborn. It stimulates dopamine – a feel-good chemical which makes eating sweets pleasurable and compels people to eat more and more such foods.
A low sugar diet, sugarfree diet, and no added sugar diet have gained popularity as people become conscious about their health and disadvantages of consuming excess and added sugar. Even in the market naturally sweetened drinks and no sugar added products are more visible and more in demand.
Reasons to cut excess sugar?
Many adults are gluttonous and thus they consume sugar more than the recommended quantity. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Kolkata, India https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/10/sweet-stuff estimate that adults in US gain 15% of their calories from added sugars only which excludes the intake of natural sugars from fruits and milk.
Excess consumption of sugar has its cons too.
Weight gain & obesity – Obesity is rising high day by day and has become one of the challenging health issues globally. Consumption of more calories is the biggest factor behind its rising rate. Foods including added sugars and other sweetening agents provide more intake of calories than required. Such beverages and foods do not control hunger but play a role in gaining weight. Obesity leads to many health ailments like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, and so on.
Risk of type – 2 diabetes – Diabetes is another major health challenge worldwide. The intake of more sugar is directly responsible to raise in its number. More calorie consumption increases the risk of obesity and further obesity increases the risk of diabetes.
Prolonged high sugar consumption proves resistant to insulin which causes a rise in blood sugar levels which enhances the risk of diabetes.
Risk of Depression – A processed food and a diet high in sugar are responsible for developing depression symptoms. High sugar foods like cakes, artificial creams, and processed foods bring changes in the blood sugar levels which directly affects mood and increases the chance of developing depression.
Skin aging -Improper food choices worsen wrinkles and speed up skin aging. High intake of sugar increases the production of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) which is responsible for affecting skin aging maturely and prematurely.
More production of AGEs accelerates skin aging and wrinkles formation.
Lets reduce the excess sugar consumptions
Start slow consumption – Changing diet or making a diet plan is a slow process. Shifting from a full sugar diet to either low sugar or no sugar diet is also a big challenge and thus it needs patience and perseverance to continue it.
Cutting off the most obvious sources like cakes, brownies can be a good start initially. Listing sugar foods like processed beverages, bottled drinks, and eliminating the same from diet can be proved as a milestone in reducing sugar intake.
No one can reduce its consumption immediately but gradually it is possible to get rid of sugar addiction or excess sugar consumption habits.
Avoid simple carbohydrates and added sugars – Simple carbohydrates from foods are easily breakable into sugar and the human body does it effortlessly. They can be replaced with whole grains.
Added sugars or artificial sugars are sweeter than the natural sugar and other sugar. Consuming such sugars intensifies a person’s crave for sugar and hinders in reducing its consumption.
Splenda, Stevia, NutraSweet, Sweet’N Low, are some of the artificial sugars that should be avoided in consumptions. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/stevia-side-effects
Read the label before purchasing – Label reading is one of the safest and easiest ways to cut off from sugar. Some of the products with added sugar labels should be used cautiously or in a limited consumption as they can stimulate blood levels and cause the risk of heart diseases. Some of the chemical names like saccharin, neotame, sucralose, aspartame on the bottle need cautious purchase and wisely use to get a healthy life.
Practise consuming whole food – Generally, the doctor says if you have teeth consume more fruits and whole grains instead of drinking juices and such products. Adding sugar is easy in drinking products but not in whole grain.
Replacement of all types of drinking products is available in the market for example tea/coffee has a replacement with herbal or green tea, similarly juice with fruits.
The Last Corner
Health is wealth, and it should be our primary goal. Our work, daily activities, lifestyle are all dependent on our health. Thus, it should be an honest choice in food consumption based on our body type and requirements.
Reducing and cutting off the excess sugar or sugar diet can be a good idea which can improve our overall health. Alternatives are always available with us we only need an honest intention to accept and bring them into our daily habits.
Let’s say no to excess sugar together and yes to good health and healthy life ahead.