Sugar has become a global problem at the moment and it has become the biggest legal drug which destroys people lives without even a slight notice, This article we will understand what is sugar, why you should reduce sugar intake and most importantly how you do that
What Is Sugar?
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate found in both food and beverages that we daily consume. Once eaten, sugar is broken down into glucose which is ultimately used for generating energy inside our body.
Common white sugar that we consume, has been extracted from a plant, then refined into a crystalline substance. some sugars occur naturally in fruits, vegetables, dairy and grain products.
There are also artificial sweeteners like stevia/stevio, sucralose, Acesulfame K (brand names: Sunett and Sweet One), Advantame, Aspartame (two brand names: Equal and Nutrasweet), Neotame (brand name: Newtame), Saccharin (two brand names: Sweet ‘N Low and Sweet Twin), Sucralose (brand name: Splenda) and many more. These are getting more popular as alternatives to sugar options, these sugar substitutes are zero or low calorie these sugar substitutes can be made from natural leaf extracts, and some are manufactured.
Why You Should Reduce Sugar?
1. It Increases The Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
the sedentary lifestyle has caused many changes to our dining patterns overtime. fast foods, sugary beverages, snacks everything contains bad carbs including sugar. continuous high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels). This causes blood sugar levels to rise up and increases the risk of diabetes.
2. Excessive Weight Gain
Colas, energy drinks and many store-bought beverages include a high amount of added sugar. The worst thing about these sugar components is, It causes people to get addicted to them. It is like the most legal drug in the world, this continuous consumption increases the weight gain of people by causing high-fat accumulation in the body.
3. Increase the risk of cancer
Diets high in sugar increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for cancers. Many studies have shown the link between higher sugar intake and the risk of cancers.
4. Heart Disease
Consuming too much added sugar increases the levels of triglycerides, which ceases artery-clogging deposits and increase blood pressure levels. From all causes of deaths in the world, heart disease places the number one.
5. Lead To Fatty Liver
The high intake of sugars has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver. It’s a condition in which excessive fat builds up in the liver.
6. Cause depression
A a diet high in added sugar and processed foods may increase your chances of developing depression. Researchers have shown that high blood sugar levels cause dysregulation of neurotransmitters which causes this bad impact on mental health.
7. Energy Drain
High-sugar foods can negatively impact your energy levels by causing a spike in blood sugar followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar. you will not face this energy-draining cycle if the food you consume is low in added sugar, rich in fibre, high in proteins or fat. Unfortunately, fast food and high sugar beverages do not have this consistency.
Ways To Reduce Sugar Intake
1. Substitute Sugar With Natural Sweeteners
Try using ripen bananas, Dates, Apple sauces, dried plum purees to replace the sugar that you use to make cakes, muffins, cookies and any baked item. The fibre in these slows down the absorption of sugars into your blood and it is also packed full of nutrients, unlike sugar.
2. Replace Store-Bought Candy With Nature’s Candy
If you are craving something sweet occasionally, try to include some nuts, a few dark chocolate chips, and some fruits like frozen grapes, baked apples with a dash of cinnamon or dipped in natural spread like peanut butter. Be creative and invent your own stuff.
3. Decrease The Amount of Sugar
It’s unbelievable but true you don’t need that much sugar in your favourite recipes. In most recipes, you can reduce the amount of sugar by at least 1/4 without any noticeable difference in the taste or the texture.
4. Purchase Unsweetened Groceries
Try to buy unsweetened products like milk or yoghurt whenever you can, so that you get do decide on the amount of sugar or syrup to use in it or even you can substitute them with natural sugars per your liking.
5. Practice Reading Labels
Sugar is added to a whole bunch of food you might not expect it in. The ingredient list might not say that there is sugar in it directly but indirectly it can be added as evaporated cane juice, rice syrup, corn syrup, molasses, dextrin, and all the words ending in “OSE” like lactose, maltose, dextrose, and sucrose represents sugar. Try scanning the ingredient list before you make a purchase and if you see sugar with in the first few ingredients on the list, try to search if there are any substitutes available instead.
6. Hydrate Yourself
Your sugar craving can also be a mistake for thirst. So if you are craving a sweet beverage, try drinking a glass of water first. If water just doesn’t work maybe because you are used to the juices or energy drinks. Try flavouring the water by adding some herbs like mint fresh fruits like strawberries, lemon or cucumbers. It’ll make such a difference.
7. Go Home Made
whenever you can make your own salad dressings, jams or spreads so that you can control the sugar in it because store-bought condiments might contain higher amounts of sugar in them. when you are at grocery shopping, try to choose marinades, nut butter, ketchup and sauces with zero added sugar. Swap your morning cereal for a bowl of rolled oats topped with nut butter and fresh berries, or an omelette made with fresh greens.
Oatmeal is one of the best addition to the breakfast and ideal for people who are having diabetics or showing pre-diabetic signs, here are the benefits of Oatmeal
8. Request Half of What It Is
If you are out buying a flavoured coffee or tea you can request it half of what it is. This way you can cut down the amount of sugar in it. If you are going to have 100% fruit juice try to dilute it with some carbonated water half and a half or quarter per your liking. It feels like you’re having some kind of cola that you enjoyed a lot. Consume whole fruits rather than sugar-sweetened fruit smoothies. Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey, sugar or agave.
When you gradually decrease the amount of sugar in your diet, you notice your sugar cravings gradually disappear. You can retrain your taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness of foods. You might be surprised to see you don’t ever desire highly sweet food after a while. Everybody has a different relationship with sugar and you know best what works for your body
We truly believe the information we composed above will help you immensely to correct the current relationship you have with sugar and we hope you will put more attention to reduce sugar intake and focus more on your overall health
If you are interested in learning more about this topic we find this article very much informative as well.