Why you may ask?
The answer: sugar just adds empty calories and does not contribute to the nutrients in the body. Not only that, eating sugar can bring a truckload of health problems in your life like uncontrolled weight gain, cavities in tooth, diabetes, etc.
Most of the health issues resulting from the intake of added sugars or other free sugars found in foods like cereals, bakery products, drinks, etc. While sugar is broken into glucose to generate energy in the body, added sugars are a poor source of energy as they are often consumed very quickly. Also, they have no real nutritional value, unlike the natural sugars.
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Added Sugars! What are they?
However, there healthy sugars that are naturally occurring sugars in fruits and are accompanied by fibers that are good for digestion. They naturally occuring sugars slow the rate at which these sugars are assimilated into the body. Unlike added sugars, the naturally occurring ones are good sources of energy.
How do the “Added Sugars” harm your body?
Did you know the American Heart Association has recommended sugar intake of 100-150 calories every day? But an adult consumes 308 calories in just a day. While some sugars are essential for the body, others can cause harm in a gamut of ways.
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A Gain in the Unwelcomed Weight
Obesity is considered as the most common aftermath of excessive sugar intake. But how does that happen? The answer: quick digestion of added sugars leads to a constant desire to eat more due to disruption in the production of leptin hormone in the body. A study at Yale University gave insights into the hunger hormone leptin, and its resistance, that has been directly linked with weight gain.
Spike in the Chances of Diabetes
There is a direct link between the intake of excess sugar and the development of Type 2 diabetes which is caused due to the intake of calorie-rich food. And its being extremely high in calories becomes typically problematic and directly leads to diabetes Therefore, people who consume more sugar are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than the ones with low consumption.
Sugary Consequences: The Dental Cavities
Sugary foods also lead to constant tooth decay and painful visits to the dentist. The bacteria present in the mouth react with sugar and release acid in the mouth that is harmful to the teeth leading to the formation of a plaque on the teeth. Continued consumption of sugar causes lasting damage in the form of tooth cavities.
Another glaring effect of excessive sugar consumption is the appearance of aging like wrinkles caused due to the damage to skin proteins like collagen and elastin. There may also be an imbalance in the female menstrual hormones, hence resulting in acne along the jawline. Sugar being the choice of the unwanted gut microbes, increased intake also causes skin conditions like eczema or other kinds of inflammations in the body.
Bad bacteria in your body that participate in the fermentation of undigested food portions absolutely love sugar. These bacteria produce various gases during the process that cause pain, uneasiness, and even flatulence. This ultimately also weakens the gut and the immune system.
It has been seen that eating sugary foods especially at night, leads to an extra gush of energy in the body, at a time when the body is preparing to rest or slow down. Hence, a reduction in sugar will help your body increase the production of the relaxation hormone melatonin and hence give you a peaceful sleep.
These are some of the primary ill-effects that excess sugar intake can have on your body. Each of these gives you a compelling reason to ditch the sugar and start to keep a tab on the amount of sugar you swallow daily. It may appear to be a daunting task, but cutting on your sugar intake is not that difficult.
How Can You cut Down on Your Sugar Intake?
Are you a sugar lover and are afraid that you may not be able to give up on it? Fret not! We’ve good news for you that there is a plethora of ways that assist in your endeavor to ditch sugar. You will realize that cutting down on those extra ounces of sweetness is not that a Herculean task as you had thought it to be. Here are a few steps that may be super handy in this venture:
Switch your table sugar
The first step you can take is having a small reduction in the quantity of sugar that you consume every day. If you make a drastic change, you may not enjoy your beverages. However, if there is a gradual change then your taste bud will get accustomed to it. Try to bring down the sugar you consume in your usual drinks like tea, coffee, or other food items like pancakes, cereal, etc.
It is always a good idea to pick fresh fruits, vegetables, dry fruits, etc. over-processed food items. This will considerably bring down your sugar intake over time. While frozen fruits may be preferred over the natural one due to their convenience, the former ones are heavily loaded in processed sugar.
Extracts are Better
Instead of adding direct sugars, you can go in for essences or extracts like orange, vanilla, lemon, strawberry, etc. This way you can add the sweet flavor that you love to the dish while curbing the content of the heavy sugar content. And worry about being a victim of health problems like diabetes and obesity due to high sugar content.
While many people resort to the intake of sweeteners to treat their taste buds, the switch to sweeteners leads to an increased intake of sugars. This will only act as a harbinger of sugar-caused health repercussions. Hence, it is good to cut these completely or limit their use to a bare minimum, that too occasionally.