We as humans are generally drawn to sugar consumption and prefer to gobble on the sweet tasty food that the universe has to offer. It is what is in the human instincts that make the sweet treats so desirable to us. This liking for sugar starts from an early age as young as infants drinking cow milk that contains lactose as a source of carbohydrate for the baby. So it’s not unusual if people still have the same cravings for sugar in their adulthood as well.
Sugar is added to varieties of food available in the market these days, from baked goods to processed food, which makes it hard to escape from this sugary sustenance. There are different types of sugar that are first formed by extracting sugar juice from sugar beet or sugar cane plants and looks is a potent black syrup which is called molasses. There are three assorted types of sugar- white, brown and liquid sugars. These three colorful sugars are further sorted into various divisions under them.
The regular white granulated sugar, powdered sugar, superfine sugar, baker’s special sugar, sanding sugar, coarse sugar all come under the white sugars category.
As for the brown sugars group, it includes light and dark brown sugar, turbinado sugar (or raw sugar), Muscovado Sugar (also called Barbados sugar, khandsari, or khand), free-flowing brown sugar.
And the liquid sugars have liquid sugar, inverted sugar syrup under it. The appealing thing is the white sugar has nearly no molasses, while the brown sugar contains some of it.
While the basic table or granulated sugar is called sucrose and it is mostly used in regular homes, to clarify the varied types, let’s go through some of the other classifications. The fructose is found in fruits and honey; glucose that is found in honey, fruits and vegetables; maltose is found in barley; galactose can be found in milk and dairy products; xylose is found in wood or straw.
Disadvantages of Sugar Consumption
For an average adult, 25 grams of sugar (six teaspoons of sugar) per day is enough for ingestion. But there are some drawbacks related to the consumption of more sugar than recommended by the doctors. Feeding on excess sugar can bring numerous health issues that can be a life threatening for some too. Let’s go through some of these disadvantages that will help you reduce sugar intake for good.
Weakens immune system- Too many sugary products can upset the immune system to work properly and decreases its ability to fight bacteria. A regular soda or a piece of cake or anything filled with added sugar can be a great cause of the body’s cell to slow down the immune system to fight against harmful bacteria. The refined sweeteners can hamper your insulin regulation which can further result in excess sugar in the blood.
Causing health problems- Consuming a high amount of fructose can result in an elevated risk of blood pressure as the range of insulin goes out of control. Other diseases that excess sugar intake can cause are obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and certain types of cancer too.
Elevates the weight scale- Researchers have linked to excessive sugar intake with weight gain and chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It is the main source of unnecessary calorie ingestion with little nutritional values that comes from consuming sugar sweetened soft drinks. This kind of sweetened treats do little to satisfy your hunger and provide no protein to the body, instead, it leaves you to more hungry, and later on, overeat and increase your weight.
Decaying tooth- Sugar loaded food does not provide the nutrients as required by dental health. Frequently gobbling on food high in sugar or the sweetened beverages lead to cavities as these tasty treats produce acids that combine with saliva inside the mouth which in turn dissolves and damages the enamel that contributes to the tooth rotting.
Although the list goes on, the above reasons are some of the main ones that can be caused if sugar is devoured in excessive amounts. These severe detriments to your body can be refrained by following some guidelines to cut down your sugar intake into a limited quantity as required by your body.
How to Reduce Your Sugar Consumption?
1. Sugary beverages should be abandoned- It is one of the main causes for a high level of sugar in your body. Though they are considered as innocent side-drinks, these sodas, energy drinks, or packaged fruit juices bestow an astonishing amount of 44% added sugar to your diet.
To cut back the sugary drinks, you can have other alternatives like, water that contains zero calories; water with fresh lemon or cucumber or mint; teas of various flavors like mint, ginger, cinnamon, herbal or green tea; coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon but without extra sweeteners.
You might get tempted to switch to the artificial beverages that ascertain to contain zero calories, for example, the diet soda and sugar-free candy, but researchers have confirmed that these drinks are no different than the regular ones and are the same as harmful.
2. Avoid the added sugar- The combining of extra sugar with your food which already has processed sugar added to it can be a big damage to your health. Although you might disagree here that without adding sugar to foods like cereal, oatmeal, coffee or tea can be distasteful, you can instead try by adding fresh fruits (bananas or strawberries) or even dried fruits (raisins or apricots) to your cereals.
And if these still don’t work, use half a tablespoon of sugar if you must. You can also opt to make it salty rather than sweet by adding some fried egg or other veggies to your oatmeal for a tasty treat.
3. Read the labels carefully- Some of the canned food products or sauces that you might believe have nothing to do with processed sugar can shock you as these edibles also contain sugar in them. Some of them are like simple ketchup, barbecue sauce, soy sauce.
So if you are trying to cut back the sugar intake, its best to avoid these flavors to your food. You can try other options like vinegar, yellow mustard, fresh chillies, etc. that can add an extra kick to your cuisines and has no sugar in them too. It’s true that some products don’t use added sugar, but just for further precaution, always read the ingredients in the label at the back of the containers to get a clear perspective.
4. Fresh products should be prioritized- This can further be explained that instead of buying the easily available milk alternatives, nut butter, or canned fruits, you can buy the natural products and try to cook them as per your need without the flavored sugar added to it.
Though it is extra work but it can be helpful for those who are trying to cut the sugar intake in their diet. You can also opt for the ones that have a lower amount of sugar added to it which means you will have to compare the food labels on the varied products available in the market.
5. Opting for dark chocolate- People who are diehard chocolate lovers can switch to dark chocolate instead of the milk ones as they contain twice the sugar quantity. Dark Chocolate has a much lower sugar content and fewer calories, and also contains up to four times the fiber in comparison to the milk chocolates.
6. Watch out for the protein bars- That’s right! Those stacks of energy bars that you snack on when hungry can have 17 grams of sugar added to them. So the better alternative would be the low sugar protein bars also found on the market.
7. Fruits have in it too- If you seriously want sugar out of your life, this will be appalling for you. There are some fruits that contain good amounts of sugar in it which you need to avoid. Some of them are- mangoes, cherries, lychees, oranges, kiwi, guavas, pears, pomegranates, bananas, and some more. Here are some info about best fruits for diabetics.
Although it’s hard to elude all the fruits from your diet, because they are healthy for the body too, try to limit the consumption of some if you suffer from diseases like diabetes which can easily be elevated.
8. Including the dried fruits- Beware of the dried and canned fruits that are often assorted with sugar, and can also include concentrated juice, and syrups for the extension of their shelf life and reckoning an extra flavor to it.
9. Keep the stomach full- This theory says that when you are hungry, you tend to gobble upon sugar-laden eateries more than you realize. So to avoid such disasters, have a nice snack before leaving the house so as to steer clear from eating unhealthy food outside and not lose focus on the goals of diet.
10. Smaller portions are essential- Our body does need carbohydrates as a source of energy to function in our lives. These carbohydrates are broken down into sugar that is utilized by the human anatomy. The most vital one is Glucose and our brain requires about 130 grams of it to keep functioning.
But that doesn’t imply the inclusion of added sugary substances to the diet for your body to produce enough energy. Better still, you can cut back on fifty percent of your added sugar intake by splitting in half your regular portion food, like a simple chocolate bar or a bowl of ice cream.
So as discussed above, it seems very unlikely to fix the sweet tooth with such restrictive goals, but if you truly want to change your lifestyle and diet, these methods can be helpful to you. Giving up sugar intake completely can be impossible for some, especially those who are fond of sweets, but you have to know that too much sugar will damage your body internally without you even knowing until it’s too late. So it’s better to start this cut back process as soon as possible and lead a healthy life.
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