We are all unknowingly consuming poison every single day! Yes, that’s right and it’s in our very own kitchen – sugar. If you breathe a sigh of relief because you are not a fan of sweets; well, then what about the cups of tea or coffee you are downing every day? Even if that’s not in your list, here is a fact – Your cereals, fruit juices, ketchup, peanut butter and pasta sauce contain sugar too! Shocking right?
We aren’t kidding – about 75% of the items in your grocery items contain sugar. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), men can have a maximum of 37.5 grams, of added sugar a day, which is about 9 teaspoons and women can have a maximum of 25 grams, which is equal to 6 teaspoons a day. This means everything you eat in the entire day, from breakfast to dinner plus all the munchies in between should totally contribute only 6-9 teaspoons of sugar.
Imagine grabbing a can of soda, Friday nights with a bottle of alcohol or just a glass of favourite juice on a scorching day – you are charging your body with excess sugar in minutes. Even if you rely entirely on home food, unless you are making it from scratch it is going to contain sugar. Even the ones that are considered to be healthy contain sugar, especially the low-fat alternatives. In fact, they are the ones loaded with sugar. Another problem is that we can’t escape from these sneaky devils by looking at the food label. Added sugar comes in several fancy names like Golden syrup, corn syrup, treacle, dextrose, maltose etc., making it difficult to spot them in food labels.
WHY YOU SHOULD BID GOODBYE TO SUGAR
REDUCED CHANCES OF DIABETES
We all know that excess consumption of sugary and refined food causes diabetes. Cutting sugar from your diet will help you shed excess pounds – especially from the belly. Moreover, eliminating sugar from your diet is going to balance insulin production by preventing pancreas from secreting excess insulin, which would otherwise be required when you depend on quickly digestible sugary carbs. These prevent the risk of type-2 diabetes and help you live a healthy life.
NO MORE DENTAL PROBLEMS
Sugar is the major cause of your dental woes. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your teeth that cause cavities. They also cause the build up of tartar in the teeth that causes several oral health problems. When you avoid sugar, you will be surprised by stronger teeth and gums and significant improvement in your overall oral health.
ACHIEVING YOUR WEIGHT GOALS BECOME EASIER
Sugary carbs metabolise faster. Therefore, the excess sugar gets converted to fat and is stored in the body. Fats cells get distributed all over the body especially in the belly area. So when you cut off sugar, the entire calorie stored in the body in the form of fat gets used up for energy and there will not be any unnecessary fat accumulation. The excess fat you’ve been dying to lose leaves you for good.
REDUCED RISK OF HEART DISEASE
Consumption of sugar causes weight gain and obesity, which are directly linked to heart diseases. Sugar stores up fat around the belly. This is called visceral fat that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Fat also tends to accumulate around the arteries that can disrupt the flow of blood and cause blocks that may lead to heart attacks and stroke. Therefore, ditching sugar is the best way to keep your heart happy and healthy.
YOUR SKIN BECOMES FLAWLESS
If you are not happy with your skin, sugar could be the culprit causing several skin issues. Sugar causes Glycation, which means sugar attaches to protein. Protein keeps your skin supple, plump and repairs collagen. Glycation results in Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) that majorly disrupt the activity of protein in repairing the skin. This reduces elasticity and other skin issues that result in saggy, wrinkled and dull skin. Eliminating sugar reverses these damages and helps you achieve younger looking radiant skin.
WHAT ABOUT NATURAL FORMS OF SUGAR?
Now that we are convinced that refined sugar is pure evil, this leads us to a question about the healthier alternatives of sugar – Can we replace processed sugar with natural ones like honey or pure maple syrup? Well, these are natural occurring sugars and unprocessed that makes them healthy right?
Although, it seems logical – at the end of the day our body sees them all as sugar. The World Health Organisation terms natural sugars like jaggery, honey, maple syrup etc. as free sugar. These sugars are low in glycemic index that will not spike up your blood sugar as quickly as processed sugar. However, you still cannot exceed the recommended dosage of sugar per day. Excess consumption of even natural sugar is sure to mess with your system.
Sugar has no nutritional value. It does nothing but inflict harm to your body. So, how can one term natural sugar/sweeteners as healthier? Naturally occurring sugars are slightly lower in GI (glycemic index) and contain other beneficial nutrients including antioxidants. Switching to natural sugar will cut total sugar by a huge percentage. But, moderation is the key – not more than a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Anything more than that is bad. Therefore, it’s all about eating healthy and in moderation.