Sugar has become a need of every home and has become one of the most widely used substance in the world . From starting the day with coffee to the dessert after dinner, teaspoon of sugar is common. While everyone enjoys the sweetness of sugar,there is mounting evidence that eating too much of it can be bad for health. In this article,we will discuss the dangers sugar imposes on health and how to reduce the daily intake of sugar
What is sugar?
Sugar is also known as a form of carbohydrate occurs naturally in a lot of vegetables and fruits . Additionally, it is included in a alot of processed foods and drinks such as soda, candy and baked goods. It is also found in variety of different forms such as glucose, fructose and sucrose.
The dangers of sugar:
The effect that the sugar has on our weight is one of the biggest risks. Sugar is high in calories but also has no significant value in nutritional point of view. When the consumption of sugar is too much, our body stores the additional amount as fat. As the time passes by, if the sugar intake is not controlled this over consumption of sugar will eventually lead to obesity as well as other health problems like heart diseases,diabetes and even cancer.
Additionally,sugar is also quite addictive. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter in our brain related to pleasure and reward is released by consumption of sugar. Over time, we can develop tolerance to sugar and our brain can be used to of release of dopamine, so we have to consume more and more in order to satisfy the need. This can lead to a cycle of overindulgence and tolerance.
The effects of sugar on our oral health are another risk. When we consume sugary foods and baverages it causes bacteria in our mouth to interact with sugar producing acid that can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Diseases caused by excessive sugar consumption:
Here are some of the diseases caused by intaking excessive amount of sugar:
Type 2 diabetes:
It is a chronic condition in which body stops producing enough insulin or becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone which aids the body in controlling body sugar levels. Consuming high amount of sugar can lead to a surge in blood sugar levels which can ultimately result in diabetes type 2
Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can raise blood pressures,cause inflammation and causes
weight gain and all of these can in turn lead to different heart diseases. So those who are consuming high amount of sugar are at higher risks to develop heart diseases.
Eating high amount of sugar can eventually lead to weight gain and obesity. Sugar can cause weight gain without offering any nutritional value as it is high in calories but low in nutrients.
Sugar is one of the main contributors of dental decay. The bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugar when you consume sugar and drinks creating acid that erodes enamel of your teeth
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease:
Consuming high levels of sugar can lead to high level of fats in our liver which can result in non alcholic fatty liver disease. This in turn can damage our liver and can also result in liver failure.
Consuming high amount of sugar can also lead to different type of cancers including breast cancer,colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.
How to reduce sugar intake:
Fortunately, there are several strategies to cut less on sugar
and protect our health. Here are some tips to help you in reducing the blood sugar level :
One of the best ways to reduce sugar intake is that you should read the label of every product you want to buy and check the amount of sugar present in it . Even processed foods that are not sweet in taste contain sugar content. You can find the foods that are rich in sugar and choose healthier option which does not contain sugar.
While reading the label, also make sure to look for the hidden sources of sugar like high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, dextrose and sucrose. Try to stay away from the things which contains more than 10 grammes of sugar content.
Choose whole foods:
Another way to reduce sugar intake is to take whole foods. Whole foods are always preferred over processed foods as they are low in sugar and high in nutrients. You can lower your intake of processed foods by choosing whole foods over them which are less in sugar content.
Use natural sweetners:
Natural sweeteners like steva,honey and maple syrup should be used instead of sugar. These sweeteners donot have same detrimental effects on health as sugar and also have lower calories aswell.
Avoid sugary drinks:
One of the main sources that we use daily to intake sugar in our diets is sugary baverages like juice, soda and soft drinks. By staying away from these drinks you can drastically reduce sugar intake in your body. Try sipping unsweetened tea or water instead of these.
Cook at home:
Cooking at home is a wonderful strategy to manage your diet’s sugar intake .When you are at home you can choose to not use processed food and sugar and instead use whole food and sugar substituents instead which are rich in nutrients.
Plan your meals:
Plan your meal before time as it can help you to reduce the sugar intake and also helps you to understand better what you are going to have for meal and if its better in calories or not. To reduce cravings at night try to include fruits, vegetables and whole grain into the meal
Be mindful of potions:
Even low sugar foods can cause weight gain and obesity if consumed in big quantities.So,be mindful of the potions. Use smaller plates,bowls to prevent overeating
In summary,sugar is a chemical that is both ubiquitous and harmful both at the same time. Even though alot of people like sweetness in everything but consuming too much sugar can lead to variety of health problems including tooth decay and obesity. By using label, choosing natural sweeteners, cooking at home and paying attention to the quantitiy we eat we can lower sugar intake and safeguard our health.
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Hi, I’m Affan lateef , a pharmacist by profession. I have a degree in pharmacy and over 5 years of experience helping people achieve their health goals. I write about various topics like health, artificial intelligence in health, mental health, diet and weight loss. Follow me here on these platforms given below.