Sugar is not good for your health, we all know that. Even research says that consuming added sugars increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular complications, obesity, diabetes, etc. But does it mean you should completely cut down sugar from your routine? Read along to find out.
This blog talks about sugar addiction, the disadvantages of sugar addiction, and also sheds light on whether you should completely avoid sugar. So, read in full.
What is Sugar Addiction?
Whenever you consume sugar, your body releases dopamine, which combines with other chemicals in your body. This leads to an instant surge of energy which makes you feel good. Once it happens a few times, and your mind connects sugar with energy, it starts to depend on it. And this is what we call sugar addiction.
What are the Disadvantages of Sugar Addiction?
Sugared or sweetened beverages such as sweet tea, soda, or juices contain simple sugars. Simple sugar consumption increases your urge to eat more. And when you eat more, you consume more calories and thus gain weight.
Research even says that people who consume more sugary beverages like sodas tend to weigh more than those who don't.
Let's say you're suffering from diabetes and tooth decay at the same time. Now, consuming sugar will increase glucose production in your body and will worsen the symptoms. Also, it'll aggravate tooth decay so much that you might lose the tooth. This way, sugar consumption might also worsen comorbidities.
Several studies suggest that excessive sugar consumption can lead to inflammation, high levels of triglycerides, blood pressure, and obesity. All these complications often increase the risk of heart issues such as cardiac arrest.
Type 2 Diabetes
Having too much sugar leads to obesity, which is a significant risk factor for diabetes. Even research says that people who consume beverages sweetened with sugar, even fruit juice, are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don't.
Sugar-rich foods or drinks lead to high insulin and blood sugar levels. This can increase the secretion of androgen, which causes inflammation and increased oil production. And all these activities play a major role in the development of acne.
Is Complete Elimination Actually Required?
Nope, complete elimination isn't required. Some people try to cut down all the sugar they can, even from fruits and vegetables. And this can lead to several nutrient deficiencies. It's because fruits and vegetables contain numerous nutrients, and sugar is just a small part.
What you should avoid is refined sugar or white sugar. You should also avoid sweetened beverages. Avoiding the above will help you prevent the complications sugar brings.
Can Sugar Be a Part of a Healthy and Balanced Diet?
Yes, you can consume sugar in a limited amount. In fact, limited sugar can be a part of a healthy and balanced diet. Although we humans don't need sugar for survival, and it may not add any nutritious value, it still makes the food taste good.
How Can You Reduce Sugar Intake?
Here are some tips to reduce sugar intake or tackle sugar addiction:
Completely banishing sugar from your routine isn't viable for sugar addiction recovery. And if you do so, you might end up consuming way more sugar than usual. So, start small by taking baby steps.
Let's say you put 2 teaspoons of sugar in your milk each day. Try putting one and a half. And a few days later, drop to one. This way, you can easily reduce your sugar intake without messing with the taste.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
While packaged fruit juices may seem healthy, they come with added sugar which can be harmful. So, make sure to avoid them along with other sweetened beverages such as tea, coffee, and soda. You can go for low-calorie or sugar-free drinks if you have a habit of drinking fluids.
Also check: Foods to avoid with cold drinks
Replace Sugary Snacks
Most people tend to consume sugar-rich foods such as muffins, doughnuts, candy bars, etc. as snacks. While you cannot snub your urge to consume snacks, you can surely replace them with healthier ones that come with low sugar.
Here are some low sugar snacks you can rely on:
- Roasted Chickpeas
- Banana or whole fruit bars
- Homemade energy bars
- Baked Tortilla Chips
Replace Refined Sugar with Natural Sugars
Some foods require sugar, period. You cannot add salt to your cake or pastry, right? However, you need not necessarily add refined sugar to such foods either. Instead, you can natural sweeteners as well like dried fruits, honey, jaggery, etc. which is a healthy alternative to refined sugar. It contains fewer calories and is comparatively way less harmful if consumed in moderation.
Sugar is an inevitable part of the Indian diet. However, similar to every other thing, sugar consumption should be under control. Otherwise, the consequences can be tough on your health.
However, with the aforementioned tips at your disposal, you need not worry. Follow them to slowly reduce sugar intake from your diet, defeat sugar addiction, and enjoy a healthy life.