Why should we avoid binge-ing on sugar diet? There is no doubt that sugar makes food palatable and tasty to the tongue. Sugar also helps in promoting variety in a healthy and balanced diet but we need to give a thought to the health issues white crystals lead to and why one should avoid taking in daily life. On the contrary to what is preached by dietitians and health experts, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends having 6-12 teaspoons of sugar every day. Is that not strange!
Let us dig deeper and try to understand that there are some natural sugars, artificial sweeteners and some sugars added during processing. We are blessed by nature with sugars found naturally in fruits in the form of fructose and as lactose in dairy products like milk. Natural sugar is considered to be the safest and is accepted by body. The artificial sweeteners or “sugar-free” substitutes which have been approved by FDA include stevia, saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. The processed sugar is a combination of glucose and fructose found in refined sugar extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets. White crystals have become an inseparable part of the daily diet unknowingly we end up.
Is it necessary to have sugar? Do we really need it?
Many nutritionists believe and practice that added sugar in the form of processed food is not at all needed by the body. This is because the human body has its inbuilt mechanism of generating glucose from starch, protein, and fats that we consume whenever mandated by the body by a process called gluconeogenesis. So we do not need sugar to be consumed orally to perform the inside body related tasks. Also, we are blessed with sugar by nature! So the main culprit is the added sugar in the form of refined sugar which leads to several health risks, irrespective of age and gender. The sedentary lifestyle complicates the symptoms arising from sugar consumption. Also over a period of time the way generations have started consuming has made sugar risky for health. It can be in the form of processed beverages-juices, soft drinks, fast food, cakes, and flavored yogurt. In fact, a new theory has cropped up suggesting “Drinking a bottle of Beer is healthier than drinking Cold Drink“.
The debate is on – Which one of sugar or fat is more evil? But some of the most common risks associated with excessive sugar intake that have afflicted generations irrespective of their age are obesity, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, dysfunctional metabolism, reduced absorption and processing of proteins and lipids, cancer as the sugar fertilizes carcinogenic cells and tooth decay. It has been researched that excessive consumption of refined sugar can affect insulin and leptin resistance.
Bottom line is in order to keep your body fit and follow the trend of #LifestyleNewReligion, keep the intake of refined sugar to a minimum.
Why the brain is addictive to Sugar?
Sugar is sneaking into our diets and is ready to use source of energy for the brain which needs the maximum power to run. Glucose is what is needed by the brain to carry on its functions. It has been researched that similar to the impact of drugs when we consume sugar, dopamine is released, a “feel-good” chemical in the brain. This dopamine receptors increase as we increase our intake of sugar leading to more vicious craving cycle. Over a period of time, addiction to sugar impairs cognitive skills and self-control. This proved – “It is all in the MIND”.
Tips to Avoid Consuming Sugar
You need not cut out sugars from your life completely to stay healthy and do not cut back on sugar from day one. Make it a gradual process so that taste buds and body metabolism adjust over a period of time. Stop adding sugar on top which you do while taking coffee, tea, breakfast cereal. Start cutting on sugar in the recipes which need sugar by small amounts. Check the ingredient lists when buying ultra-processed foods. Cut down on buying and eating ultra-processed foods, anything which is canned, packaged and not cooked at home. A strict No for words ending with “ose” high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, corn sweetener, cane sugar, fruit juice concentrate. Focus more on natural sugars in high fiber vegetables, fruits and cooking food from scratch.