Sugar, the sweet staple found in an overabundance of foods, has become a growing concern due to its impact on our health. While it serves as a primary energy source and adds flavor to our meals, excessive sugar consumption can lead to numerous health issues.
In this comprehensive article, we will explore the benefits and risks of sugar consumption, providing valuable insights to help you make informed dietary choices.
Sugar is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in various foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. When consumed, sugar is broken down into glucose, serving as the primary energy source for our body's cells.
People often think that the word sugar means table sugar. It does, but it also refers to many other types of sugars including, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose.
However, for many, the only source of sugar comes from processed foods, such as soft drinks, candies, and baked goods, to enhance their taste.
According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of added sugar daily, far exceeding the recommended limit of 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
This excessive intake can have significant consequences on our mental and physical well-being.
Before bad-mouthing sugar, let’s point out the essential purposes it has in your body.
Added sugar can have the opposite effect.
If you’re a lover of soft drinks or sweets, chances are you might feel:
Low energy levels: A study concludes that participants felt tired and less alert after 1 hour of sugar consumption than a control group.
Low mood: Sugar intake can increase rates of depression and mood disorders in males, an investigation found.
Bloating: If you’re one to have digestive conditions(irritable bowel syndrome or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), some sugar might cause bloating and gas.
For many years, the general assumption was that consuming soft drinks and sweets gave you a boost of energy (sugar rush), but as more studies are ongoing, it points in the opposite direction.
If you want to stray away from sugared products, read the label to find ingredients, such as:
How about changing soft drinks to tea? Read about the benefits of tea for your health!
Apart from the side effects mentioned above, too much sugar intake can lead to
To enjoy the benefits of sugar while minimizing the risks, consider implementing the following strategies:
Overall, added sugar is not needed to function. Sugar from natural sources provides you with other essential nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy.
Sugar can be hard to escape after many years of flaunting advertising and a stack of colorful-vibrant variations.
If you are determined to cut added sugar from your life, analyze your consumption.
How many snacks, drinks, and foods do you eat daily containing added sugar?
After having a clear view, opt to cut little by little those types of snacks/foods and start introducing your body to more suitable ingredients that will boost your energy, confidence, and health.
Frustration is common, and it is okay to feel it, but don’t stay too long in that mindset. Your body is a machine that needs adequate care. It can be annoying, overwhelming, and even expensive (depending on your region), but if you take care of your body, it will take care of you for many years ahead.
Save yourself, and save some money (because you won’t be spending money on all those treats) by saying no to sweets! Of course, moderation and awareness can also make a difference.
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