The fact that sugar can damage your health isn’t news. We’ve known it since ages. What’s really surprising is how sugar intake doesn’t seem to be decreasing even though research links this issue with multiple health complications, and even death.
What makes it even more difficult these days to track your sugar intake is how the companies have creatively devised new names for the same old compound. To make processed products look healthy, food companies no longer label sugar as sugar; they’ll instead use corn syrup, cane juice, sucrose, fructose, agave nectar, palm sugar and other similar terminologies.
Pseudo sugars are also on the rise, and you’ll see them in a lot of places. So when you’re combating this one ingredient, you need to familiarize yourself with the entire family to tackle them efficiently.
The World Health Organization recommends that the intake of sugar be reduced to less than 10% of total energy intake.
A further 5% reduction can yield benefits in ways that have been substantiated in the natural experiment of the Second World War. The sugar intake during that time reduced from 15kg per person to 0.2kg per person, demonstrating a drastic reduction in dental caries and improved well-being.
The American Heart Association puts numbers to make it easier to grasp. The women should consume no more than 100 calories or 6 teaspoons of sugar in a day; for men, it is 150 calories or 9 teaspoons. If we combine all the sugary foods we consume on a daily basis, it is safe to assume we’re blowing our limits.
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So the next time you reach out for the sugar bowl to dump some in your evening tea and/or coffee, consider this: the morning cereal, bread, the desert after lunch, snacks, and pretty much everything else you’ve consumed all day has sugar in some form or the other. Can you really afford to add more to your beverages?
If you responded to the previous question in affirmative, here’s something that’ll help you rethink and reevaluate just how much is at stake.
1. Sugar Is Damaging Your Mood
There are two parts to this equation. First, the moment you binge on sugar-rich foods, you temporarily feel exhilarated due to the release of dopamine – a hormone. This can also be called the sugar rush, the momentary ecstasy you feel while the sugar is pumping through your blood.
But once the sugar levels drop back to their previous levels, you’re more likely to experience the sugar crash. This is popularly associated with anxiety, moodiness, even depression. You feel stressed, reaching out for more sugar-rich foods to compensate for feeling low. And the vicious cycle goes on till you begin to see how most of your dresses seem to have shrunk all at once.
2. Sugar Is Hurting Your Kidney
From soda, carbonated drinks to caffeinated beverages, sugar is present in pretty much everything you like. Even that salad dressing you’ve been using to flavor up your salads has sugar hiding in it. Excessive soda intake leads to bloating which indeed isn’t the best feeling. Similarly, too much sugar paves the way for obesity and diabetes, which in turn increase the risk for kidney diseases. Just maintaining your water intake isn’t enough – you need to cut back on sugars as well.
3. Sugar Lowers Libido
There’s a reason why skipping dessert on a date night is considered good practice. Pumping your body with sugar can have an impact on your sex hormones, ranging from lowered libido to decreased stamina, even irritability. It affects the males more significantly than the females.
A research conducted on 74 men of different ages confirmed the idea that high sugar intake can significantly reduce the levels of total and free testosterone in the body. You can piece together the rest of the story.
So if obesity and heart problems don’t make you rethink your sugar intake decisions, understand that it can affect your sexual well-being as well. Regardless of whether you’re in a closed relationship or not, this is possibly the last problem you’d like to have on your plate.
4. Sugar Affects Your Liver
Your liver has a unique function that allows it to convert carbs into fats. Too much of sugar throws this function out of balance, littering your liver with too much fat. In fact, some medical practitioners put sugar and alcohol in the same category where their impact on the liver is concerned.
Not only this, too much sugar makes your body insulin resistant, which in turn leads to diabetes and a whole range of medical complications associated with it. Haven’t obesity and diabetes already received their honorary mention here a little while ago?
5. Sugar Makes You Age
Do you fret over wrinkles, sagging skin, acne and the like? This is one good reason to cut back on your sugar intake. Too much sugar is known to impact the skin just as it does on pretty much every body part. But it’s not just your skin that’s taking a toll. You begin to age prematurely for a wide range of reasons if your sugar intake isn’t in check.
Too much sugar makes you feel tired all the time, hampers your attention span, and generally makes you moody. You are prone to dental caries, joint inflammation, heart diseases, liver problems, and the most horrific of them all – weight issues. For all of these reasons (and more as mentioned earlier), you begin to lose the will to live, the motivation to achieve, and the strength to compete in the race of life.
Sugar is not just destroying your physical health, it is damaging your mental peace as well. Eliminating unwanted processed sugar from your diet can help you get that hourglass body and you can improve your well-being too.
Would you still go ahead and dump all that unnecessary sugar in your coffee/tea? How many cups do you consume in a day anyway? Can you do the math how much sugar it is just from your beverage of choice?
Remember, too much of anything is damaging. Sugar is no exception. However, what you need to understand is that the point in question here is “too much” sugar. You don’t necessarily have to quit all the sweet things in life. You just need to moderate how much you consume and here is where working with a qualified nutritionist can do wonders.
The good thing is that you can contact nutrition experts using your laptop and smartphone. Like most medical practitioners, dieticians have also incorporated telemedicine into their practice. This means now you can get the best health advice without having to visit a healthcare facility.
We wish your journey to health, wealth, wisdom, and longevity is as easy as it gets!