Sugar has developed a negative reputation across the globe concerning one’s physical cum mental health. According to Medical News Today, regular sugar intake triggers frequent aging, obesity, risks of developing cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. Such research influenced the global health experts calling to decrease the level of sugar intake, where some said to completely eliminate sugar from the diet. But how bad is it to our health? Let’s check it out.
Sugar, in simple words, is a crystalline carbohydrate that makes food sweeter in taste. There are many forms of sugars, like lactose, glucose, and fructose that naturally occur in vegetables, fruits, and others. But nowadays, the maximum food that we consume contains a high level of “added” sugar– sugar added to a particular product by its manufacturer to enhance the flavor of the food. Just one can of coke contains about 7 teaspoons of extra sugar, while a medium-sized chocolate bar contains about 6 teaspoons.
A study published in 2013 by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommended that regular consumption of sugar-rich food and beverages increases body weight both in adults and children. But the World Health Organization (WHO) review report shows that increased consumption of such beverages is directly linked to obesity.
Now the good thing is that eliminating sugar from your diet is now easier than you think.
Tips to Cut Down Sugar Intake from Diet
- Cut down the frequent use of table sugar, molasses, and syrup from your diet. Avoid intake of beverages and food containing coffee, cola, cereal, pancakes, etc.
- Toss out the intake of soda. Water is the best drink of all. However, if you want to drink something sweet without affecting your weight, then diet drinks are better than sugar-sweetened drinks.
- Try to include fresh, and frozen, canned, or dried fruits in your diet. Always pick the canned fruit juice or fruits cupped in water. Conversely, avoid eating syrup-canned fruits, especially the rich syrups. Wash, rinse, and drain the excess juice or syrup from the canned fruit through a strainer.
- Choose products and compare the food labels to check which packed food contains the minimal level of added sugar. Fruit, some vegetables, and dairy (extra sugar, if any, are identified from the ingredients list.
- Skip oatmeal and add fresh fruits to your morning diet. You can start with the bananas, strawberries, and cherries, including dried fruit like raisins, apricots, and cranberries.
- Use natural sugar extracts; that is vanilla, lemon, almond, etc. Also, try to use as much less sugar as possible but spices like cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, nutmeg, allspice.
Benefits of Quitting Sugar from Diet
Eliminating dessert from one’s diet will certainly affect the level of energy in the body. Sugar content food is significant to get instant energy which the brain recognizes as high energy.
But that is not the reality as “high sugar” food usually ends up in hard “sugar crashes”, thereby draining energy and replacing it with sluggishness. Sugary foods were never reliable to gain body energy. It rather focuses on body fueling with nutrient-rich foods, including fruits, lean meats, whole grains, leafy greens, and exercise. All these have a positive impact both on the brain as well as the body.
By properly fueling the body, it will no longer experience sudden crashes in energy, and instead, it will experience a constant supply of healthy energy.
Ameliorated Body Weight Management
After skipping sugar from the diet, reducing body weight and maintaining the same will becomes much easier for most people.
Sugar is known as the house of empty calories– calories that only get added to your body without being any source of nutrition. Candy, most beverages, and other sweets and cakes are the primary sources of empty calories.
In order to lose weight safely and effectively, the body requires sufficient quantities of fiber to combat and metabolize sugar, which includes sugar found in some fruits and vegetables.
Food items containing additional sugar have minimum to zero fiber content in them. Therefore, sugar gets converted to glucose, which is then stored in the body as fat.
Substituting sugar-rich foods with some healthier options, like vegetables, fruits, and grains help in maintaining optimal (naturally low) blood sugar level.
Regular intake of sugary foods can make insulin ineffective to your body’s sugar level. Plus, it will increase your belly fat storage.
Increased Focus, Mood, Mental Clarity, and Health
Sugar often acts as a source of reward, especially in times of stressful or emotional situations. However, it is better to remember that excessive sugar-rich food consumption, though compulsively reacts to “feel better”, does more harm to the body.
Sugar is good only to swing your mood from bad to good, to reduce stress, plus to feel lethargic and aid poor eating habits. The more people get addicted to sugary food, the more harm they are causing to their bodies and mental health.
Studies show that people who stopped taking high sugar-content, unhealthy foods were found both mentally and physically healthier than the rest others. Scientists also reported that this group of people suffered decreased depression, less frequent mood swings, reduced anxiety, and improved mental focus.
Skipping sugar from the diet also includes some side-effects, like “sugar headache”, where the body suffers due to lack of sugar intake; that is sugar withdrawal. However, replacing sugar-rich food with brain food, such as nuts, lean meats, fish, green leafy vegetables can help subside sugar headaches.
One serious setback to eating sugar-rich food is that it reduces body inflammation. Inflammation is what frequently leads to headaches, persistent pain, and food allergies. According to the researchers, there is a direct connection between sugar and inflammatory diseases. Plus, this inflammation now has an evident link to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other disorders related to the brain, thereby directly impacting aging and mental health.
As soon as the sugar is removed from one’s diet, he or she will notice decreased inflammation levels in the body, including reduced muscle, nerve, and joint pain.
Increased intake of water on a regular basis and daily exercise, decrease the sugar intake and are some of the best tips to treat annoying inflammation and subside chronic body pain.
Well, these are only some from the long list of many other benefits that a sugar-free diet does bring to us. However, the real challenge is whether you be successful in implementing the process in real or end up catching obesity, which is the most recent condition among children and adults in the United States