Everyone loves sugar. Whenever we eat it our brains stimulate the chemical dopamine, thus making us feel happy. However, It is important to keep a check on the amount of sugar we consume every day, especially as it is a part of a healthy lifestyle. It becomes a mandatory affair if you have already been diagnosed with the conditions of diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Table of Contents

Sugar is an ingredient that is consumed in many forms. Let alone the delicious taste of sugary confectioneries they are in a way addictive and are even linked to many dangerous yet preventable health conditions. Although sugar cannot be labeled as completely bad, it does have some natural benefits, if consumed in moderate quantities.

Once consumed, sugar is also broken down in many different categories from which one can determine weather it is bad or good for them.

  1. Monosaccharides turn into glucose, galactose, fructose.
  2. Disaccharides turn into sucrose, lactose, maltose.
  3. Oligosaccharides turn into maltodextrin, raffinose.
  4. Polyols (sugar alcohols) turn into sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol.

Natural sugars- 

Glucose, Lactose, and Fructose are naturally added sugars that are derived from fruits, dairy, or from the starch in vegetables such as potatoes. These are some forms of natural sugar that are healthy for the body.

Artificially added sugar- 

Products with artificially added sugar have many variations in them as and when manufacturers feel the necessity of making it into the desired consistency. They could vary from preservation technique, texture and mouthfeel, volume, and intense color resulting from caramelization. They can be found in fizzy sodas, packaged fruit juices, desserts, candies, baked goods, and cereals.

 

Health conditions from consuming an excess amount of sugar

  • Cavities: Children, who usually have a sweet tooth, are prone to having cavities from a young age as they like consuming a lot of sugary products such as candies, chocolate, sodas, desserts, etc. It is essential to teach children to consume sugar in moderation as they will learn to avoid and choose a healthier alternative when available. Adults too can get cavities with excessive consumption of sugar that would deteriorate the health of your teeth and gum.

 

  • Diabetes: Overeating sugar is the worst thing you can do to your body. Unable to handle it, the body spikes up the blood sugar level. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes repellent to insulin, and the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. A smarter choice, therefore, is to consume it in moderation if you want to enjoy the ingredient throughout life.

 

  • Obesity: Added sugars lead to weight gain and chronic health conditions, such as obesity, heart diseases, as well as diabetes. It affects both adults as well as children. Sugar is also known to be a factor for hormonal changes. Switching to a healthier alternative of sugar or cutting down on it can help you avoid many severe health abnormalities and at the same time, it can help you treat obesity.

 

  • Fatigue: Simple sugars can lead to sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This can come crashing back, making you feel tired and groggy. Complex sugars and carbohydrates are slower to break down, keeping the blood sugar more stable.

 

Tips To Reduce Added Sugar

Cut out on Table Sugar: 

Table sugar has no nutritional value, however it does contributes to some serious health problems you don’t wish to have. Although it can be a drastic change in completely cutting out table from your daily consumption, but you could start with small steps like consuming only 1/4 of the amount you used to take earlier.

Find different alternatives: 

There are many alternatives available in the market that use plant-based sugar as a substitute for going sugar-free, you could try getting familiar with the options available. Natural sweeteners such as honey or jaggery are also a good option for sugar. Still, it is a must that you read the label of these products as many come disguised and filled with an unhealthy amount of sugar. Organic raw honey and jaggery are some of the effective ways to cut down on sugar. 

Healthy Breakfast: 

Start your day with a healthy and nourishing breakfast. Do not consume sugar-laden cereals, instead switch to healthier alternatives such as oatmeals, muesli or even homemade breakfasts such as parathas, dosas or idlis. Include fruits to breakfast if you feel like having something sweet. Avoid health drinks that claim to give energy, because they’re fully loaded with sugar. Instead, switch to some fresh, homemade fruit juice.

Bid Goodbye to Sugary Snacks: 

Everyone likes munching on sugary snacks in between meals. However, it is necessary to cut out snacks that have sugar entirely from your diet. Have a fruit if you feel like snacking or a non-sugary item. Often sugary snacks are marketed as healthy such as granola bars that are available locally are marketed as healthy and filling however they do no good on your commitment to reducing sugar, try making your own granola bars at home with ingredients such as dates or jaggery in a limit to give it the sweetening flavor.

Sugary Drinks

Sodas and aerated drinks are nothing but soda water with added flavors and loads and loads of sugar in it. If you are trying to lose weight, sodas are an absolute no for the process. Also, packaged juices are unhealthy and contain a lot of sugar in them, avoiding it, is a smart choice.

Never lose control

Eliminating sugar from your daily routine can be difficult. At the start, you might feel these options are not changing anything and feel the need to go back to the old table sugar. Try resisting your urges as you might slowly start to notice once you’ve decreased the number of sugary foods in your diet and substituted it with homemade versions or even whole food options. You will begin to see that those intense sugar cravings have gradually disappeared. In this way, we have the power to “re-train” our tastebuds to appreciate the natural sweetness of foods and may not even fancy highly sweetened foods after a while.