Are you in a constant battle with your sugar cravings? Is it impossible for you to stop once you start munching on your favourite dessert? Have you tried your best and still ended up on the losing side? Now, it is high time you succeed in getting rid of sugar from your diet. This sweet poison is impacting you, both physically and psychologically.
The only consolation, however, is that you are not alone. Almost everyone today is guilty of a diet that is overloaded with sugar. Everyone knows that sugar is bad for them, but not many change their eating habits to get rid of this disaster-causing element. But, why? Why can’t people get over their love for sugar?
Sugar is a silent killer
Now, if someone told you that a thing is dangerous and you can die once you consume it, you will surely stay away from it. Sugar will impact your health negatively but it will do the same in a slow and steady manner. It will take years to unveil its disastrous effects. But when it does, it is quite late. So, you know that your favorite sweet drink is not going to cause any immediate impact. Hence, you won’t be bothered while gulping it down your throat. You fail to understand that, slowly but surely, the sugar will get the better of your health.
Understanding its nutritional value
SUGAR = 100% CARBOHYDRATES + 0% PROTEINS + 0% VITAMINS + 0% FATS
Remember this statement and you will have a better chance of succeeding. This is the reason why sugar is referred to as empty calories. It does not contain any essential nutrients. But carbohydrates is good, right? You need it, don’t you?
Yes, you need carbohydrates, but carbohydrates, all by itself, is no good. You also need fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals to balance your diet.
How sugar impacts your diet?
- As we saw, they are high in calories and empty in nutrients. Hence, they don’t fill you up. So, the chance of over-consumption is pretty high.
- It displaces other foods which are more nutritious. Choosing sweets over fruits means your overall nutrition suffers.
Why sugar is not good for your health?
- Decreased immunity – Sugar curbs immune system cells that fight bacteria. And this effect can last for a few hours after consuming something like a sugary beverage.
- Raised insulin levels – You might know that you need insulin to convert the glucose (from carbohydrates) in your body into energy. As there is a surplus of glucose with all that sugar consumption, the body will have to produce more insulin to clear it up. This will require your pancreas to work harder and in the long run, your pancreas might give up on this task of insulin production. And you might end up a diabetic.
- Inflammation – Yes, we need inflammation. But we don’t want it all the time. And consuming too much sugar can lead to unwanted inflammations in the body that cause aging and other diseases.
How to steer clear of sugar?
Here are a few quick tips that will help you eliminate sugar from your diet and make it more balanced;
- Eat regularly
- Exercise regularly
- Learn to read food labels
- Drink lots of water
- Go for fruits in case of sweet cravings
- Sound sleep is a must
- Keep sugary snacks out of your house
- Choose natural food over processed ones.
- Consult a health coach or a dietitian.
Understanding that sugar is bad for you is the first step in refining your diet for the better. Now, that you have done that, make sure you eliminate sugar from your eating habits one step at a time, and this will help you in becoming the healthiest version of yourself.
Dr. Anjali Hooda Sangwan is MBBS and MD in Internal Medicine, and has done her fellowship in Obesity and Clinical. She is currently working as a consultant in Consultant at FORTIS C-DOC, B-16, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi.
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