Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. These include sugar-sweetened drinks, candies, sweets, ice creams, chocolates,muffins, syrups , soups, flavoured yoghurts, breakfast cereals and fizzy drinks to mention but a few. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake.Moreover, one in ten people obtain a quarter or more of their calories from added sugar.
Nutritionists frown on sugar for a reason. It has well-known links to weight gain and cavities. It also delivers “empty calories” — calories devoid of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that women limit their added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day, while men should limit their intake to 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams)
” Sugar is the sociopath of foods”. It acts sweet, but it’s really poison.“
The National Health Service (NHS) recommends that adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes) , children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day (6 sugar cubes).Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day (5 sugar cubes).
Dietary guidelines suggest limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% per day.
Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Evidence suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to atherosclerosis, a disease characterised by fatty, artery-clogging deposits, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar and blood pressure levels — all risk factors for heart disease. Sugar therefore may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight. Sugar, while a crowd favorite, is behind many of the health ills of modern civilization.
A study in over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 17–21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar. Additionally, consuming too much sugar may also stimulate the liver to dump harmful fats into the bloodstream.
WAYS TO CUT BACK ON YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
- Drink lots of water . It is free and has zero calories.
- Homemade soda – take sparkling water and add fresh lemon or lime.
- Mint water – mix water and mint.
- Drink herbal teas either hot or cold with ice.
- Black tea or coffee – with no added sugar or cream.
- Cut back or avoid sugary drinks at all cost.
The benefits of avoiding or cutting back on Sugar include increased energy , improved weight management, reduced stress , reduced inflammation , enhanced mood, mental clarity , focus and overall improved health. Keep this in mind each time the cravings start.
“Remember the great quote about health by Karlyn Benn –
“Loving your body is the greatest revolution“