While you might find many ingredients in your kitchen that offers amazing health benefits, the one ingredient that has a harmful effect on your health is Sugar. Consumption of a high amount of sugar is the major cause of type-2 diabetes, acne, and weight gain. It increases the risk of heart diseases. It is also linked to obesity in children, as more often than not, they consume a large proportion of processed foods, beverages and other products that contain added sugar. There are many reasons why sugar is bad for your health. As such, mentioned below are a few harmful effects of sugar and what you can do to avoid it.
A] Harmful Effects of Sugar:
Increase Risk of Heart Diseases and Diabetes:
Consumption of sugar is a major contributing factor to heart-related diseases and diabetes. From increasing blood pressure levels to inflammation in the body to atherosclerosis, the ill-effects of a high-sugar diet are many. Also, eating excessive amounts of sugar can lead to insulin resistance, which causes blood-sugar-levels to rise resulting in an increased risk of diabetes.
Refined carbs and sugar-rich diet can also speed up the ageing process as it affects your body’s composition. Sugary foods tend to damage the collagen and elastin, causing your skin to lose its firmness and leading to early signs of wrinkles & sagging.
Sugar-sweetened beverages and foods are the primary reason for tooth decay in kids as well as adults. High-sugar intake causes bad bacteria in the mouth leading to cavities. It can also damage your tooth enamel. Plus, overtime without proper oral hygiene, it can have a negative impact on your dental health.
Affects Your Energy Levels:
Eating foods with added sugar can also affect your energy levels as they tend to raise your blood sugar & insulin levels leading to a fleeting rise in energy that is followed by a crash. This can cause irritability and also raise your stress levels.
B] How To Cut-Down on Sugar?
Cutting-down on your regular intake of sugar is easier if you put your mind to it. Instead of avoiding sugar, switch to healthy alternatives to satisfy your sugar cravings. And, here’s how you can do it.
- Read Nutrition Labels: Figuring out the source of sugar can help you to cut down on it. Sugar has many names corn syrup, maple syrup, sucrose, fructose, cane sugar, brown sugar, among others. So, if you want to avoid sugar, then learning to read the nutrition labels should be the first step.
- Eat Fresh Fruits: Choose fresh fruits instead of canned fruits to avoid sugar. Fresh fruits like cherries and banana can also be added to cereal or oatmeal to make it more flavoursome.
- Eat Wholesome Foods: Since processed foods are likely to contain more added sugar, it is best to eat wholesome foods as they have much more nutritional value. Wholesome foods like veggies, legumes, fish, meat and poultry provide you with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. You can also include dairy products to your diet to make it well-rounded.
- Snack on Nuts: This is another best option to curb your sugar cravings. Nuts are heart-healthy as they have unsaturated fats which help lower the cholesterol level. They also keep you full for longer, so you won’t have hunger pangs that make you reach out for crunchy or sugary treats like chips or cookies. Plus, you can try out organic nut butters (without any sugar) as they are multi-purpose and can be used to make various cuisines healthier.
This sums up the harmful effects of sugar on your health and what you can do instead to ensure your sugar intake is limited in the future. Avoiding sugar entirely may not be possible. But, by making healthier choices, you would surely notice improvements in your overall health.
Was this post helpful? Let us know in the comment below!
Also read Positive Thinking Effects On Your Health