How much sugar is bad for you? Many health experts have stated that sugar is no less harmful than alcohol and nicotine. The human body requires the goodness of the healthy nutrients sugar contains but in a balanced amount.
We know it’s impossible to resist delicious pies and macaroons. However, such sweet delights can be harmful to your wellness. It gives way to several health issues, such as blood sugar problems, weight gain, obesity, and heart disease risk, among others. If you, too, have the same concern, this article can help you shed light on the ill-effects of sugar.
As per the AHA (American Heart Association), a healthy man should take nine teaspoons or 37.5 grams of natural sugar per day. And a healthy woman should take six teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar per day. Anything more than this is excessive and enough to pave the way for illness and weight gain.
This guideline by AHA is about natural sugar consumption and not about added sugar consumption. Both play different roles in the body. While natural sugar provides nutrients along with calories, added sugar provides nothing but only calories.
What Is The Difference Between Added Sugar and Natural Sugar?
You will find added sugar in all sorts of foods these days. And this is the worst ingredient to open the doors for various diseases. It provides a high amount of calories without adding any other sugar nutrient to your body. As a result, it damages your metabolic strength. To limit your sugar intake, first, understand the basic difference between natural sugar and added sugar:
- Healthy foods contain natural sugar along with water, fiber, and micronutrients. Your body derives natural sugar from fruits and vegetables, whereas with added sugar, you use
- On the other hand, added sugar is the sole ingredient in different processed foods, like baked food or soft drinks. The most common artificial sweeteners are high-fructose corn syrup and regular table sugar.
How to Reduce or Avoid Added Sugar Intake?
Before you start this healthy practice, you must know what its sources are. Once you know, it’s easier to avoid or replace foods containing added sugar with healthier alternatives. Here’s a list of foods that contain a high amount of artificial sugar:
- Cakes, pies, cobblers, or other bakery foods.
- Candies and cookies.
- Sweet rolls, doughnuts, pastries, sweet dairy products.
- Sweetened soft drinks, energy drinks, Sweetened fruit juices.
While buying any food, reading the label properly will also help you get sugar free items. Many times, packagers use different names for sugar on the ingredient list like sucrose, maltose, glucose, hydrolyzed starch, fructose, corn syrup, invert sugar, honey, etc. Cutting any item from your cart that carries these ingredients is a smart choice for a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some smarter ways to keep your body sugar level stable, avoiding added sugar foods.
Start With a Healthy Breakfast
Avoid ready-to-make packaged breakfast options that you will find in abundance in supermarkets. Instead, take some time to cook your meal and start your day fresh. Make a nutritious breakfast plate with food that supplies protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. You can add eggs, whole grains, porridge, lean meat, fruits, and vegetables for all such a nutritious breakfast.
Replace Sugar With Other Ingredients
The absence of sugar may not please your taste, and you may choose added sugar over your health. Thus, add ingredients like cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg or other herbs and spices to make your food interesting.
Drink More Flavor Water or Sugar-Free Drinks
When you crave sugary soft drinks, better avoid this craving with a glass of flavor water. Like add sliced fruit or make lemonade yourself or choose sugar-free drinks.
Avoid Irregular Eating
Irregular or poor eating habits result in a drop in the body’s blood sugar levels. It’s when you feel more hungry and craves sugary snacks. Thus, eat at least three meals a day with two small snacks in between.
Get Enough Sleep
When we have a night of poor sleep, we feel weak and mistake it due to poor eating habits. As a result, we take glucose to boost energy. Thus, enough sleep is necessary.