Nowadays, people are more careful about what they eat, and are mindful of the impact certain foods can have on their health. One of the foods on which most people agree is affecting our health is sugar. Experts in the health field, have defined sugar as “The new tobacco“ pointing out, among the other dangers, the potential addictive properties of this food.
Why is sugar so bad for our health?
Diets with high sugar consumption have been proven to be the leading indicators for deteriorating health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
Studies have shown that consuming too much sugar leads to:
Increasing the risk of unhealthy weight gain leading to visceral fat accumulation
Increase in risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, and inflammation. These factors can lead to heart disease.
Higher risk of skin problems such as developing acne. Sugar consumption leads to an increase in androgen secretion, inflammation, and oil production.
Increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and or cancer which leads to obesity and lowers your insulin resistance.
Potentially increases the risk of depression and low mood in both men and women.
Accelerate wrinkle formation and skin aging.
Potentially impact your energy levels by causing a spike in blood sugar, followed by a crash.
This leads to deteriorating dental hygiene by causing cavities.
Potentially cause addiction and cravings with even withdrawal symptoms when taken away.
And many others.
When we talk about sugar, we don’t refer just to the white crystal powder that you add to your tea or coffee, but to the hidden source found in cereals, yogurts, pre-prepared meals, fizzy drinks, etc.
So how do we recognize it and avoid it or at least reduce it in our diet?
Here are some tips:
1. READ CAREFULLY the food label for the ingredients, as a general rule. The more ingredients you don’t recognize, such as preservatives, colors, or additives in the product, the worse it is for you.
2. RECOGNISE hidden sugar, there are at least fifty other names for sugar that are used in the food industry, some of them are: agave nectar, sucrose, rice syrup, fruit juice concentrated, galactose, maltodextrin, date sugar, high fructose corn syrup, golden syrup among the others.
3. CHOOSE natural yogurt with no additives. If you prefer fruit-flavored yogurt, it is better to add fresh fruit yourself as all flavored yogurts are loaded with extra sugar.
4. SWAPT processed food (we will speak about this topic in one of the following blogs) with unprocessed whole foods
5. Get the habit to have your tea or coffee without adding sugar, after a while, you will get used to it or, if not, use a natural sweetener like stevia
6. Limit your desserts to just once a week and substitute fresh fruits for dessert. Alternatively, make your cake or desserts, so you are in control of the calories and ingredients, see some inspirational recipes in my recipe section.
7. Swap your cereals with rolled oats or oat bran and add a pinch of cinnamon powder on top to make it yummy and reduce your sugar spike.
8. When you choose alternative milk like almond, soya, etc. go for the unsweetened version.
9. Avoid Soft drinks like Cola, even the diet or light version is full of sugar or even worse aspartame (another story).
10. Avoid or reduce your alcohol intake.
And more other ways...
Just try some of the tips listed above and see how it goes, in a matter of time, sugar will become a habit of the past, and you will feel better and healthier!!! Just try!!!!