Sugars are a type of carbohydrate and are naturally occurring in various foods. Sugar in all its forms is basically converted into glucose to provide energy to our body. You might be wondering that the sugar coming from a bunch of grapes or apples is same as that sugar coming from your soft drinks, after all it will all be converted into glucose, right? But there is a catch. Sugar coming from food groups is not the same as the additional sugar added to various food stuff. What makes them different is the additional benefits the naturally occurring sugar foods offer. These foods offer fiber, essential nutrients, anti-oxidants and important trace minerals too. Also, the body digests these foods slowly, the sugar in these offers a steady supply of energy to the cells.
Fibre is important for our healthy movement and digestive health and thus a diet containing fruits, vegetables in appropriate amount is important for the healthy functioning of the body. This does not mean that we can mindlessly consume sugar from natural sources in the pretext of being health conscious. Ultimately, excess of sugar is bad and will spike up our blood sugar levels putting us to a risk of various diseases.
The actual cause of concern is added sugars. Added sugars are nothing but EMPTY CALORIES which means that they offer absolutely zero health benefits. Added sugar is used to enhance the flavor or shelf life of the product. These typically include high fructose corn syrup, cane syrup, molasses, malt syrup, dextrin etc. The sugar is not only added in sweet food products but in various products one can never think of. Ketchups, fruit-flavored yogurt, breakfast cereals, processed instant meals, soups, snacks, bread also contain added sugar. This means that we won’t even realize how much sugar we are consuming! A can of soda can contain as many as 24 teaspoons of sugar which is more than the recommended daily sugar intake.
Added sugar is known to increase the risk of heart diseases. A high sugar intake is linked with obesity and inflammation of the body. Drinking large amount of artificially sweetened soda is linked with early death. Unstable blood sugar often leads to headaches, fatigue and cravings for more sugar. Animal studies have shown that sugar suppresses immune response. A meta-analysis of data from 310,819 people found that those with a high consumption of sugary drinks had a 26 percent greater risk of type 2 diabetes than those with a low consumption. The spike in blood sugar level can also increase your chances of type 2 diabetes and can cause frequent breakouts. High sugar environment in the body is conducive for the cell multiplication and their proliferation leading to cancer. Sugar is responsible for tooth decay and cavities too. White sugar is like a slow poison. The effects are not immediate but the slow development of disease is a cause of concern.
The best advice is to read the labels correctly, always be aware of the hidden ingredients, and avoid processed and packaged foods. Cutting back on amount of the food with added sugar is also helpful. Do not consume sugary drinks, sodas and desserts. The point here is that if you can’t eliminate it completely, try to cut down your daily consumption slowly.
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