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We all love to eat sweets and chocolates. In India, every special occasion is celebrated with sweets and chocolates. But are you aware of the hidden side effects of sugar? Well, there are many side effects of sugar. In this post, we will also discuss the benefits of quitting sugar.In the past few years, smoking has been marginalized. Sugar is also heading in the same direction. Sugar and refined empty calories are harmful as they do not contain any useful nutrients. From sauce to almond butter, you will find added sugar even in the most unexpected products.
Because of our busy schedule, most of us rely on processed meals and snacks. These processed food cover a large portion of daily calorie intake. Experts say that sugar intake is the major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases.
Side Effects Of Sugar Intake
Try to control your taste buds before it starts harming your body. Excessive sugar intake can cause side effects. Let us discuss some of them.
1. Premature aging
Excess intake of sugar can cause long term damage to your skin. It damages your skin protein, collagen, and elastin. Sugar leads to premature wrinkles. It can also imbalance the female menstrual hormones that could result in acne. Processed sugar increases your blood sugar level rapidly.
In short, high sugar intake may increase androgen secretion, oil production, and inflammation. All of these are responsible for acne.
2. Weight gain
Sweetened food items and beverages are the main culprits that cause weight gain. We all love to drink beverages like sodas, juices, and sweet teas. These drinks are loaded with fructose, which is a simple sugar. Excessive intake of fructose causes resistance to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that controls your hunger and tells your body to stop eating.
3. Causes Type 2 Diabetes
In the past 30 years, cases of diabetes have doubled double. The reason behind this is the consumption of refined sugar.
On the other hand, Obesity is caused by excessive consumption of sugar and is the main risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
More sugar intake drives resistance to insulin, which leads to an increase in the blood sugar level.
4. Low Energy
Glucose is important for the production of energy in the body. After the consumption of sugar, our pancreas releases insulin which helps to transfer glucose to the body cells. Excessive consumption of sugar spikes the blood sugar and insulin levels quickly. This leads to increased energy levels, which means the energy is fleeting.
This is an energy-draining cycle. To avoid this, choose carb sources that are low in added sugars and high in fiber. For example an apple with handfull of almonds.
5. Fatty Liver
The fatty liver is linked with a high intake of fructose. Unlike other types of sugars, which are taken up by the body cells, fructose is broken down by the liver. In other words, fructose is converted into energy and stored as glycogen in the liver.
Only the liver can store so much amount of glycogen before it turns into fat. An excessive amount of fructose overloads your liver and leads to excessive fat buildup into the liver.
In short, consuming too much sugar can lead to NAFLD. This is a condition in which excess fat builds up in the liver.
Benefits Of Quitting Sugar
Avoiding added sugar in your diet adds a lot of benefits. Here are some benefits of a sugar-free diet:
- Avoid mood swings
- Clear and acne-free skin
- Weight loss and prevent obesity
- Eliminate inflammation
- Overcome the risk of type 2 diabetes
- An adequate amount of energy supply in the body throughout the day.
Tips To Cut-Out Sugar
People consume added sugars in different ways like tea, sweetened beverages and so on. It is not an easy task to avoid these food products. But we can replace them with some healthy options. Let’s see how can we cut out sugar:
1. Change in Diet plan Should Be gradual
Moving towards a no sugar diet from a high sugar diet should be slow. You can start by avoiding the most obvious sugars like cakes, muffins, brownies or chocolates. Eliminating candy and sugary beverages could be an excellent start.
2. Pick your product carefully
After eliminating the obvious sugar, turn your focus to other food items that contain sugar. Don’t worry, it would not be difficult for you. What you need to do is just read the label of the product before buying it. Try to avoid products that contain high sugar content.
3. Avoid simple carbs
Simple carbs include white flour, white pasta, and white rice. The carbohydrates available in these ingredients break down into sugar quickly, which may increase the blood sugar level. You can replace these simple carbs with wholegrain options.
4. Avoid artificial sugar
Artificial sugar is harmful to our bodies. Some examples are Splenda, stevia, Nutrasweet, and Sweet’N Low. These sweeteners can be identified by their chemical names like aspartame, sucralose, neotame and so on. Try to avoid the products that contain these artificial sweeteners.
These were some tips to cut-out sugar from your diet plan. There are many other ways to cut sugar from your diet, like avoiding sugary drinks, eating whole food, replacing sugar with natural sweeteners like honey and so on.
Yes, this is the time to treat sugar like smoking as many people are addicted to sugary food and beverages. Everyone loves the sweetness of sugar but they are not aware of the fact that sugar harms our body in different ways. Excessive use of sugar can cause life-threatening diseases like diabetes or cancer.
Try to keep yourself away from artificial sugar. We have shared some tips to manage a sugar-free diet. Initially, it could be difficult for you. But, gradually, you will get used to it. Reduce the sugar and keep yourself healthy and happy.
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