Nowadays, sugar is in almost everything. Decades ago, fat was the taboo and so lots of food suppliers reduced the fat ingredients but increased the sugar content. However, sugar is a killer. As extreme as that may sound, it is true, and and it so important to try and control the amount of sugar we consume in our diets.
One of the most obvious reasons to curb your sugar intake is to attain a healthier weight. Despite foods high in sugar, sometimes being low in calories, they can still play havoc with your weight. Any calories consumed through sweets or biscuits are generally empty calories, meaning they contain no nutritional value. Therefore, other than them tasting good, you are getting nil benefits from such sweet treats.
Naturally occurring sugar (fructose found in fruit), consumed in excess can also have an impact on body weight. This is because excess fructose is turned into fat by the body, as that is the best way of storing it as energy. It is important to bear this in mind when considering how much sugar you are consuming daily as too much (natural or otherwise) is unhealthy for our bodies in many ways and can quickly lead to obesity.
We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. However, still we consume too much of the white stuff, or whatever form we choose to enjoy. Too much sugar results in lactic acid forming on the teeth, which wears tooth enamel away, taking away that bright white smile and increasing your risk of cavities and fillings.
By reducing our sugar intake, regularly brushing our teeth, and flossing too, we can hold onto our natural pearly whites for many more years.
Believe it or not reducing our sugar intake helps us to hold onto that youthful glow. Sugar encourages a faster breakdown of collagen and elastin, two of the proteins, which keep our complexion smooth and plump. Naturally, as we age, we lose some of these properties anyway, but an unhealthy diet with too much sugar speeds up the process considerably. So less sugar can mean fewer wrinkles, a smoother complexion and a brighter, more youthful look.
With a sugar high, comes a sugar crash. So when you reach for that mid morning cake or late afternoon chocolate bar, that may explain why you will be left feeling lethargic within an hour. This then often results in us craving more sugar to pick ourselves up again, and before we know it, we've spent the day overindulging on fizzy drinks and unhealthy snacks.
By switching your sugary snacks to savoury more nutritious alternatives, with slower release carbohydrates, you will maintain more even blood sugar levels, meaning less lows and reduced fatigue, as well as being kinder on our waistline. Surely, that's something to smile about.
Over consumption of sugar is a major cause of diabetes and heart disease, both of which can lead to serious health complications. If ever there was a reason to cut down, this is the big one. Your body can only deal with a certain amount of sugar, then you struggle to produce enough insulin for your body to cope. So put simply, if you want to live well and live longer, start reducing the amount of sugar you consume today!
Ok, so now you know just some of the benefits of reducing sugar, what can you do about it? The first step is to be mindful of every ingredient contained within the food you eat. You will be surprised at just how much sugar your everyday ‘go to’ foods contain. This will then allow you to substitute these sugary foods for low sugar alternatives. As hard as it may sound, making small tweaks to your diet in this way will be much easier than you think plus leave you feeling oh so much better!
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