Food is the centre to our gatherings and conversations with friends and family. And it takes no time before the conversation turns to what people are trying to eat less of. Enter sugar. Whether it’s naturally occurring from fruit or the kind that’s added to your favourite beverage or yogurt, everyone seems to have an opinion about sugar.
Added sugars is one of the things you should watch for when you are trying to improve your diet. It doesn’t add nutrients, but add a lot of empty calories, and it can lead to weight gain, obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease and more.
Natural Sugars and Added Sugar
Sugar is in everything but there is a difference between added sugar and natural sugar. Added sugar in the other hand are added to food in the form of table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Added sugars don’t add any positive benefits to the diet, while natural sugars are found in foods like fruits and vegetables that provide health benefits of fibre, water and nutrients.
The Benefits of Subtracting Added Sugar
- Decrease inflammation – Added sugar is removed from its original source and added to foods and drinks to serve as a sweetener or increase shelf life. Consumption of these added sugar or sugar free stimulates the production of free fatty acids in the liver. When the body takes in these free fatty acids, the resulting compounds can trigger inflammatory processes. Inflammation time and again leads to chronic pain, headaches, and food allergies. Hence, avoiding added sugars can decrease levels of inflammation.
- Boost energy levels – Added sugars are simple carbohydratesf, which means they’re digested fast and enters bloodstream quickly, providing that familiar rush. But once that shot of sugar is metabolized, you’re in sudden crash thereby depleting energy and replacing it will lethargy and sluggishness. Instead, fueling the body with nutrient dense foods such as whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables will supply you with a steadier stream of energy that lasts longer.
- Improve ability to focus – Sugar is often a source of reward, when emotions run high or stressful situations occur. The consumption of sugar highlights the brain in the same regions as it does an alcoholic drink. Dopamine, our “reward chemical” spikes and reinforces the desire to have more. So, added sugar causes a “foggy” or “out of it” feeling and the train of thoughts gets disrupted.
Over to you:
Putting off on sugar is a good idea for many people, as it helps reduce the risk of numerous conditions and can improve a person’s overall health. However, switching over natural source of sugar is better than added sugars.