Health,  Healthy life

Sugar: what everyone should know about the sweet drug

Sugar is sweet, but no so much for your health. It has a sweet roll of the tongue synonyms, i.e. agave, honey, molasses, sorbitol and much more. They may sound healthy but they all have the same properties.

Sweet rush

Illnesses related to sugar intake are undeniably high. However, that doesn’t stop us from stirring it in our cup of tea or sprinkling it on our favourite cereal. We know it’s bad for us but it’s not easy to stop.

If you thought it’s as easy as self-control, think again. Yes, self-control will take you a long way but it has addictive components as well which, maybe the reason why it’s that much harder to kick to the curb than we’d like.

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When taken in high doses, sugar can wreak havoc to our natural systems. Over time, that havoc leads to diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and even cancer.

As sweet as it may be, that rush is not just cravings, but may very well be an addiction. Try limiting your sugar intake to 5 teaspoons for a week, if you have strong cravings or withdrawal-like symptoms, chances are you’re hooked.

It’s vital to note that whether addictive or not, it still poses a health risk.

It's important to know and understand what exactly is on your labels. Click To Tweet

That secret stash

A lot of food disguised in a ‘healthy’ or ‘0 sugar’ label may contain added sugar and unnatural sweeteners. You may be overeating that sweet drug without even knowing it. Check your labels when grocery shopping for sugar content.

That yummy feeling when something sweet touches your tongue is your taste buds sending signals to your brain. And you know the brain, it loves all things yum. Eradicating the cravings and clearing your palate isn’t easy but, it is possible.

5 Steps to end the sugar hype

Eliminate sugary drinks

If you’re like most people, fizzy drinks, fruit juices and flavoured water go down quicker than you can say ‘gulp’. Drink more water, which is much better for your health than sweet drinks. If water is not your cup of tea, try infusing some fresh fruit or lime into your water.

Quit junk food

Sugar found in natural foods such as fruit is not as bad for you. It’s all the added sugar found in processed foods, drinks, sweets and pastries that isn’t so great, so when you can, always opt for natural fresh foods. A great tip that has helped me is having fruit around for when that sweet tooth kicks in.

Reduce simple carbs

Carbohydrates provide our body with most of the energy we need. However, simple carbs, are quicker to digest which means they provide the body with short term energy, unlike complex carbs.

Some simple carbs are found in processed foods or those with added sugar. However, you also find simple carbs in fruit and vegetables. So, keep the food as a whole in mind rather than just the type of carbs they have.

Beware of labels

Added sugar may be harder to spot in labels as it may be listed under different names. It’s important to know and understand what exactly is on your labels. So keep an eye on condiments, sauces and dressings, even the ‘low fat’ and ‘sugar-free’ variables.

Keep it real

Don’t expect to just be off the sweet dose instantaneously. Your body may go through the motions, so it’s best to reduce the amount of sugar intake and then gradually decrease until you no longer have cravings and you able to do with more of natural sugar; in moderation.

Like everything in life, moderation is key. Sugar is not the devil it is made out to be as long as you keep to or below the daily limit. The benefits of cutting down are undeniable, trust me.

Also, it’s key to listen to your body.

Please leave a comment if your sweet tooth has gotten you into trouble and how you dealt with it.

Love, Everyday

Ntha

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