This substance is a white powder, obtained with the help of special chemical reactions from certain plant species. It is not a food product vitally necessary for the functioning of our body, however many of us cannot imagine life without it. It is a pure chemical substance extracted from plant raw materials - it does not contain vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, enzymes or any other elements of food.
Well, we are talking about sugar, but what was your guess? Healthy nutrition is an important attribute of well-being, let’s have a closer look at how sugar affects our life.
Sugar is similar to drugs in many respects. Usually, a drug is considered to be a substance that is being absorbed and thus causes changes or boosts of any physical or psychological function in the human body. And if you still doubt this, then try for a while to abandon it. When we eat or drink something sweet, we get an immediate increase of dopamine and then feel pleasure. If we are do not eat sugar for a while, then we often become moody and irritable. There can be even such symptoms as headache and nervousness. It is a substance that can not be resisted, although many of us understand the consequences of its usage. Sounds like a drug description, doesn’t it?
Meanwhile, the danger of excessive consumption of sugar is far beyond the well-known cliche of bad teeth in case of too much sweet. Problems with excess weight and obesity, a disorder of the insulin apparatus of the pancreas, increased cholesterol, the list can go on and on. The thing is that sugar is pure carbs. A lot of them. Carbs, of course, are necessary for the body, but when it’s too many, health problems begin.
A 15-year study published in 2014 in the JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who consume more than a quarter of their calories a day from sugar have a twice increased risk of dying from one of the co-morbidities (сardiovascular and chronic diseases, including cirrhosis of liver and dementia) than those who consume sugar less than 10% of the total calories. In this case, sex, age, level of physical activity and BMI do not matter. Excessive consumption of sugar kills all equally.
If you understand that you are in a vicious sugar circle, it’s a smart decision to seriously cut consumption of sugar and reconsider daily eating habits.
How to reduce sugar consumption?
1. Drink more water
A lot of sugar we consume with soft drinks, tea, coffee, juices and so on. The more we quench our thirst with plain water, the less we drink sugar-containing drinks.
2. Eat more protein and healthy fats
Proteins and fats are necessary to provide your body with energy. It’s amazing that our contemporaries, who eat 10-15% less fat 60 years ago, are now much more likely to be overweight. However, be careful when choosing fats. Fully avoid trans fats or hydrogenated oils. Eat a moderate amount of saturated fat. In addition, choose healthy monounsaturated fats, and also containing Omega 3, 6 and 9.
3. Try new tastes
Set a goal to try new or relatively new dishes without sugar several times a week. Use new spices or herbs, try vegetarian dishes, fruits, whole grains and so on.
4. Eat more often
Usually we crave sweet snack a few hours after our last meal. It is much easier to nip this desire in the bud. For example, if you are used to drinking sweet coffee with a bun at 10:30, then eat a carrot or an apple, drink a glass of water at 10:00.
5. Conscious choice
When cooking, ordering in a cafe or shopping, label all products into “useful” and “harmful” categories. Try to ensure that the first group always prevails over the second.
Good luck in your new life without sugar! This will surely help you live longer, be more energetic and feel much healthier in general.