Many of us have a sweet tooth. That means we like to munch on some candy time after time, it is totally fine if you stop right after you had one or two bites of candy or any sugary treat. But it might be more of a problem if you can’t stop and you keep eating sugar to the point that it will affect your health.
Sugar is an ingredient that is found almost in every product we consume. Since sugar is an ingredient found in most products sometimes we might consume sugar without knowing. Eating too much sugar might harm your body, you’ll have an increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes, you might be more likely to get heart disease, impact weight gain, and tooth decay.
Lots of fruits and vegetables contain sugar but this type of sugar will not harm your body. Processed sugar is the one we should look out for, which is found mostly in processed foods.
5 Sugar facts that will surprise you
Cane sugar or beet sugar
Every plant contains sugar but usually, sugar is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets
Refined sugar can be extracted from other fruit or vegetables but mostly comes from sugarcane and beetroot to form table sugar. Even though this type of sugar is extracted from fruits it’s not very healthy for our body.
Sugarcane exceeds beetroot in the volume of sugar production for the main reason of production costs.
Sugar is used as a preservative too
Refined sugar is used to add flavors to foods as a sweetener and acts as a preservative in jams and pickles, and it is also used in processed foods like ice cream or soft drinks.
How much sugar does one person consume?
A person consumes about 50 pounds of sugar in a year in the US, which is a bit disturbing. On the other hand the daily recommended amount of sugar intake “ should be” for men 150 calories per day from sugar as per women 100 calories a day. Next in line for sugar consumption are German and Dutch people.
Sugar firstly was introduced as a spice
In ancient times when people started trading sugar through the Silk Road routes, it was known as a spice and it was put together with cinnamon, ginger, saffron, and many other spices.
It’s in our DNA to crave sugar
We all have a liking for sweet things. As one scientific finding states “The liking for sweet tastes during development may have ensured the acceptance of sweet-tasting foods, such as mother’s milk and fruits. Moreover, recent research suggests that liking for sweets may be further promoted by the pain-reducing properties of sugar.”
Consumption of sugar causes lots of harm to our health starting from tooth decay, blood sugar spikes which are not healthy because will leave us craving more sugar in the long run.
Increases the risk of diabetes and obesity, sugar also interferes with our immune system. And sugar accelerates aging. Some of the sugar we consume ends up in the bloodstream it will attach itself to proteins in our body, these new molecules will contribute to losing elasticity starting from the skin to organs. The more sugar we consume the faster our body will age.
8 Tips on how to cut down on sugar
The best way to cut sugar intake is simply by avoiding processed foods.
Some tips to follow if you are trying to consume less sugar :
- Avoid Soft Drinks– there is a huge amount of sugar added to soft drinks. Substitute soft drinks with freshly squeezed juice or just water.
- Avoid Candies & Sweets– if you are looking for ways to limit your sugar intake, try to avoid sweets as much as you can, and if you suddenly have an urge to eat some candies try to eat moderately.
- Avoid Fruit Juices– you might have thought that fruit juices are healthy but they contain the same amount of sugar as soft drinks.
- Avoid Baked Goods– such as cookies, cake, pies, which usually contain a high amount of sugar and carbs.
- Avoid Canned Fruits– sugar or syrup is used as a preservative in canned fruits instead eat fresh fruits or look for fruit canned in water or juice.
- Diet Foods or low-fat labeled food- be careful with diet foods as they may contain a very high amount of sugar.
- Watch out for labels that include added sugar and try to avoid those products.
- Try Fruit Extracts instead of sugar, for example, vanilla extract, lemon extract, or orange extract.
Consuming less sugar, especially added sugar will have many benefits for our body. We will stop gaining unwanted weight, our heart health will improve, we will have healthier teeth. If you are interested in more tips on how to stop food cravings check out ‘What is Food Craving and How to Stop’