It is really difficult to cut down on or cut back the consumption and intake of sugar that we are generally used to, every day. Sugar sure does add a flavour and taste to the food and makes it appetizing, but is it really good for our health? The thing that we cannot and must not forget is that we should eat only that which does not adversely affect our health. With so many ailments and substances doing rounds that can depreciate our health, we need one less thing to worry about in that aspect.
For those who aren’t aware, here are some ways in which sugar consumption can be harmful to you and your body:
- Increases the blood sugar and glucose levels that lead to headaches, mood-swings and sugar-cravings
- It increases the risk of heart diseases, the chances of obesity and even the risk of diabetes goes up with the consumption of sugar.
- Leads to chromium deficiency by reducing the trace of chromium in the blood sugar levels that help to regulate it.
- Reduces the effectiveness of the immune system exposing the body and making it vulnerable to inflammation, infections and other diseases.
- Hastens to age.
The Pros or benefits of a Low Sugar Diet
Sometimes we have to make sacrifices that are difficult but are ultimately for our good. Opting for a low sugar diet is the same. Here are some lesser-known benefits and pros of opting for a low sugar diet overall:
Weight loss – Probably the biggest advantage of shifting to a low sugar diet is that you can cut down on a lot of weight that otherwise would be very difficult to get rid of. Reducing sugar intake is directly related to weight loss and in an emphatic manner. The presence of fructose in sugar encourages the accumulation and absorption of fat which reflects on the entire body.
Reducing mood swings – If you are used to a diet that contains an abundance of sugar then, chances are that you have experienced random and sporadic changes in your mood. This is what we commonly refer to as mood swings and a sugar-rich diet is responsible for a majority of them. This is because sugar leads to a spike in the insulin and blood sugar levels and then an eventual drop creates the contradiction.
Protects the teeth – Food items that are rich in or have a high concentration of sugar corrodes the teeth and depreciates the quality of teeth by eroding the layers. The sugar is absorbed by the bacteria that live on the teeth and they use the energy to grow and become more active. Reducing the consumption of sugar reduces and inhibits the erosion of the tooth enamel.
Better and clearer skin – Internal stress of the body can cause the skin a lot of wear and tear that reflects on the skin. Inflammation and internal stress take a toll on the skin, causing it to swell up and break unevenly making the skin look dull. Also, sugar absorbs a lot of water from beneath the skin surface, making the skin dry, taking away from the natural nourishment. It reduces the incidence of eye bags.
Better digestion – Reduced intake of sugar will enhance your digestion functions. This is because it ferments in the stomach and isn’t easy to digest either. It also inflames the stomach. By reducing the sugar intake and opting for a low sugar diet, you enhance digestive functions and get better bowel movements.
Good for the heart – Diets that are rich in sugar are bad for the heart, for multiple reasons. This is because sugar gets converted into fatty acids which are in turn converted into triglycerides that circulate in your blood and are not good for the heart.
How Can You Cut Down on Sugar?
It is not easy to get rid of an eating habit that has turned into nothing short of a custom. However, if it is not good for you and your health, it needs to be gotten rid of. Here are a few effective ways using which you can curb and slowly get rid of the habit of sugar consumption and choose a low sugar diet without any problems:
- Use healthier alternatives – Instead of resorting to refined sugar, use stevia tablets or powder for the sugar flavour in your food. Unlike refined sugar, these do not have negative effects on the body and have impressive benefits like regulating blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of cavities.
- Gradual process – The trick is to ease into the low sugar diet instead of depriving the body of the usual sugar content that it is generally used to. This will lead to mood fluctuations and headaches. Slowly and gradually ease yourself into a low sugar diet, by cutting down food items that have a high concentration of sugar in them, one at a time, till you get rid of them all.
- Use jaggery instead of sugar – Jaggery is a naturally occurring sweetener that is 100% organic. This has no side effects, unlike refined sugar. It has an earthy sweet taste that a lot of people grow fond of through consumption. Additionally, it boosts the immune system of the body, prevents amnesia, improves digestion and has many other health benefits that sugar doesn’t.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners – These are the worst sweeteners of all and you should avoid them at all costs. Before buying products, read the label and ensure that they do not contain any artificial sweeteners because they only increase your sweet-tooth and thereby the intensity of your sweet cravings.
The above information should suffice if you are planning on cutting down sugar consumption by opting for a low sugar diet. So start strong and start early.