Skip to main content

We are all aware of the dangers of consuming too much added sugar. Studies and experts have warned us that ignoring added sugar in our daily diet from breads, canned drinks, processed foods, breakfast cereals and fruit juices could make us sick and increase the risk of several lifestyle-related diseases. Many of us give up sugar in tea and coffee, but continue to have store-bought snacks – cookies, biscuits, juices, pasta sauces without realizing how much added sugar we are consuming. daily. (Also read: Diabetes: Ayurveda expert on simple tips to control blood sugar in just 15 days)

Eating a diet high in sugar puts you at risk for chronic inflammation. According to studies, when people eat or drink less sugar, inflammatory markers in their blood decrease. When you eat too much sugar, you will start to see all the danger signs in the form of weight gain, tooth decay, reduced immunity among many other problems.

However, this does not mean that we do not consume sugar at all. Experts say that naturally occurring sugar in fruits, vegetables and dairy products is perfectly acceptable, as plant-based foods contain a good amount of fibre, essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, while dairy products contain protein and calcium. Thanks to this, our body digests food slowly, preventing sugar spikes and chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Nutritionist Ishti Saluja, in an interaction with HT Digital, said adults should aim to consume less than 10% of their total calories from added sugar and if someone is on a 2000 calorie diet, that would mean consuming less than 200 calories, 50 grams or 12 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

“Some fruit-flavored yogurts, cereals and prepared oatmeal contain nearly six teaspoons of added sugar per serving and a 330ml can of cola contains 9 teaspoons of sugar,” Saluja shares.

There is substantial evidence showing that increased sugar consumption increases the risk of heart disease, obesity, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, an imbalanced gut microbiome – all of which can lead to health problems that are much more difficult to solve with age. .

Saluja shares a few ways to reduce your sugar intake:

Start your day with a savory breakfast rich in protein and healthy fats: It helps balance your hormones and increases satiety levels, which means it reduces your sugar cravings during the day, reducing mindless snacking.

Stop buying store-bought sauces: There is so much flavor in natural foods and spices. Experiment in your kitchen, cook and freeze in batches if you’re short on time, but avoid buying sauces from outside to avoid excessive preservatives that are high in sugar and don’t do your body any good. Remember that store-bought sauces have a long shelf life, which means they are high in sugar.

Prepare your own snacks: Granola, crackers, protein bars, gluten-free muffins can all be easily made at home. This way you avoid adding processed sugar and you can also customize your snacks to your liking.

Limit sugary drinks: You know that soda has added sugar, as does bottled vanilla flavored coffee. But sugar in other drinks might not be so obvious, like coconut water (some brands add sugar), bottled iced teas, flavored waters, and even artificially sweetened drinks. It’s hard to suddenly stop consuming these beverages, so start by replacing them. If you fancy a can of coke, have a glass of water, a piece of dark chocolate, unsweetened coffee, or do 10 jumping jacks. Entertaining your mind is key and slowly it will become a habit to reduce your sugar intake.

Depends on fruit: Once you’ve reset your taste buds to less sweetness, take a moment to notice how your usual sliced ​​banana with cereal or how an apple now tastes sweeter. Enjoy fruit as an after-meal snack or add it to main courses and salads whenever you can. Whole fruits also contain fiber, vitamins, and water that keep you feeling full.

“Everyone likes convenience and that’s why we go for processed foods. Be aware of the sugar content – read the back labels. Don’t obsess over reading the sugar content on the labels, but for your conscience and your health, you need to know what you are consuming.Some common names for sugar on labels are: corn syrup, rice syrup, fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fruit nectars, juice concentrates, honey , agave and molasses,” concludes Ishti Saluja.

Follow more stories on Facebook & Twitter