Sweet Tooth is Not Good For Health. Here’s Why!
200 years ago, the average person ate two pounds of sugar a year. In 1970, this amount climbed to 130 pounds per year. Today, the average person consumes over 160 pounds of pure sugar a year!
Today, more than ever, a healthy lifestyle is being promoted with a big “no” to sweets. And for a very good reason. Uncontrolled sugar intake is addictive. So, don’t make excuses and try to find reasons to indulge in sweets. It doesn’t benefit you.
What is Sugar?
There are simple and complex sugars in nature. The most common simple sugars are glucose and fructose. Complex are sucrose, lactose and maltose. Although sugar usually means only white sugar, all of these are forms of sugar.
Glucose is found naturally in plants, fruits, and vegetables. Our body burns glucose to get energy or stores it in the form of glycogen (fuel for muscles and liver). Also, when needed, our body can produce glucose.
Fructose is fruit sugar. Thus, it is found in fruit, but also cane sugar, honey, and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). It is sweeter than regular sugar.
Sucrose is basic white sugar (by the way, yellow sugar is 99.5% pure sucrose). Structurally, it consists of one molecule of glucose and fructose linked by a chemical bond.
Lactose is milk sugar. It’s less sweet than sucrose. It consists of one molecule of galactose and glucose linked by a chemical bond. The enzyme lactase is needed to break this bond. In babies and children, this enzyme is secreted more, while with age, lactase secretion decreases (lactose intolerance).
What is “Sweet Addiction”?
Sugar: a silent killer in disguise. You eat it every day, unaware of its harmfulness. Sugar with a taste of bitterness.
When sugar enters your bloodstream, it stimulates the release of dopamine, which makes you feel good, but only temporarily. Moments later, the initial excitement passes and your body wants more sugar.
Very quickly, the sensors that normally control hunger and satiety are so occupied with dopamine stimulation that they continue to look for sugar, even though the body is already full.
Sugar addiction is taking on the proportions of a global epidemic, experts say. The human body is not programmed to ingest large amounts of sugar and fat. These foods over time become something that the body is looking for in increasing quantities.
Scientists believe that sugar is eight times stronger than cocaine. Some people are more sensitive, but it has been proven that the more sugar you consume, the greater the chance that you’ll become addicted.
Signs of Sugar Addiction
1. Feeling Tired After Eating
While sugar gives a temporary boost of energy, a side effect of the process is a large drop in blood sugar level that results in a feeling of fatigue.
2. Mood Swings and a Tendency to Depression
These changes are associated with the consequences of sugar addiction, which makes us irritable if our body is deprived of sugar.
3. Feeling Bloated
Gas retention and indigestion are a consequence of the excessive intake of sugar, which can lead to pain after eating and obvious bloating due to the amount of sugar that our digestive system can’t handle all at once.
4. Excess Weight, Especially in the Abdomen
Weight gain in a specific zone, i.e. on the stomach, is a consequence of consuming too much sugar, such as desserts, but also sugar in carbonated drinks, pastries, pasta, and fast food.
How to Get Out of That Vicious Circle?
This will be a difficult road. The only way is to stop feeding your addiction.
Every time you crave something sweet and you grab a cookie to satisfy that need, know that it is only a short-term solution. When you start fighting it by refusing to satisfy your need for sweets that need will become weaker or maybe disappear altogether.
First of all, we need to become aware of the harmfulness of refined sugars. And above all, accept that we have probably already become addicted. Unfortunately, no “addict” will admit it.
The first trick is to satisfy the natural need for sweets exclusively through natural sources – fruits and vegetables.
Second, reduce your daily intake of refined sugars to a minimum (less than 10% of your total calories). And we already have too many of them in hidden sugars.
Drink more herbal teas, especially those with a strong taste, because they’ll block the desire for sweets.
Research has shown that proper sleep reduces the body’s need for sugar and neutralizes the work of hormones that cause appetite.
Anyone who exercises regularly knows how much their need for sugar after training is actually reduced and how stable the insulin level is.
Dehydration is a major cause of sugar cravings. The body then lacks minerals and nutrients and it will desperately seek to make up for them in any way.
Research has shown that artificial sugar substitutes (sweeteners) such as saccharin are addictive, so you need to be careful with them. For xylitol and stevia as natural sweeteners, there is no evidence of addiction because they do not raise glucose levels and do not stimulate insulin secretion.
Reduction of sugar intake must be carried out gradually followed by other healthy and varied foods.
Health Benefits of Reduced Sugar Intake
If you manage to “get rid” of sugar, you will soon feel better, and in a few days you will sleep better than ever, you will have more energy and you won’t have sudden and frequent mood swings.
Once you get used to the reduced sugar intake, you will start to lose weight suddenly, your skin will be cleaner and you will look fresher and younger. You will feel healthier, more mobile and you will be in a better mood, which is quite enough reason to try to take this step forward towards a healthier version of yourself.
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