Here's why you need to limit your sugar intake

While having a sweet treat occasionally is fine, regularly consuming refined sugar can cause more harm than good
Here's why you need to limit your sugar intake
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Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that comes in many forms, including glucose, fructose and sucrose. It’s found naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables and dairy products, but it’s also added to many processed foods to enhance flavour. Natural sugars are fine to have in moderation, but the problems start when we start craving too much sugar. Our brains keep craving sugar because it’s an immediate source of energy. When we consume sugar, dopamine gets released, which is a neurotransmitter associated with our pleasure and reward. So you have sugar and the body releases dopamine, which makes us feel good and creates a cycle of craving more sugar to keep experiencing that pleasant sensation over and over again.

While having a sweet treat occasionally is fine, regularly consuming refined sugar can cause more harm than good. Refined sugar is stripped of its natural nutrients and is quickly absorbed by the body, leading to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Overindulging in sugar can increase the risk of several health problems, like weight gain and obesity, a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes , inflammation, and heart issues. Sugar can also affect your skin, leading to dullness and wrinkles. Let ’s look at how sugar can impact our body:

Excess sugar disrupts nerve function by causing rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. These fluctuations can lead to feelings of jitteriness, anxiety and fatigue, affecting your mood and concentration. Over time, high sugar intake can damage nerves, leading to problems like numbness and pain, especially in conditions like diabetes that trigger neuropathy.

Too much sugar can upset the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. This can lead to digestive problems like bloating and gas. Excess sugar promotes the growth of harmful bacteria, which can weaken your immune system and harm your overall health.

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When you consume too much sugar, it affects your skin through a process called glycation. Glycation happens when sugar molecules attach to proteins like collagen and elastin, which are essential for keeping your skin smooth and firm. When these proteins become stiff and misshapen due to sugar, they can no longer support your skin properly. This damage leads to wrinkles, sagging, and a loss of radiance, making the skin look older and less vibrant.

Too much sugar intake harms our health by triggering inflammation and producing free radicals. These free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells, speeding up aging and making skin look older. This cell damage from free radicals and inflammation that gets created also contributes to various health issues, including heart disease and diabetes.

While white processed sugar is bad for health, we can choose healthy alternatives and have them in moderation to get a sweet taste minus the side effects. One can choose organic jaggery made from sugarcane juice, palm sap, or raw unheated honey that contains enzymes and nutrients beneficial for health, or raisins and dates, which are naturally sweet and packed with fiber and nutrients, or my personal favourite, coconut sugar made from the sap of the coconut palm, which has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar. But even with healthier alternatives, it’s essential to consume them in moderation because too much of any sweetener can still lead to health issues.

By understanding the impact of sugar on our bodies and opting for healthier alternatives, we can enjoy sweet treats in a way that supports our health and well-being. remember, moderation is crucial , and making small changes can lead to significant improvements in your health.

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