Are you eating too much sugar? Don’t ignore these 4 warning signs
I have been on a sugar cleanse – no added sugar, sugary drinks, desserts (you get the point) -- for the past two weeks. I do this often because I come from a family of diabetics (some of my relatives even wear it like a badge of honour, like martyrs in war).
Cutting out sugar has been one of the hardest things I’ve done so far; harder than those tyre flips and 100 jumping jacks in the gym. What makes it so tough? According to a study, sugar shuts down the release of stress hormone cortisol. What this means is that sugar gives you the temporary feeling that ‘all is well’. And this makes you go back to it again.
What triggered this decision? It started when I was working out and eating all the right things, but half a spoon of sugar in my morning coffee and that occasional dessert was messing with all the hard work that I was putting into getting fit.
If you are unable to shed those kilos, maybe it’s time to evaluate your sugar intake. Here are some other signs that tell you if you’re consuming too much sugar.
Mood swings: According to Mumbai-based nutritionist Raheela Khan, sugar is sometimes an emotional need. For instance, when you feel down, you may end up picking a donut instead of a fruit. “Sugar has no nutritional value. But we still end up loading up on it, which is not good for the body. It’s important to control cravings and opt for healthier things such as green tea, fresh fruits etc,” she says. According to Prevention.com, a high-sugar diet is also associated with depression.
Constant acne: Growing up, a lot of girls struggle with acne. “The main culprit here is often hormonal imbalance and sugar is known to aide this process. If your skin routine is safe, then just keep a check on your sugar intake,” says Bangalore-based nutrition and fitness expert Iram Zaidi.
High Blood Pressure: Our body starts sending red flags when it’s high time to cut down on sugar. And one of the important signs is an increase in blood pressure.
Cavities: Did you discover some new cavities during your regular dental check-up. This could be because of hidden sugar in your diet. The bacteria in your mouth digest carbohydrates and produce acid that combines with saliva to make plaque, which when not cleaned well can lead to cavities.
So, now that you know you’re eating too much sugar, you’d be wondering how to cut it out. You may not see success overnight, but you’ll definitely see a marked improvement in your energy levels and mood in a couple of days.
Best alternatives to sugar:
Stevia: This natural sweetener is one of the most popular sugar substitutes. It is easily available at drugstores and in super markets.
Honey: This is an easily available substitute for your green tea, desserts, oats porridge.
Agave: This natural sweetener is one and a half times sweeter than sugar. It is considered healthier than honey.
Coconut sugar: Made from the sap of coconut tree, this has lower glycaemic index.
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