Sugar is always described with a word that denotes goodness but sugar is anything but good. It’s not something we think about too much when we celebrate the great moments of our life with a slice of pie, a square of cake or a scoop of ice cream. There is no limit the ways in which we dress up sugar to make life sweet.
We think that sugar only affects our insulin and leads to diabetes but that is not the only disease that sugar can cause. Here’s a list of ways sugar can wreak havoc on other parts of our body.
- Weight gain and obesity
- Liver disease
- Skin problems
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Increased risk of PCOS
Do some of these items surprise you? Not so sweet is it?
Do you know what the “recommended” amount of sugar is? 6 teaspoons! If you are one to track your macros, how much sugar to you eat in a day?
Sugar is tricky because it is added to so many foods you wouldn’t normally consider treats or sugary snacks. Add to that the fact our fluctuating hormones can create wild sugar cravings, it’s really something we need to be proactive about, in order to keep our sugar intake to a minimum.
How can we improve our health by limiting sugar? One of the best ways is to be educated about the different forms sugar can take. Learn to read food labels and know what it all means. For example, anything ending in ‘ose’ is a form of sugar and will affect insulin levels; dextrose, maltose, sucralose. Sorbitol is another sugar source to keep an eye on.
Keep an eye on your intake of sugar substitutes as well. Just because some substitutes don’t raise your insulin levels, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing damage to your gut and other parts of your body. If sugar is just something you can’t live without, then at least choose the kind derived from plants such as Stevia, Monk Fruit, Xylitol, or Agave syrup. There is ongoing research into these substitutes but in moderation, they can help curb those cravings that are so hard to manage.