I am a die-hard fan of sweets. When I am stressed at home or in the office, a bar of chocolate changes my mood and completes my day. On a long summer season, I crave my favorite orange and pineapple juice. During special occasions like birthday parties and anniversaries, I always look forward to cakes and pastries.
But is it safe to take too many sweets or foods that are rich in sugar? Unfortunately, it’s not. Yes, everything we take in excess can be dangerous. Sweets are no exception. It is sad, but that is how it is.
Low in Nutritional Value
Dairy products and fruits contain natural sugar. Once consumed, our body takes time to digest these foods, making them an ideal source of energy over an extended period. They also offer other nutrients, including minerals and vitamins.
Added sugar in food, on the other hand, cannot replace natural sugar. They just increase your calorie intake. Studies have revealed that our body digests these drinks and foods quickly. That means they are not even a lasting source of energy. Plus, it may cause imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and other severe health complications.
Over the past years, health experts have studied the relationship between a high-sugar diet and heart disease. They found that people with a high amount of added sugar intake had a shorter lifespan than those taking less sugar.
Added sugar is rich in calories. Although we need calories for energy, a high intake increases our cardiovascular risk and type 2 diabetes.
An average adult only needs at least 100 or 150 calories from added sugar. Unfortunately, Americans consume more than 308 calories, which is alarming. But it is never too late. Take action today and enjoy a better quality of life.
Drastic Weight Gain
I love sodas, pastries, candies, and other sweets. I do hit the gym, but it is not enough to flatten my belly and tone my muscles.
Perhaps, you also enjoy canned beverages the way I like them. So, do not be surprised when you gain another five or ten kilos.
While buying ready-made and commercially manufactured products is convenient, it is fulfilling and healthy to prepare your own.
Added sugar alternatives are coconut sugar, honey, date paste, and maple syrup.
Among the variety of options, I highly recommend honey. Aside from sugar, honey is composed of antioxidants, vitamins, and other minerals. You could add it to salad dressings, smoothies, marinades, baked goods, and different sauces. Still, moderation is the key.
Tooth Decay and Plaque
Frequent sugar consumption can also cause tooth decay or plaque.
Our mouth has approximately 6 billion bacteria. Every time we eat sugar, these bacteria form a layer of plaque on our teeth, providing some damaging effects.
While it is innate for our body to repair this damage, regular sugar intake can be a problem. When left untreated for days or weeks, it can lead to cavities that can affect your self-esteem.
Prevention is always better than cure. For beginners, it is important to avoid the intake of foods rich in sugar. Also, brush your teeth a few minutes after eating. Plus, it is advisable to go to your dentist for your regular oral health check-up.
Type 2 Diabetes
Aside from family history, high blood pressure, inactivity, and environmental factors, diet could also cause type 2 diabetes.
A high-calorie diet, in particular, is the one to blame. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fats, rice, pasta, white bread, fruit-flavored yogurt, flavored coffee drinks, dried fruit, french fries, and fruit juice.
What are the foods you can incorporate into your diet? Fresh veggies, organic fruits, shellfish, beans, low-fat dairy products are some options you should not miss.
A low-calorie diet might be bland. But you can be creative with the food you cook. For your snacks, you can add some berries to an unflavored yogurt. If you have some apples in the fridge, you could slice them into bite-sized pieces. Then, drizzle it with some peanut butter.
Instead of hard-boiled eggs, why don’t you make some egg muffins? You do not only meet your recommended calorie consumption, but also your cravings are satisfied.