Are you addicted to sugar?

Are you addicted to sugar?

While it is hard to stay away from it, experts think that most of us are living in a toxic overload, thanks to our everyday items like ice cream, energy bars and even salad dressing.

Many of us already know that eating too much sugar can damage our teeth, lead to diabetes and obesity. But it also triggers other health problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. While it is hard to stay away from it, experts think that most of us are living in a toxic overload, thanks to our everyday items like ice cream, energy bars and even salad dressing.

Nutritionist Keertana Ramu says, “We often don’t realise that sugar is a big factor for energy draining. It’s also the main culprit for acne and ageing.”

There is a big difference between natural sugar (unprocessed food likes fruits and vegetables) and the packaged ones we buy. While natural sugars like jaggery and honey are available on the market now, many of us prefer to buy other ones as they are easier to use.”  

“There is a certain amount of sugar that you need to intake every day and we should do everything we can to keep it that way. The WHO standard of sugar consumption is 9 tsp for men and 6 tsp for women. I know that we find it easier to buy sugary food as we are always on the go, but with a bit of planning, I think we can avoid the addiction,” adds Keertana. 

So what all can you have on a daily basis? Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, dietitian, says, “We find it easier to have a piece of cake or a muffin for breakfast. But since sugar absorbs in our blood quickly, you will also feel hungry sooner. This is mostly false hunger which you can avoid if you just have normal breakfast instead. 

While we agree that it’s not possible to stay away from it, there are certain things you can do to be aware of the sugar consumption. Start reading what’s written in the nutrition labels of the packaged products for a week. 

Think about it this way — four grams of sugar on your food label is equivalent to a teaspoon of sugar. Since we do end up exceeding the limit, try to use substitutes. 

Homecooked food

“Our Indian diet is one of the best compared to American foods, especially breakfast. We get enough and more nutrients with what we eat. Idli is one of the best items to have as it has the good kind of carbohydrates that our body needs.” “Have more home cooked food so that you can restrict your sugar consumption,” says
Keertana, nutritionist

Start early

Experts suggest that parents keep a watch on the amount of sugar children intake. This could lead to them becoming addicted to the sweetness and eventually lead to other diseases when growing up. Avoid tetra packs and include more fruits in their diet.

A balanced diet for adults

Breakfast can be either idli, sambhar and chutney. Poha and buttermilk or stuffed paratha and a cup of curd, if you prefer a North Indian meal.

Try to have a whole fruit (preferably seasonal) around 11 am so that you don’t binge on lunch. Have tender coconut water, herbal tea, green tea or buttermilk for hydration. Have small portions of rice, dal, chapati and sabzi for lunch.

Avoid biscuits for evening snacks. Have pulses like chana instead. When you’re back home around 6 pm, have lemon water or tender coconut water. Binge into some fruits before dinner.

Have an early dinner and it should be the lightest meal of the day. Have either rice or chapati (not both) and avoid too many combinations with it.

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