Sugar: The Sweet Culprit!

According to WHO guidelines, the total sugar intake (per day) for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI) should be around 25 grams (6 teaspoons).

Deserts make us go…mmm yes, some more please! Once they hit our tongue, it doesn’t take long for them to become our obsession or guilty pleasure. Little do we realize how soon we get ‘addicted’ to sugar. So why is it so hard for us to resist sugary food?

The warm fuzzy feeling that we get after having candies or deserts is no coincidence. In fact, eating a little bit of sugar makes us crave for more. Why? Because the dopamine in our brain is hardwired to treat sugar the same way it treats alcohol, nicotine or heroine; leading us to crave for that high.

How bad can it get for our health?

We don’t mind relishing on a cupcake or chocolate mousse after every meal. But do we realize how bad can it get for our health? Believe it or not, sugar is the primary cause of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high-cholesterol and a wide range of health problems. The dodgy sweetness can even cause severe pancreatic issues!

You might think that you don’t really consume too much sugar. According to WHO guidelines, the total sugar intake (per day) for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI) should be around 25 grams (6 teaspoons). A 590ml bottle of Coca Cola has 65 grams of sugar, i.e. almost thrice the amount of our daily permissible intake. A 580ml orange juice has 48 grams of sugar (twice the permissible limit). And that’s not all! We find a good amount of sugar in tomato sauce, yoghurt, flavoured water, beer, cookies, biscuits and chips etc.

We might not devour on sugar directly but we consume it all the time. The packaged food and health drinks we rely on are heavily doped with sugar; and manufacturers do it with complete impunity to sell their products.

Sugar Content

Sugar free is not so real!

We also find several products in the market that are labelled sugar-free. Such products contain synthetic/artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin and aspartame; chemically altered substances that get accumulated in the liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. So they aren’t really helping much!

People in general love the lie that substituting sugar with honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup keeps us hale and hearty. These stand-ins; also popularly called health-friendly-groceries have high density of sugar in them. The hidden sweetness satiates our taste buds without even realising its presence.

So what do you do?

Train your mind not to opt for sugar. Limit yourself to only six teaspoons of sugar a day, no matter what comes your way. This will keep you healthy and fit. If you still think you need to grab something sweet, go for fruits! Consuming natural sugar is always better than consuming artificial sugar. To escape from the daily snares, start preparing your own meals, while harnessing the cook in you. And yes, the next time you buy packaged food, check the sugar content on the label.