Most of us reach for a cup of coffee or tea as soon as we get to the kitchen. Although we enjoy our morning beverage, we tend to add sugar to make it even more enjoyable. While the addition of sugar augments the pleasure, it may have adverse effects on our health. Is sugar healthy or should we avoid it?
The body needs carbohydrates, which includes simple and complex sugars, to break it down and convert it into energy. The unhealthy sugar that most of us consume is the added sugar which we use to make our drinks and foods sweeter. The experts at Authority Health have stated that even sugars such as coconut palm or raw honey are not healthy sugars as the consumption of sugar leads to an increase in the levels of blood sugar regardless of the type of sugar; click here for more.
What Is Sugar?
The sugar we use in our tea and coffee is sucrose, which is a compound that consists of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. The sweeteners that we add to our beverages contain fructose and glucose which spurs the metabolic process when the sugar enters your mouth.
Most of the sugar is absorbed in the small intestine. The sugar is metabolized in the small intestine and then, it is absorbed into the blood. From there, the sugar is converted into glucose by the enzymes in your stomach. Your brain and body need glucose for functionality, but it often leads to gaining weight. The glucose, also, increases your blood sugar levels and insulin.
Incorporating Sugar Into A Diet
As most of us cannot live without sugar completely, is it possible to consume a certain level while still maintaining good health?
Health experts have concurred that most people cannot omit sugar completely, but they certainly can consume less of it. That is the answer. While the healthiest people consume sugar, they limit the amount of the daily intake.
- The World Health Organization has suggested that added sugar should not exceed more than 10% of the calorie intake.
- American Heart Association has advised women to consume no more than a 100 calories of added sugar a day, while men have been limited to 150 calories a day.
The Effects Of Sugar
When your diet consists of foods that contain a tremendous amount of sugar, your body forfeits important nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Beverages such as sodas provide you with a lot of sugar and calories while not providing any type of nutritional value.
Sugar allows bacteria to grow, thereby, promoting tooth decay. When you consume sugar regularly, whether it be added or natural, you increase the risk of developing cavities. The risk is augmented if you are not practicing healthy oral hygiene.
Health experts have proven that consumption of sugar expedites the process of gaining weight. When you add sugar to beverages and foods, you make it more calorie dense.
Triglycerides are a type of fat that you can find in the fat tissue and bloodstream. When you consume an exorbitant amount of sugar, you increase the triglycerides levels, which increases the risk of heart disease.
Instead of drinking sodas and sports drinks that claim to boost your energy, opt for drinking water and drinks that do not contain any calories. If you enjoy fruit juice, ensure that it is made up of 100% of fruit and does not contain any added sugar. An even better option is to eat the fruit, instead of drinking it.
During breakfast, make sure that the cereal you are consuming contains minimal sugar. Cereals such as frosted cereals are not recommended. If you are eating jellies, jam and syrup, you should choose the ones that contain reduced sugar.
For those of us who cannot resist desserts, you can still remain healthy while having an after-meal snack. Instead of choosing pies and cakes, have a bowl of your favorite fruits. When you purchase canned fruit, make sure that it is packed in water and not syrup.
Finally, you should consume whole-grain crackers and low-calorie yogurt instead of cookies and candy. Do not forget to eat vegetables, as well.
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