Let's admit it, one cupcake or an ice cream a day can put a bevy of our daily woes at bay. And, it is totally okay to indulge yourself with these sugary treats once in a while. It is only when you overdo it, that the problem arise.An overload of sugar, sits in the system as an overload of calories which can contribute to weight gain. An abnormal weight gain is further linked to a range of diseases- from diabetes to some forms of cancer too.
Excessive consumption of refined sugar, can put your health at major risk. The zero nutrient value of sugar does not help your body and instead leads to weight gain and other ailments in the body. While certain amount of fat and carbohydrates in your body are required for energy, too much of sugar may do more harm than good.
One reason why it becomes difficult to cut down on sugar is because sugar is simply addictive.When you consume sugar, dopamine is released in the brain giving you a pleasurable feeling. Eventually, our brain starts looking for more foods that release dopamine, leading to an addiction of sorts.
Sugar also causes lot of our hormones to not function properly. For instance,a hormone known as leptin is secreted by our fat cells to signal the brain that we are full and we don't need to consume anything else. Sugar resists leptin hormone to give signals to the brain, therefore a person can't tell when he or she is satiated and tend to go on.
How to cut down sugar naturally:
1. Find Alternatives to Processed/Refined Sugar
Refined sugar is the worst form of sugar you can consume. Look for natural alternatives like coconut sugar, jaggery, honey or maple syrup. These are less processed and are not so harmful for your health.
2. Gradually Cut Down on the Amount of Sugar Intake
Don't cut down sugar at one go. Start slowly, or else you may find yourself prey to some worse withdrawal symptoms. Start by cutting down on the amount you consume. So, if you are used to taking two teaspoons of sugar in your morning tea, make it one and see the difference. If you have a habit of adding two to three spoons of sugar in your bowl of dahi, try making it just one.
3. Eat Fruits To Avoid Sugar Cravings
Pick up a handful of your favorite fruits, so that you are not only consuming sugar, but also fiber and other nutrients with it. Load up on seasonal fruits and enjoy the different flavors alongwith its high nutritional value.
4. Cut Down on Hidden Sugar Consumption
According to Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health practitioner Shilpa Arora, "one must look out for hidden sugars. Sugary beverages, ketchups, mayonnaise, condiments are full of sweeteners that can risk your health." These condiments generally have high amount of sugar and sodium to preserve them for a longer period. Keep a check on how much of these you consume in a day and monitor your intake accordingly.
5. Eat Small and Frequent Meals
Eating small meals at short intervals may help you cut down on cravings too. It keep the metabolic system working. This way you would not crave for sugar and stay healthy.
Follow these fool-proof tips and tricks and cut down your sugar intake naturally.