- Sugar can make you feel good because of dopamine
- It is addictive in nature
- It does more harm to your body than you can imagine
No matter which diet you're on, sugar is one ingredient which you will be asked to avoid. However, giving up on sugar is no easy task either. You can avoid adding refined sugar to your teas and coffees, but the struggle is to avoid sugar which comes from unsuspecting food items like pasta, burgers, ketchups, aerated drinks and sugar sweetened beverages. Excessive sugar consumption is one of the leading causes of diabetes. Once you get a hang of avoiding these hidden forms of sugar, your body will begin to benefit from it almost immediately. This is not to infer that even a teaspoon or two of sugar will be harmful for you. Regular consumption of sugar in excessive amount can have harmful consequences.
What happens when you leave sugar entirely?
We speak to nutritionist Mugdha Pradhan about effects of leaving sugar on body. Here's what she has to say, "Giving up on refined sugar is one the best things you can do for your body. Refined sugar really has no place in your diet."
According to Mugdha, giving up on sugar entirely can make you feel more energetic and less lethargic throughout the day. This will happen when apart from giving up on refined sugar, you also give up on refined carbs and switch to high fibre sources of carbs.
"Studies have shown that sugar can create cancer cells. Cancer cells tend to feed on sugar for their growth. Sugar is known to cause diabetes, Alzheimer's and numerous other disorders," says Mughda while adding that despite this, people still find it difficult to leave sugar as it is addictive in nature.
Sugar triggers neurotransmitters in the brain known as dopamine. "It gives you the instant high of feeling good. However, that effect wears off soon as dopamine is a temporarily created neurotransmitter. After the effect wears off, you start feeling low and again crave for sugar. This vicious cycle continues," she explains while citing a reason why it's difficult to give up on sugar.
She goes on to add that sugar is known to cause Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other behavioural issues in children.
It is safe to have fruit sugar though, she asserts. Mangoes, bananas, pineapples or can be consumed regularly and they will not cause harm. Complex carbs like millets, brown rice, pulses and legumes are also good for your health.
As she signs off, she says that you can have a glass of sugar cane juice, but not refined sugar. Dates, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup and jaggery are healthier alternatives to sugar which you can bank on. These healthy sugar alternatives can not only aid weight loss, but can also improve heart health, control diabetes and prevent mood swings.
If you have a sweet tooth, it's time for a reality check. Start with controlling sugar consumption, have desserts only occasionally, and work towards achieving the goal of going sugar-free today!
(Mugdha Pradhan is nutritionist at ThriveFNC)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.