Sweet but sugarless life!!!

Common, white sugar (or sucrose) is a carbohydrate consists of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose. Sugar is made either of sugar beets or sugar canes and is specially processed to get clean and take the form as we know it. But during this process, the nutrients like vitamins and minerals disappear, resulting to a final product containing only sugars and calories. “1 teaspoon of sugar is 16 calories”.

How does an excessive amount of sugar affect us?

Even though sugars are essential as energy sources, and even though sugar has a lower glycemic index compared to bare glucose, its excessive consumption can deregulate blood’s glucose levels. It causes hyperglycaemia because of excessive insulin production.

The hidden enemy

We may think that we do not consume sugar because we don’t eat a lot of candy, but sugar is hidden almost everywhere.

How much sugar do we consume?

Obviously a lot more than we need! According to Reference Daily Intake, in a diet consisting of 2000 calories (for adults), sugar intake must not exceed 90 grams. Of course, this quantity includes every sugar source we choose to eat throughout the day, not only cakes, candy or soda. It’s also a fact that, even the “above suspicion” food, i.e. sour food, contains sugars, resulting to increased levels of total sugars.

But where is sugar hiding?

Literally everywhere! Most packed goods and ready meals, like fast food meals, include some amount of sugar and other types of sugars. So, even if you have significantly reduced sugar intake from candy, desserts or soda, you may still consume enough sugar because of everything else you eat, for example cereal, canned food, sauces, pizzas, flaky pastries, cold cuts, bread, smoothies and drinks.

What are the consequences of excessive sugar intake?

When people consume normal levels of sugar, as a part of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, the chances of it affecting their body weight or causing health issues are minimal.

On the contrary, excessive, chronic sugar intake by couch potatoes with unhealthy eating habits, increases the chances for serious health issues, like obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It can also help generate more free radicals and inflammatory factors, which overwhelm the immune system, but also speed up the aging process, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular and nervous system diseases. Consequently, it is important to measure how much sugar you consume in a day, and, if it’s too much you have to reduce it.


Ten strategies that will help you reduce it:

  1. Write down everything you drink or eat for a couple of days: You’ll find out how much sugar you consume, its sources and what food you should reduce.
  2. Reduce the quantity of packed food, snacks, candy, desserts, soda and alcoholic drinks you buy.
  3. Keep away from large meals and drinks when outside.
  4. Prefer foods which are little or not at all industrially processed.
  5. Read the labels. Choose foods without added sugars, while rich in fibers.
  6. Reduce gradually the amount of sugar you add in your drinks and/or food.
  7. Prepare homemade desserts with less sugar, using fresh or dried fruit and vegetables, like carrots.
  8. Reduce your cravings by eating sweet fruit or yoghurt-based desserts.
  9. Use more cinnamon or vanilla sticks when cooking, both able to reduce the desire for sweets.
  10. Replace table sugar with its substitutes, like fructose.