At this point, it is safe to say that most no longer view food as a means to survive. From social interactions to formal events, foods, including decadent desserts have made their way into every social or even private setting in our lives without us even realizing it. Pastries, ice-cream, soft drinks and so many more have slowly made their way into our diets as a staple and there is far more harm that can come from it than good. If you have a too much craving for sweet foods, it can make things harder for you down the road. Here, we will discuss the dangers of sugar and the side effects of consuming excess sugar.
Identifying Sugar Sources
It isn’t uncommon for anyone to desire a balance between sweet and savoury in our meals, but the former can fly under the radar if we are not too careful. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, desserts, dairy products and cereal all contain unhealthy amounts of sugar, with soda and energy drinks being the biggest culprits. While it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to consume sugar as a whole, it is easy to dwell into the excess territory as the consumption for this nutrient is meant to be the least out of all according to the food pyramid.
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The Benefits of Consuming Sugar
When thinking about the right kind of sugar to include for our diets, natural sugar is the most logical option. As sugar is known to be an energy source, natural sugar is not only the primary source of glucose (which is responsible for your body’s fuel), but it is also the best kind of sugar for your body to break down. The easier to break down sugar, the more your body metabolises it into energy rather than allowing it to stay in your system.
Not only does the conversion of glucose result in an instant boost of energy, but the nutrient can also be saved for later. This process is known as glycogenesis and it works by creating a glycogen chain that will break down individual glucose units over a certain period of time. However, unnatural sugar does hamper the body’s ability to break down the glucose, which converts excess glucose molecules to fat.
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With a boost of energy also comes a boost in cognitive activity. This can be split into two parts - emotional and analytical. Contrary to popular belief, sports isn’t the only dopamine inducer - sugar does also contain this feature. Dopamin is a hormone secreted by the brain when in pleasure and there are glands in our body that trigger this secretion via sugar. Natural sugars like cocoa also contain sugars and antioxidants that improve brain function as a whole and can increase alertness.
Lastly, natural sugars normally are coupled with other nutrients such as fiber, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and more. Dairy products, fruits and vegetables are examples of this and prove that the consumption of natural sugar sources benefit the body in more ways than one. This is the reason why many beverages that are considered “good for the diet” contain fruits, milk or vegetables.
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