How much Sugar is Sweet for you?

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Are you the one who is stuck between “That’s too much” and “That’s too less” dilemma whenever you sit over a table to have a tea or a coffee? Well, you are not alone. For those who couldn’t figure it out yet, this article is to tell you about the right sugar levels that you must intake.

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Almost everybody, unless you are a nutritionist or dietician or any other diet-expert buddy, doesn’t know the optimal level of sugar intake of their bodies. Why? Simply, just because they haven’t fallen prey for the ailments those they can suffer if their bodies get too little or too much of sugar than that they should be consuming.

To begin with a basic question, what is sugar? What constitutes ‘sugar’?

Well, sugar is a type of sweet-tasting carbohydrates. Here, cognizance of natural and added sugars is very important. We get NATURAL SUGARS from fruits and vegetables mainly and to be general, from plant products. Milk and dairy products also add to our sugar sources’ list. Natural sugar’s main nutritional function is to act as a quick and easy fuel for our body to work.

Glucose, fructose, and sucrose are some typical sugar types. These are healthy foods that also contain water and fibers. While on the other hand ADDED SUGARS are found in candy and processed food items like soft drinks etc. And to be very honest, these added sugars do the most harm to one’s health.

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Coming back to our main topic, the right amount of sugar intake is dependent on your age and your gender.

For children aged up to four years, 19 grams of sugar in a day is recommended. It makes nearly 5 teaspoons of the sugar which mainly be contributed by natural sugars like plant products and milk and dairy products.

For children aged from 5 to 18 years, 24-25 grams of sugar intake is recommended which makes about 6 teaspoons of the sugar in a day. While as per research it was found that children of 5-12 age group consume more than 100 grams of sugar and the source of that sugar intake was mainly formed by cakes, cookies or other desserts. Unfortunately, teenagers also consume nearly 119 grams or 28 teaspoons of sugar per day which is far more than the recommended limits.

For adults: The AHA (AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION) recommends sugar intake of adults on the basis of gender. Females should not consume more than 100 calories of sugar per day and men should not consume more than 150 calories of sugar per day. And that too should be consumed mostly out of natural sugars and one should void added sugars as much as possible.

Have you ever known a person who loves to eat sweet food items and do actually consume them to a great extent and still got nothing to worry about his or her health? Yes, it is possible. AHA says that sugar intake is not a worrisome topic for children and teenagers provided that they live an active and healthy lifestyle. But for adults, the limits are set keeping in mind the kind of life they live and the level of activities they perform. What if the limits are not minded by people? What kind of trouble will be faced by their bodies? This is answered here;

 

WHAT IF YOU TAKE TOO MUCH OF SUGAR?

1. WEIGHT GAIN- When you consume fructose (a type of sugar) through sodas or juices, it increases your hunger for more and more food. Additionally, its consumption resists one of our hormones (leptin) which controls our hunger. So basically, your sugary drink is not filling your tummy rather making you feel more hungry.

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  1. HEART FAILURE– High level of sugar consumption is also linked with your chances of getting a heart attack. Sugar-diets, as explained above, lead to an increase in obesity that further increases blood pressure level which results in making pressure on your heart. This pressure becomes a reason for your heart failure.
  2. INCREASE IN RISK OF TYPE-2 DIABETES– Just as high sugar intake resists leptin, it also gives resistance to insulin hormone which regulates blood sugar levels. Resistance to insulin then increases sugar levels in your blood and thus rising type-2 diabetes chances.

 

WHAT IF YOU TAKE TOO LESS OF SUGAR?

Firstly, sugar is a form of carbohydrates, which are sources of energy. If you miss out on sugar, you will skip an essential element of your diet which will further affect your energy level in the body. Secondly, have you ever thought about why your mood feels so good when you consume sweet-tasting food items? This is because when you consume sugar, your body releases feel-good hormones like dopamine. The more you consume sugar more your mood gets lifted. So, when you cut your sugar intake not only your body but mind undergoes an unpleasant experience. You start feeling irritated, angry and depressed. That’s why people find it very tough to leave on their sugar habit.

So, how exactly to get on the right path if leaving sugar is such a tedious task? Here are some tips to get you the right sugar:

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  1. Instead of added sugar, go for natural sugar which is obtained from fruits and vegetables.
  2. Avoid having sodas, soft drinks, etc. Instead, opt for fruit juice without added sugars.
  3. If you add sugar to your drinks such as a glass of milk etc. go on to slowly cut the sugar in them. Not suddenly but gradually your cravings will reduce.
  4. Count the calories on packets of food items those you buy. Choose the one which has the least sugar in it. This will ultimately lead to you to consume less sugar.

Sugar intake cannot be suggested on a general basis for everyone. The one who is in the late 30s may need more sugar per day than that who is in his teenage simply because of the level of physical activity he may be doing. In the end it’s you who need to take care of your own needs for sugar. Are you the one who can handle a lot of it without any health issues or are you the one who is lying idle and gaining weight day by day?

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