Sugar is a carbohydrate found in a variety of different foods and drinks. While the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables are healthy to consume, manufacturers often add unnecessary sugars to the processed foods we eat, such as sodas, desserts, and cereals. This addition is meant to make the food taste better, but unfortunately, it’s far from healthy.
Unlike fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, foods that have added sugars do not provide any nutritional value, nor are they a good energy source, as your body digests them quickly. Additionally, consuming an excessive amount of sugar can lead to dangerous health problems, including weight gain and diabetes.
In this blog, we’re breaking down the main reasons why you should limit your sugar intake and offering up some healthy alternatives to enjoy instead.
Why Added Sugars Are Bad
While sugary, processed foods are undoubtedly tempting, they offer little to no health benefits. This is largely due to their high sugar content.
Below are just a few reasons why these added sugars are bad for your health:
- Added Sugars Equal Empty Calories – Added sugar significantly increases the number of calories you consume without providing any nutritional benefits. Choosing to eat or drink foods with these “empty calories” can lead to imbalances, nutritional deficits, and other health complications.
- Excess Sugars Can Lead to Weight Gain – Because your body typically digests foods that contain added sugars quickly, you won’t stay full for very long. This may cause you to indulge in even more unhealthy choices, ultimately leading to weight gain. And while sugar itself doesn’t lead to obesity directly, it’s one of the main contributing factors.
- Added Sugars Increase Your Risk of Diabetes – Diabetes is more prevalent throughout the world now than it ever has been before, and consuming excessive sugar is a significant risk factor. If your diet is too high in sugar, it can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin helps regulate your blood sugar levels, and when it’s not appropriately controlled, your likelihood of developing diabetes increases significantly.
- Sugar Consumption Can Cause Tooth Decay – When you eat sugar, the bacteria within your mouth forms a layer of plaque over your teeth. And if you consume it often, sugar can cause these bacteria to grow and multiply, leading to cavities and other lasting teeth problems.
Healthy Alternatives to Sugar – How to Limit Your Sugar Intake
If you’re wondering how to limit your sugar intake, there are a variety of healthy snacks, meals, and beverages you can choose instead, including:
- High-Protein Foods – High-protein foods like meat and eggs help to keep you feeling full, effectively preventing your sugar cravings.
- Smoothies and 100 Percent Fruit Juice – Smoothies and 100 percent fruit juices satisfy your sweet tooth without adding in extra sugar or calories.
- Yogurt and Whole Fruits – Instead of reaching for a candy bar, opt for a whole piece of fruit or a cup of Greek yogurt with berries and honey.
Stock Your Pantry with Delicious, Nutritious Foods from Nutmeg State Nutrition
When you focus on eating healthily and limiting your sugar intake, it’s easier to get the nutrients your body needs without consuming extra calories that can compromise your health. To help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, Nutmeg State Nutrition has a complete line of tasty and perfectly proportioned diet snacks, entrees, and drinks.
For more information about our products, contact us today!