What are sugars?Sugar is pure, refined carbohydrate derived from plants such as sugar cane and beet. The table sugar that we eat is called sucrose.
There are other types of sugar found in various foods. Fruits mainly contain fructose. Glucose is found in honey. It is also found in sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and energy drinks.
Keep in mind that almost all foods that taste sweet will have sugar.
How does sugar make you fat?
Refined carbohydrates give you energy. 1 gram of sugar will give you approximately 4 calories, which is far less than that given by fat. 1 gram of fat gives 9 calories.
Then why sugar is bad for you?
Well! unlike fat, sugar is quickly assimilated by the body causing a sudden raise in glucose level in the blood. It causes an instant energy boost.
In response to high blood glucose levels, the body secretes more insulin which makes the glucose level to fall.
When your sugar level drops, you feel hungry and eat more food.
This effect can clearly be seen in children. Kids eat cake, biscuits, and lots of sweets in a birthday party and they become manically energetic. A short time later they become irritable and tearful. This is caused by reduced blood sugar levels.
If you give some more food to eat that time, they will be happy. It is a main cause of obesity in children.
So, it is obvious that if you eat more sweet, you will tend to eat more food to satisfy your apatite. All these extra calories will be stored in the body as fat.
The worst scenario is, most of the fat will be deposited inside your belly. It is called abdominal obesity, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
How to reduce sugar intake?
- First, find out where all the sugar is coming from. Not surprisingly you will know that almost half of the added sugar in your diet comes from sweetened drinks.
- So, avoid soft drinks, they are not a healthy food. Instead drink more water that will help maintain a healthy weight.
- Don't consume energy drinks. They are made for athletes to give instant energy.
- Do not eat too much cakes, ice cream, and sweetened breakfast cereals.
- Read the nutrition label in packaged food. Avoid buying food that contain large amounts of refined sugar. You may like to read about smart shopping tips to lose weight.
Here is a list of foods with high sugar content.
- Canned or packed fruit
- Cereal bars
- Sweetened breakfast cereals
- Ice cream
- Soft drinks and energy drinks
- Some fruit juices
- Sweetened or flavoured milk
- Flavoured yoghurt
Consumption of foods that contain large amounts of sugar is a major cause of overweight and obesity. If you want to lose weight, switch to sugar free diet.