We are living in a “sweet” world today. They may not always taste sweet, but many foods and drinks made using modern processing methods tend to contain added sugar. It shouldn’t be a surprise, therefore, that many Indians are eating too much sugar every day.
This is a worrying concern because sugar can cause dental caries. This isn’t just a problem common among children but adults as well. What happens is that our mouth contains certain types of bacteria that convert sugar in the foods we eat into acid. This acid will then erode the enamel of our teeth. If left untreated, this can lead to pain, tooth loss, and infection.
Another problem with sugar is that it contains calories but very few nutrients. As a result, eating too much sugar increases our chances of becoming overweight, putting us at higher risk of getting related diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases. Surely, you have enough reasons to begin making your meals less “sweet”!
Studies have also shown that people who eat a high-sugar diet tend to have a lower intake of vitamins and minerals, therefore putting themselves at higher risk of experiencing micronutrient deficiency. Additionally, excessive sugar may cause hyperactivity among children.
Some Tips to Cut Down the Sugar:
- Eat foods low in sugar. Cut down on sugary foods such as candies, cookies, cakes, jams, jellies, soft drinks, fruit juice, canned fruit, ice cream, pies, pastries, ketchup and most other desserts, like rasgullas, jalebis.
- Use less sugar. Preparing cakes, desserts for a special occasion? For every cup of sugar listed in the recipe, use only 2/3 to 3/4 a cup. Whenever possible, you can replace sugar in the recipe with other tasty substitutes such as fresh fruits, dried fruits (raisins), fruit puree or pulp.
- Drink beverages that are low in sugar. Choose plain water over sugary drinks such as juices, soft drinks.
- Use less sugar or sweetened condensed milk. For your coffee or tea add only one teaspoon of sugar or sweetened condensed milk.
- Watch when you eat. Avoid consuming sugary foods and drinks between meals and close to bedtime.
- Check food labels. If sugar is listed at the beginning of the ingredient list, this means that sugar is one of the main components of the product. Choose food products with labels such as “less sugar”, “low in sugar” or “no added sugar”.
Beating the sugar habit isn’t easy, but it matters greatly to your overall health and is well worth the effort!