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Sugar: Do we need it in our diet and should we quit?

Sugar: Do we need it in our diet and should we quit?

We've talked plenty about the effects of substances like sugar, and how it can affect our diet and healthy lifestyle for the worse. Sugar seems to be an ongoing problem in the lives of everyone and is awfully hard to exclude from our foods.

It's already been explained what happens to your body when you quit sugar for a month, but should we eliminate this substance from our diet completely?

Sweet, sweet sugar

It's important to make a distinction between naturally occurring sugars and the type that are added to foods.

Sugars found in milk, vegetables and fruits are natural, called fructose and lactose, according to Bupa.

The recommended intake of sugar should be 12 teaspoons, but the average Australian consumes 30.

Added sugar can be found in almost anything processed, including fast food, takeaways, biscuits, breads, dressings and even savoury foods. You may have heard of the term 'hidden' sugar. Well, that's all the foods that contain sneaky amounts of sugar we are unaware of. A healthy meal plan with fresh foods cooked will help eliminate hidden sugars.

As a nation, Australians eat way too much sugar. Bupa claims that an average adult consumes about 30 teaspoons of sugar a day, when the recommended intake level should be a mere 12. If you do the math, that's 150 grams consumed, every single day.

While sugar is one of your body's much needed energy sources, the excessive amount we consume is having an adverse effect on our quality of healthy living.

Some stats that aren't so sweet

Excessive sugar fills your diet with kilojoules that aren't all used up as energy. They are converted and stored as fat in your body, which leads to additional weight that then has an impact on your health and lifestyle.

Considering that almost all of us have a diet that includes too much sugar, is it surprising to know that almost two in three Australians are overweight or obese? This was discovered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which also found that this category includes 25 per cent of all our children.

An un-ideal weight can also lead to a multitude of other health factors, which all affect our bodily functioning, such as heart and circulation health. This includes both your physical and mental wellbeing, which as we all know, needs to work at optimum levels in union to maintain a balanced healthy lifestyle.

Sugar is also the leading factor in tooth decay. Bupa explains that bacteria in your teeth attract sugars you eat, which produces acids that can wear down your teeth enamel. And as we live the majority of our lives with one set of teeth, it can lead to many years of expensive and painful oral problems.

Many breakfast foods contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to teeth decay.Many breakfast foods contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to teeth decay.

How to shush those sugar cravings

Thankfully, in this more informed society, there are an abundance of ways that we can combat the side effects of too much sugar. The first and foremost is exercise.

This will help to work off those excessive kilojoules floating around in your system, as well as help to target your weight. It's hard work, but will definitely pay off in the long run.

Of course, avoidance from the beginning is always better than having to remedy the effects of excessive sugar.

Health Direct Australia and Bupa suggest substitution tricks to help you cut your consumption levels down and to satisfy that sweet tooth.

  • Swap sugary soft drinks with unsweetened fruit juice.
  • Eat a piece of fruit instead of biscuits or cake.
  • For tinned fruit, choose ones with a water rather than a sugar base.
  • Brown sugar is sweeter so exchange and use less of an amount.

It also helps to choose food items with no added sugar, or a low-sugar option. As a general rule of thumb, when looking at food labels, try and avoid anything that lists sugar in the top five ingredients.

One more tip - if you feel a sugar craving coming on, brush your teeth. It'll definitely bump up your dental hygiene, and the sweet, minty toothpaste will satisfy those taste buds on your tongue.

Try use half a spoon less of sugar in your coffee next time, and gradually reduce.Try use half a spoon less of sugar in your coffee next time, and gradually reduce.

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Sugar: Do we need it in our diet and should we quit?

Do you know how much sugar you're consuming? It's likely to be too much, so here's a few reasons why you should quit for a healthier lifestyle.

We've talked plenty about the effects of substances like sugar, and how it can affect our diet and healthy lifestyle for the worse. Sugar seems to be an ongoing problem in the lives of everyone and is awfully hard to exclude from our foods.

It's already been explained what happens to your body when you quit sugar for a month, but should we eliminate this substance from our diet completely?

Sweet, sweet sugar

It's important to make a distinction between naturally occurring sugars and the type that are added to foods.

Sugars found in milk, vegetables and fruits are natural, called fructose and lactose, according to Bupa.

The recommended intake of sugar should be 12 teaspoons, but the average Australian consumes 30.

Added sugar can be found in almost anything processed, including fast food, takeaways, biscuits, breads, dressings and even savoury foods. You may have heard of the term 'hidden' sugar. Well, that's all the foods that contain sneaky amounts of sugar we are unaware of. A healthy meal plan with fresh foods cooked will help eliminate hidden sugars.

As a nation, Australians eat way too much sugar. Bupa claims that an average adult consumes about 30 teaspoons of sugar a day, when the recommended intake level should be a mere 12. If you do the math, that's 150 grams consumed, every single day.

While sugar is one of your body's much needed energy sources, the excessive amount we consume is having an adverse effect on our quality of healthy living.

Some stats that aren't so sweet

Excessive sugar fills your diet with kilojoules that aren't all used up as energy. They are converted and stored as fat in your body, which leads to additional weight that then has an impact on your health and lifestyle.

Considering that almost all of us have a diet that includes too much sugar, is it surprising to know that almost two in three Australians are overweight or obese? This was discovered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which also found that this category includes 25 per cent of all our children.

An un-ideal weight can also lead to a multitude of other health factors, which all affect our bodily functioning, such as heart and circulation health. This includes both your physical and mental wellbeing, which as we all know, needs to work at optimum levels in union to maintain a balanced healthy lifestyle.

Sugar is also the leading factor in tooth decay. Bupa explains that bacteria in your teeth attract sugars you eat, which produces acids that can wear down your teeth enamel. And as we live the majority of our lives with one set of teeth, it can lead to many years of expensive and painful oral problems.

Many breakfast foods contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to teeth decay.Many breakfast foods contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to teeth decay.

How to shush those sugar cravings

Thankfully, in this more informed society, there are an abundance of ways that we can combat the side effects of too much sugar. The first and foremost is exercise.

This will help to work off those excessive kilojoules floating around in your system, as well as help to target your weight. It's hard work, but will definitely pay off in the long run.

Of course, avoidance from the beginning is always better than having to remedy the effects of excessive sugar.

Health Direct Australia and Bupa suggest substitution tricks to help you cut your consumption levels down and to satisfy that sweet tooth.

  • Swap sugary soft drinks with unsweetened fruit juice.
  • Eat a piece of fruit instead of biscuits or cake.
  • For tinned fruit, choose ones with a water rather than a sugar base.
  • Brown sugar is sweeter so exchange and use less of an amount.

It also helps to choose food items with no added sugar, or a low-sugar option. As a general rule of thumb, when looking at food labels, try and avoid anything that lists sugar in the top five ingredients.

One more tip - if you feel a sugar craving coming on, brush your teeth. It'll definitely bump up your dental hygiene, and the sweet, minty toothpaste will satisfy those taste buds on your tongue.

Try use half a spoon less of sugar in your coffee next time, and gradually reduce.Try use half a spoon less of sugar in your coffee next time, and gradually reduce.
Sugar: Do we need it in our diet and should we quit?
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