From gulab jamun and jalebi to halwa, ras malai, and karanji, we Indians sure do love our sweets! It’s no wonder that India is the world’s largest consumer of sugar. Indian sweets have always been an occasional treat, but health experts are concerned by the increased consumption of processed sugary foods in the last decade. Sugar provides plenty of calories, but zero nutrition, so if you are on a diet, there are a few things you should know about sugar.
Sugar Secrets Every Dieter Should Know
Health experts say that lakhs of Indians are dependent on sugar even though they don’t realize it or don’t accept it and refer to their sugar addiction as nothing more than a “sweet tooth”. Nutritionists say that men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar per day, while women should limit their intake to just 6 teaspoons. Now consider this – 2 cream biscuits contain 5 teaspoons of sugar while a small fruit juice tetra pack contains 4 teaspoons of sugar… still think you don’t have a sugar problem? Here’s the bitter truth about sugar.
Your Brain Sees Sugar As A Reward
“When you binge on high-sugar foods regularly, the reward circuit for sugar gets strengthened’
Sugar triggers the production of dopamine – the “happy hormone”, which is why consuming excessive sugar creates a reward circuit, where your brain starts to see sugar as a reward. When you binge on high-sugar foods regularly, the reward circuit for sugar gets strengthened – this is why chocolates and ice cream make you feel happy and are considered to be the ideal comfort foods… unfortunately they go straight to your love handles!
Sugar Can Be As Addictive As Coke
“Mice that were addicted to cocaine were given a choice between their favorite drug and sugar and they chose sugar!”
Recent studies show that sugar can be every bit as addictive as coke! In fact, animal studies showed that sugar might be more addictive – mice that were addicted to cocaine were given a choice between their favorite drug and sugar and they chose sugar! So the next time you feel the need for a sweet “fix”, you might want to consider that you could be addicted to sugar.
Sugar Increases Hunger
“Sugar prevents your body from sending satiety signals to your brain which leads to overeating”
You have a large coke and instead of feeling full, you soon start to feel like you’re starving. This is because sugar exacerbates hunger. Sugar prevents your body from sending satiety signals to your brain which means that even if you have a large meal, you do not feel satisfied and land up overeating. If you have a coke with your meals on a regular basis, you can expect to pile on the pounds pretty quickly.
Colas Are The Biggest Sugar Culprits
“A 300 ml can of coke contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar which is almost double the amount of sugar you can consume in a day”
We know that coke is not exactly a healthy drink, but do you know just how much sugar colas contain? A 300 ml can of coke contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is almost double the amount of sugar you should consume in a day. Colas are a surefire way to gain weight quickly, so if you want to lose that belly fat, you need to ditch that coke can now!
Artificial Sweeteners Can Increase Sugar Cravings
“Artificial sweeteners increase sugar cravings & may actually contribute to weight gain”
Artificial sweeteners trick your brain into thinking a food is sweet – it seems like the ideal way to have your cake and eat it too! However, research shows that artificial sweeteners increase sugar cravings and instead of helping you lose weight, they may actually contribute to weight gain. So don’t think you’re safe simply because you switched from regular soda to diet soda!
Now you understand why you’ve always found it so hard to give up on sweets! Don’t try to overcome your sugar cravings but instead, have more fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. Find healthy ways to swap sugary treats for sweet, but healthy options – for example, you can have a homemade fruit and nut smoothie instead of your regular bowl of ice cream. As with any addiction, the first few weeks are the toughest… so hang in there!
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