We all know that sugar isn’t great for you, but recently there has been a lot of media on the evils of sugar. I’m not going to say having a little sugar in your coffee or tea will kill you, but if you read the nutrition labels of your food and drinks, you’ll find an astonishing amount of sugar. According to dietary guidelines, the allowable amount of sugar per day is around 32 grams.
It’s rough out there, and you need your energy to handle to hustle of the city, but if you’re downing a Redbull, look at the label and you’ll see that the little can holds two thirds of your day’s sugar intake: 20 whopping grams. So, what’s the big deal, you ask? Take a little tour of your body and what sugar does to it:
Weakens Your Immune System: We know vitamin C keeps you healthy and helps your immune system fight off viruses and bacteria. Now, imagine sugar as the villain of this story, fighting for a place and pushing vitamin C down the staircase of your immune system. Sugar makes you sluggish as it weakens your body’s ability to maintain itself.
Diseases Associated with Sugar: Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, sugar can also aggravate asthma, and even mental illness. Sugar, for obvious reasons, can show increases in mood swings and changes in personality. Imagine, your happiness hindered by something that makes your taste buds swim. Would you rather have a brownie, Mountain Dew, or a good day? It’s a vicious cycle, because when you’re feeling low, sweets are your first craving (for most people), and they make your body suffer in turn. Sugar has also shown to increase the amount of yeast in your body, as the yeast feeds off the sugar and multiplies, leading to issues like liver disease, among many others.
What to do!: There’s no way you’re going to cut sugar out of your diet (because it’s physically impossible) and you can’t toss the sweets completely, just take it easy and be aware of how much you’re consuming. If you’re conscious of your sugar intake, I can guarantee that you’ll be better at limiting it. First off, don’t waste the taste on drinks. Stick to water, sugar free drinks, and avoid juices pumped with extra sugar. Read your labels, ladies and gentleman! Save your sugar for when you can actually taste it. Also, there are simple sugars that are okay to consume, like in fruits, vegetables, and honey. Try to stick to these when you’re looking for a treat, and maybe use honey or a sugar free sweetener in your coffee or tea. Just remember, you’ll feel better if you consume less sugar, and you won’t have those angry sugar crashes that make all day feel like nap time.
Don’t skip desert when you go out to dinner, or avoid your local bakery because you’re terrified of diabetes, just learn to limit your sugar intake to a reasonable amount. Try counting how much sugar you think you’ve consumed, based on labels, for a day or two. The first day count up what you would normally eat, and the second day eat based on how much you should be consuming and see how you feel on both days. What have you got to lose?
Written by Ashley Teal, Campus Clipper Blogger
See my blog Still Life With Teal
or follow me on Twitter @amteal
Check out Associated Supermarkets to find a healthy alternative to sugar, or some sugar-free snacks.
Or try Whole Foods for some great student discounts!