Refined sugar is the bad constituent of our daily diet. This is a fact, established by numerous studies. Scientists have extensively researched on the matter and found out that processed sugar is linked to rapid aging, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and even some strains of cancer. Regardless of its adverse effects for health, sugar has been an important part of many dishes and meals all around the globe.
Due to its widespread use, health experts are divided into two groups regarding the consumption of sugar. Some of them are calling to cut the amount of recommended sugar intake while few are of the opinion that excluding sugar completely out of diet is necessary to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
What is Refined/Processed Sugar?
Processed sugar is usually extracted from sugar cane. Sugar canes are rich in sucrose, which is a combination of two primary carbohydrates, namely glucose and fructose. Raw sugar cane syrup was boiled, cooled and solidified in the form of sugar crystals. This refined and processed crystalline sugar is used as an added ingredient in numerous foods and drinks.
Natural Sugars are not that Harmful
Glucose, lactose and fructose are considered natural sugars because they are found in fruits and certain vegetables. They are considered more suitable to consume than the processed crystalline sugar.
Modern Dietary Lifestyle is Crammed With Added Sugar
Sugar has earned bad reputation due to its excessive use in popular contemporary foods and drinks. Soft drinks, chocolates, baked desserts and many other dietary items contain tons of sugar. It is a wide known fact that a glass of fizzy drink have up to 7 tablespoon of processed sugar and a standard-size chocolate bar contains around 6 tablespoon of added sugar. Both of these items are equally popular in every age group and demographic all around the world.
Grave Health Risks of Excessive Sugar Consumption
There are two major health concerns that have their roots in the excessive use of refined sugar.
There is a study published in the health journal which concluded that added sugar probable make your body more prone to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases than dietary sodium found in table salt. It has been measured that consuming 24-ounce of fizzy drink can increase blood pressure and heart rate up to 15/9 mm Hg and 9 bpm respectively.
It is worth mentioning that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of premature deaths in the developed world. According to the statistics provided by CDC, hypertension is one of the primary contributing causes of more than 360000 deaths in the US.
Obesity itself is a basis of many life threatening diseases. Nearly one-third of American population is facing the problem of obesity and ingesting too much sugar is the one of the reasons. According to a published study, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is causing weight gain in children and adults alike.
Sugar Consumption has Transformed Into Sugar Addiction
According to one study, the consumption of diets, with rich content of sugar, showed signs of craving and withdrawals in rats when their sugar intake was reduced. Conclusion of this research highlights the fact that sugar works in the same manner as drugs in reward pathways of mammals’ nervous system.
Statistics from CDC points towards the alarming situation of excessive use of sugar in the US. Refined sugar is 13% of total daily calorie intake of American adults. Cutting the entire consumption of sugar is neither advisable nor possible. However, reducing it to the possible minimum levels and replacing the refined sugar with natural options can prove to be good for healthier life. Following are some of the organic substitutes for refined sugar that you can add in your daily diet.
Raw, unprocessed honey is best to use for its sweetness, antioxidants and nutrients. Honey can be added in tea instead of sugar and coffees. There are many dessert recipes that can be made with honey and without using processed sugar.
Coconut has many health benefits. Its water and milk has been used for years due to their healthy properties. Coconut is also used to made sugars with low glycemic index and high mineral content. It can also used instead of refined sugar in the making of different desserts.