Although glucose is vital for a healthy body, since every cell within your body can use it as an energy source.
However, if you become addicted to glucose or the various other types of sugar; such as fructose then you may find that your weight and your overall health may suffer.
Recent scientific studies have shown that too much sugar in your diet can cause health issues so you should really think about making some changes to your sugar intake.
Dangers of too much sugar
One of the most talked about dangers of consuming too much sugar is weight gain, which is caused when the extra sugar you consume is not burnt by your body and is instead converted into triglycerides, a type of fat that is often stored around your waist, hips and thighs.
Another danger of consuming too much sugar will increase your blood sugar levels that will increase your risk of suffering type 2 diabetes.
Finally, too much sugar can affect your immune system and increase the risk of suffering various chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
When sugar is consumed it releases feel good hormones like a drug within your body. No wonder people become addicted to sugar.
Unfortunately as with any addiction it can be difficult to stop these sugar cravings, even though you now know the dangers of too much sugar.
Certain types of sugar are worse than others
Although you need to watch the overall amount of sugar you consume there are certain types that you really should try to avoid.
Fructose for example is best avoided as it is even more addictive than glucose, but less satisfying. Meaning you want more of it.
You can find fructose in various food types as it is used in fructose corn syrup. Fructose corn syrup is used to help extend the shelf life of certain foods.
Studies have shown that fructose can affect satiety (your feelings of fullness) with one particular study showing that rats who consumed fructose were more likely to gain weight and become obese.
Beware hidden sugars
There is sugar in plenty of foods that we know about so it is easy to cut back on those, however sugar is also hidden in many foods too.
Did you know that both tomato ketchup and salad cream both contain high levels of sugar?
You may not know that starchy foods when digested will be turned into glucose (sugar). Therefore every time you eat pasta, rice or bread you are feeding your sugar addiction.
How to find out how much sugar there is in food?
To find out the sugar content of the food you eat you will need to find out its GI Rating.
GI means Glycemic Index, with those ranked highly on this list being high in sugar.
Those foods with a high GI rating tend to digest quickly and cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, which cause feelings of hunger to occur once these sugar highs drop.
By reducing the amount of high GI foods you eat you will be able to reduce your cravings, therefore cutting your food intake and subsequently lose weight.
Watch out for those low fat foods?
Low fat foods contain very little fat (less than 3%), which can make them tasting bland. Therefore food manufacturers often add sugar to these foods to make them taste better.
Unfortunately you may not realise there is this added sugar as subconsciously you will believe that low fat means that the food is healthy.
In reality these low fat foods may be even worse for your health.
When picking a food from your local supermarket you should always take the time to read what it contains. It only takes a moment to read the label.
How can you reduce your sugar intake?
These following tips can help you to cut back on your sugar intake and help get those scales moving in the right direction:
Tip #1 – Avoid cutting all sugar
If you cut all the sugar from your diet you are unlikely to succeed. The likely outcome is that you relapse and revert back to your old habits.
Tip #2 – Reduce your sugar intake in your favourite foods
If you usually add sugar to your coffee or tea then you should stop, or at least cut back.
Also, if you love your sugary drinks (like Coke) then I’m sorry but you really need to stop, you should be drinking water instead.
Tip #3 – Try low GI foods
Low GI foods contain less sugar so will not cause those sugar high and subsequent lows that cause cravings.
Tip #4 – Check those food labels
It only takes a second but it is important you know what you are putting in your mouth.
Always look for alternate names for sugar used on the packaging as some manufacturers will attempt to hide their sugar content.
Look out for ingredients that end in ‘ose’, such as fructose, sucrose and maltose, as these are all types of sugar.
Tip #5 – Cook your own meals
If you have a favourite food or meal then try to cook your own version.
Takeaway food and the food served in restaurants are normally high in sugar so cook your own using healthier ingredients.
At least then you know what you are really eating.
Tip #6 – Keep a food diary
By writing down what you eat on a daily basis you will know its calorie and sugar content.
You will also be able to make those necessary changes should you discover that a particular food is not as healthy as you originally thought.
Although sugar is addictive there is no reason to let it ruin your diet. It is possible to beat sugar addiction and start to lose that excess weight.
Use the above tips to cut back on your sugar intake, cut those cravings and improve your overall health.