an article especially for Indian mothers who put extra sugar as a symbol of their extra love towards their children
Sugar the word itself is too sweet for our ears to hear. But!!! Is it really that sweet for our health? Most of the people can’t take the fact that sugar can actually harm their health. No matter which region, culture or caste you belong, anything sweet is considered to be the most blessed way of celebrating happiness and joy.
But, does the sugar have any health benefit?? Or any nutrient? The answer is “NO” sugar only contain calories. Sugar is said to be “Hollow calories”. It does not have any vitamin or minerals. It can only satisfy your tooth buds.
Eating too much calories can make you gain weight and can also cause tooth decaying. And this weight gain can even leads to multiple health problems such as diabetes, high insulin levels, PCOD, hormone imbalance, heart disease, joint pain etc.
Especially children are so fond of sweets and sugary items that even a small candy can mentally fill their stomach than a small bowl of cereal. Now a days type –I diabetes is too common among children especially if any of the parent have diabetes. So, it’s always better to limit the sugar intake right from the beginning or after initiation of weaning because the child will develop the same taste while growing up.
According to World Health Organization for optimal health we should restrict our added ‘free sugar’ intake to just 25 grams or 6 teaspoons a day. But what exactly does this mean?
Sugar can exists in two forms, one is “Natural sugar” and the other one is “Free sugar”. The sugars that occur in fruits, vegetables and dairy products are natural sugars whereas sugars that are removed from their original source and added to food items in the form of sweetener or as a preservative to increase the shelf life of the product are considered to be free sugars.
The best ways to stay away from these extra calories are:
Avoid foods which contain added sugar, such as sugars in biscuits, juices, candies, chocolates, flavoured dairy products, breakfast cereals, ready to eat food, readymade soups, fizzy drinks etc these all come under free sugar category.
Also sugars in honey, maple, nectars, and other unsweetened fruit juices, vegetable juices and smoothies. The sugars in these foods occur naturally but still count as free sugars.
These free sugar gives you no health benefit instead provide extra calories, unwanted weight gain, adversely affect diabetic patients and results in other health hazards.
Be careful while buying any packaged food from outside, always read it’s label and check the ingredients before buying. The companies are selling products by using names such as cane juice or palm sugar and many more as disguise to avoid the word “Sugar”.
These free sugar contain fructose. It is one of the table sugar available in most of the packaged foods.
Instead of sugary juices, squashes, and fizzy drinks go for plain water, low fat milk and plain low fat yogurt and lemon water plain.
Avoid taking plain table sugar, honey and syrups so that you can choose a natural sugar option instead to soothe your sweet tooth.