Sugar, that white, grainy substance that adds an irresistible taste to breakfast coffee or after-dinner ice cream, may not be as bad as we think. In fact, it can actually provide us with essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
However, too much sugar, especially added sugars, can have detrimental effects on your body. While it’s okay to indulge occasionally in some sweet treats from time to time, the American Heart Association suggests limiting daily sugar consumption to no more than 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men and 25 grams or 6 teaspoons for women.
1. It Gives You an Instant Burst of Energy
Sugar is transformed into energy within your body when consumed. This power drives your brain, organs such as muscles and lungs, and provides sustained energy for physical activities.
Foods high in natural sugars, like fruits, vegetables and grains, provide an instant energy boost. Not only that but these also help regulate blood sugar levels and keep you full throughout the day.
However, added sugars found in processed foods such as cakes, cookies, candy, pies and soda are not the most beneficial sources of energy.
Contrary to fruits and vegetables, refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index (GI). This means they raise your blood sugar quickly, leading to an energy spike shortly afterwards.
2. It Stores Energy for Later
The body stores some of its energy produced through glycogenesis for later use, which can be beneficial if your main source of fuel runs out. This process helps ensure you don’t go hungry when other resources run out.
Glucose is the most prevalent sugar in human nutrition. It also serves as the primary energy source for our brains and bodies.
However, too much sugar can have serious negative consequences. To combat this issue, incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals along with low-fat dairy products like milk or cheese into your diet to reduce your exposure to refined sugars.
3. It Helps in Weight Loss
Sugar not only tastes delightful, but it has an important role in weight loss. It helps you feel full after meals and reduces cravings for high-calorie foods.
But be mindful of how much sugar you consume; too much can lead to various health issues like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Refined sugar has been chemically processed to enter your bloodstream quickly and raise insulin levels, creating an immediate urge for sugar in your body.
4. It Helps in Managing Blood Sugar
Sugar is one of the primary sources of energy in your body, found mainly in carb-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products.
All carbohydrates are composed of one or more molecules of monosaccharides, such as glucose, fructose and galactose. These simple sugars combine in various combinations to form more complex carbohydrate structures.
The body absorbs these sugars directly into your bloodstream, mostly in your small intestine. Once there, glucose quickly raises your glucose levels and prompts insulin release (7).
5. It Helps in Managing Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common health concern, but there are ways you can take to lower it and minimize your risk of complications. One such step is cutting back on sugar intake.
A recent study suggests that cutting sugar intake may be even more beneficial for blood pressure than cutting salt intake. While sodium is an essential part of a balanced diet, eating too much can lead to high blood pressure.
Sugars are a ubiquitous component of modern diets, often found as sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. If left unchecked, added sugars can lead to weight gain, obesity and diabetes – especially when they’re processed into refined forms.
6. It Helps in Managing Blood Sugar
Sugar, or glucose, is the main energy source in your body and comes from food consumption.
Insulin helps regulate blood sugars, a hormone which allows the body to utilize sugar for energy. Maintaining healthy sugar levels can aid in growth and help shield you against future health issues.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels requires eating a balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Furthermore, it’s essential to limit added sugar (or processed sugar) in your meals.
Additionally, staying hydrated is beneficial to help regulate blood sugar levels. Dehydration increases the concentration of sugar in your blood, making it harder to keep under control.
7. It Helps in Managing Blood Sugar
Controlling blood sugar is an integral part of healthy living. It helps to prevent diabetes and other serious health issues that could compromise a person’s wellbeing.
Your body converts a variety of foods into glucose, the primary energy source for cells. You can get your daily serving of glucose from foods like fruit, vegetables and grains.
Sugar can also be consumed through processed foods and beverages, leading to a sudden spike in your blood glucose level – known as hyperglycemia.
If you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels, speak to a doctor or other health care professional who can offer ways to manage them. Taking insulin or other medications may help manage diabetes effectively and keep your glucose within the desired range.
8. It Helps in Managing Blood Sugar
When you consume carbohydrates such as breads, pasta, rice, potatoes or fruit, your body converts them to sugar. This conversion is controlled by insulin which helps your body use and store sugar for energy production.
Additionally, exercise helps your body regulate blood sugar levels by decreasing glucose production from liver, muscle and fat cells.
Eating a balanced diet that contains the correct amounts of protein, fats and carbohydrates can help you keep your blood sugar under control. Speak to your doctor, nurse or dietitian about creating a meal plan tailored for you that fits into your lifestyle and includes the right amounts of each.
Regularly checking your blood sugar and keeping a journal can help you make small adjustments to meals or medications to better regulate it. Try tracking levels before and after exercise, or before and two hours after eating something.
9. It Helps in Managing Blood Sugar
When you consume carbohydrates through food and drink, they break down into glucose (sugar). The pancreas then produces insulin to help the body’s cells absorb this sugar from the bloodstream and lower glucose levels.
Tracking your blood sugar levels daily is the key to understanding how foods, activities and medications affect your glucose levels.
Your healthcare provider can provide you with either a blood testing record book or blood testing meter so that you can save your results.
Tracking your blood sugar can give you valuable information about what you eat and when you exercise. This data may be utilized in refining your diabetes management plan.
10. It Helps in Managing Blood Sugar
One of the primary advantages of sugar is that it helps regulate blood glucose levels. This is because sugar contains glucose, which provides energy to cells throughout your body.
Blood sugar levels can fluctuate drastically, so it’s essential to monitor them regularly.
To better regulate your blood sugar, eat small meals and snacks throughout the day and drink plenty of water.
Hydrating your body helps regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, it makes you feel fuller so that you won’t want to eat as much food at once.
Monitor your blood sugar level using a digital meter or app on your smartphone. Alternatively, keep track of readings in an electronic notebook or journal.