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The Bitter Taste of Sugar

Gagan Dhir

Remember that sugar is just an acquired taste, and those two minutes of pleasure now are not worth the pain later. These tips will help you control your sugar intake, besides setting you on the road to a healthier sugar-free life.

The most important step towards controlling your sugar intake and eating healthier food is making a commitment.

What do you do if your tooth turns traitor? You know, when one of your 32 teeth suddenly turns sweet and steers you into every sweet shop in the neighbourhood and the dessert counter at every party- and then leaves you gasping in disbelief when you climb onto your bathroom scales!

An adult diet that contains normally upto 65 percent carbohydrates gives you all the sugar you need. The food that you eat - an average balanced diet of chapatis, pulses and vegetables - contains natural sugar that provides more than enough energy for you to get by. Anything you eat in excess of that; like daily deserts, ice creams etc., just tilt the scales in the wrong direction.

If you are having a tough time doing this, try to follow some simple tips. These tips will help you control your sugar intake, besides setting you on the road to a healthier sugar-free life.

Read the Ingredients on Your Chocolate Bar Wrap
Recognise the many disguises sugar adopts when it is incorporated into candy and confectionery. Sugar, besides being devoid of nutrients, also promotes tooth decay, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It is normally listed on foodstuffs as dextrose, maltose, glucose and invert sugar.

Reach for a Sweet Fruit Instead of a Pastry
Try going for sugar the way nature intended it - in juicy apple, not in that sinfully rich chocolate pastry. While even the former is not advised for the weight watcher, it is definitely the lesser of the two evils. Even though it does no good to your waistline, it contains minerals and proteins that are not present in the confectionery, which are defined as hollow calories that have little or no nutritive value.

Go Back To Nature
The key word is natural. The difference between artificial sweets and normal sweets is that the former are released directly into the blood stream and not digested or broken down. What that means that while your simple ( and direct ) chocolate bar will give you an instant surge of energy, it is pure and simple calories that will show up in that new tyre around your waist. That is because simple carbohydrates like sugar, honey and syrups are turned into glucose rapidly and are absorbed directly.

On the other hand, sugars found in complex carbohydrates like vegetables, whole grain etc., break into glucose slowly, thus providing more sustained energy over a longer period of time.

Another factor that you should consider is that sugar found in complex carbohydrates also mean (among other things) a glowing complexion and healthy hair, while pastries and chocolates just dull your skin and leave you unhealthy and even overweight.

Honey is not as Sweet as You think it is
Mixing honey with hot water does not help you lose weight. For all those who have been pouring this concoction down their throats assiduously every morning - STOP. Sugar in any form just means more puffing and panting when you try to get into your jeans. Go for a glass of plain, freshly squeezed lemon juice, which has citric acid that helps in losing weight.

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