World Diabetes Day 2021: How Much Sugar Is Too Much and Ways to Reduce Daily Intake


Sugar from whole food is beneficial for health. (Representational image: Shutterstock)

World Diabetes Day 2021: Despite its bitter-sweet reputation, sugar is used extensively in the food industry

Sugar has a controversial reputation among health professionals due to its harmful effects on the human body. Nowadays, we often read about the side effects and what harm can be done to our health by excessive consumption of sugar. Despite its bitter-sweet reputation, sugar is used extensively in the food industry and it often raises the question: is it in our day-to-day food, and how do we avoid it? Another question that people ask is whether sugar should be avoided completely or should be consumed in small amounts every day?

Does almost all carbohydrate-rich food contain sugar? So, how should one avoid it without depriving oneself of carbohydrates?

Well, the answer is simple: sugar, which comes from whole foods, is good for health. For example, if a person is consuming natural sugar from plant foods, it will also contain fiber, antioxidants and essential minerals. Similarly, sugar-rich dairy foods also contain protein and calcium, which are good for your health.

How much sugar should we consume daily?

According to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines published in 2015, adults as well as children should limit sugar consumption to 20 percent of their total energy intake. The report also highlights the benefits of reducing sugar intake to less than 5 percent.

Side effects of excessive sugar consumption:

  • Adding sugar damages the teeth.
  • Sugar does not give us any health benefits as it does not contain any nutrients.
  • Excess sugar affects our metabolism.
  • Sugar is the biggest cause of obesity in children as well as adults.
  • Sugar is also highly addictive as it causes a huge amount of dopamine release in our brain.
  • Sugar is also known to increase our cholesterol levels.

How to reduce sugar intake?

  • Look for other sugar substitutes.
  • Avoid consuming food that has high sugar content.
  • Include fruits and vegetables in your diet for a balanced diet.
  • Try replacing sugar with nutmeg, lemon, cinnamon or almond extracts, among other things.

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