A new WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits. But no matter how hard we try, we just can’t seem to be able to curb our addiction to the sweet stuff.
It’s common knowledge that too much sugar can harm your liver and teeth and make you overweight. So why can’t we quit sugar? Turns out, that our brain feeds on sugar and when our brain experiences sugar, it craves for more. That spark is because of a chemical called dopamine which causes our brain to light up like a Christmas tree. That is why it is not possible to quit the sugar altogether but it is important to be able to control our intake. Here are three ways to do it:
- Read the label – Manufacturers of food and beverage use different names for the sugar they add. One can use this list when we next go to the grocer. Its important to bear in mind that nearly all food contains one kind of sugar or another — even ones that don’t taste sweet. But by choosing the items that are low in sugar we are on our way to better health.
- Think before you eat – When we are tired or dehydrated, our brain gets confused. It causes you to think, that you need to eat, when all you really need is to drink or sleep. So before you reach for a sugary snack, think, is it hunger or are you tired or thirsty.
- Use artificial sweeteners – There are many non nutritive sweeteners out there, choose which one you like and use it instead of sugar.
Using these three strategies can help you cut the sugar intake and improve your health and well being. if you need more guidance on the ways to reduce your sugar cravings, contact us at Tooronga Family Dentistry for more advice.