Here's How Giving Up On Sugar Entirely Will Affect Your Body
Nutritionists explain what it is like to give up on sugar entirely and why you must or must not follow it.
Completely giving up on sugar might have withdrawal symptoms
- White sugar is nothing but empty calories: nutritionists
- Giving up on white sugar entirely might lead to sugar cravings
- You can have healthier options of sugar like honey and jaggery
People often give up on sugar when they want to lose weight. But how does the body react when you give up on white sugar entirely? Some nutritionists say that giving up on sugar entirely is just fine as they are nothing but empty calories. Some health experts are of the opinion that it is fine to have sugar through natural food sources. Sugar in fruits, jaggery and honey are natural sources of sugar which have been considered as a healthier alternative to white sugar.
She also suggests people can switch to healthier options to combat their cravings for sugar and something sweet. "Some nuts like anjeer, raisins or prunes, or fruits like grapes can be good options with which you can substitute sugar. The normal raw sugar that we eat has only calories and no nutrients. Hence, I'm more in favour of having sugar in a way that it is more nutritious for your body," adds Monisha.
Having yogurt, with a little bit of sugar, honey or jaggery, can be a healthier option for satisfying your sugar cravings. "If you are working out the calories in sugar, then I don't believe in the idea of completely giving up on sugar. If a person is not exercising and having sugar, then it will be like adding calories and not burning any," explains Monisha.
On being asked how the body reacts on completely giving up on sugar, Monisha says, "The body might not react that well. A person might experience a few withdrawal symptoms of giving up on sugar entirely. You can replace sugar with healthier options. Completely giving up on sugar is like completely giving up simple carbs and I don't think that's a solution."
When it comes to giving up on white sugar as well, one should give up on it slowly and steadily. "Giving up on white sugar should be done slowly," says Monisha.
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Cutting down on sugar eventually can be done by adding lesser sugar in our teas and coffees, switching to healthier beverages like green, black of white tea and limiting our cravings for our favourite sweet foods as much as possible.
However, nutritionist Pooja Malhotra agrees with giving up on sugar entirely since it is nothing but plain calories. "Speaking of refined sugar, it gives you nothing but glucose and refined calories," says Pooja.
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There are no nutrients that you get from adding sugar to your food or drinks. "It is always better to get your carbohydrates in the complex form. This is because complex carbs also ultimately break down in the form of glucose in the body," explains Pooja.
Sugar gets easily digested in the body and leads to a spike in levels of sugar in the blood. This is especially harmful for people suffering diabetes. "A spike in blood sugar leads to an increase in the insulin levels in the body. The insulin levels rise because there are constant sugar highs and lows in the body. This makes you feel hungry again in a short period of time. Instead of sugar, when we eat complex carbs, they are digested slowly because they have a lot of fibre," says Pooja.
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Explaining about other reasons why we must have complex carbs instead of sugar, she adds, "Eating complex carbs enables a slow and complete release of energy into the blood stream. Moreover, they are rich in a lot of other nutrients like fibre - which is needed by the body for smooth bowel movement; they have Vitamin B complex - which is needed for healthy red blood cells and various other minerals. So as far as white sugar is concerned, it is good to give up on it completely," she signs off.
(Pooja Malhotra is a Delhi-based nutritionist)
(Monisha Ashokan is a clinical nutritionist)
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