Health and Fitness

How does Sugar Affect the body?


I’ve been trying to reduce our sugar intake over the last year. I have a terribly sweet tooth, and when I’m under stress I reach for something sugary. It’s a vicious circle, as once I have some sugar, I then want more. Anyone else struggle like this? I have no intention to cut out sugar altogether – I really like chocolate and cake! But I just want to make sure I’m not regularly eating too much sugar. Partly I want to reduce my sugar intake to take care of my teeth – I had a horrible root canal a few years ago and I’d rather avoid another one if I can! but I also think my sugar intake is detrimental to my overall health. I was sent this infographic on how Sugar affects the body – it’s amazing how much it does affect!

Provided by Zuma Nutrition

Reducing my sugar?

I have no idea where to start really, so I am going to go for the simplest option. Where do I add sugar? So, I have started reducing my sugar by stopping adding it to tea and coffee. I worked out that I drank roughly 6 hot drinks a day, with one sugar in each – so 6 teaspoons of sugar was being saved every day by not having sugar in tea and coffee. That is a huge amount! I think it’s almost the recommended daily intake?!

Sweet eats

I have swapped our normal yogurts for natural yogurt. We add fruit to it to flavour it, sometimes I’ll blend the fruit into a puree, but not always! I’ve noticed this saves us money on yogurts too, especially when I use frozen fruit with it! I’m not sure how much sugar this “saves” us, but it certainly feels a healthier swap?

Bananas are one of my favourite fruits, they are super sweet, so a banana is ideal to replace my sweet treats in the evening. One of my favourite replacement treats is frozen banana dipped in dark chocolate. OK it isn’t exactly low sugar, but it is a lower sugar option than my ice-cream sticks used to be!

Breakfast cereals, I have always loved the sugary cereals! But, I’ve banned them from the weekly shop. We were eating well over the recommended portions, so it had to be done. I now only buy them for special days – Birthday, Easter or Christmas. Instead we eat a lot of porridge, Weetabix or toast! I’d like to start making breakfast mufffins, but I’m just not organised enough at the moment.

Hidden sugar…

Sugar is in so many things, pre-made sauces used to catch me out. I assumed a pasta sauce would be quite a healthy option, and had no idea of the added sugar in some sauces. I’ve have learnt to make my own sauces, and honestly I wish I’d learnt sooner. It saves me money, reduces my sugar, and they taste pretty good too. Actually I think the easiest way for me to reduce our sugar intake is by cooking more from scratch – then I can see what I’m adding to each meal!

(Please note: I am not a health or fitness expert, I am sharing my personal experiences of trying to reduce my sugar intake. Always seek advice from a professional.)