Can you try it?! Yes, avoid added sugar for a day?..It is very challenging, but if you are able to do it, it will be like a revolution! I know that you are thinking that you actually do not consume much sugar daily, but we can tell you that there is sugar hidden in almost all the ready-to-eat foods , even those that do not taste sweet!
For e.g. if you start your day with tea/coffee/ horlicks or a canned juice with some crackers -all of these contain sugar. If you eat bread, muffin or your so-called healthy muesli or cornflakes; these contain sugar for sure. Sugar is also present in abundance in our ketchups, sauces, snacks/ farsaans (chips, chivda, etc) , beverages, chocolates and of course the desserts /sweets. Added sugars are present in many foods and we do not even realize it , read the labels and you will be shocked
Why sugar is bad?
Impaired memory : Research has shown that sugar can compromise cognitive abilities such as learning and memory. The high sugar diet damages communication between brain cells that fuel learning and memory formation.
Increase anxiety: High sugar intake may not cause but worsen anxiety symptoms and impair the body’s ability to cope with stress. Sugar can cause blurry vision, difficulty thinking and fatigue, all of which may be interpreted as signs of a panic attack, thereby increasing worry and fear
Is addictive: Sugar causes release of chemicals that imitate the action of addictive compounds such as cocaine. They stimulate the same reward centers in the brain leading to addiction to sugar.
Increases risk of depression : Although we seek sugary foods when we are feeling low, sugar provides only a temporary high. Rather, sugar further suppresses activity of hormone (BDNF) that is low in individuals with depression and schizophrenia aggravating their symptoms.
On your sugarless day, you can eat naturally sweet foods such as fruits, vegetables, and dried fruits (https://blog.ekincare.com/2015/10/27/some-naturally-sweet-food/) but we can still guarantee that these will only partially serve to satisfy the craving.
Sugar is comforting because it floods the brain with the feel-good chemical dopamine and that is why we seek the sweetness. However, even the apparently non-sweet tasting foods such as bread, chips and salted crackers also contain sugar and thus provide satisfaction.
Abstaining from sugar even for a day can be make you feel very irritable and confused as your brain is addicted to that kick. But, if you can train your brain to work without it then you are a WINNER!
Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.