THE DANGERS OF CONSUMING ADDED SUGAR

NO MORE SUGAR! NO MORE CRAVINGS!


How much sugar should you consume daily?


In this modern era, added sugar is the worst enemy to our health and should be avoided at all costs especially when you purchase your goods at the grocery store. Ensure that you check the food labels on your packaged food to know exactly what you are feeding your body.

The American Heart Association advises men to consume a maximum of 37.5 grams of added sugar daily, whilst women are advised to consume a maximum of 25 grams added sugar daily.
Consuming too much sugar can lead to health complications such as diabetes, chronic illnesses, blood sugar spikes and weight gain. Prevention is better than cure therefore, strive to be a bit cautious on what you eat to increase longevity and basic wellness.

SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF CONSUMING ADDED SUGARS.

ACNE- Have you ever eaten some delicious chocolate bars or doughnuts and after 4 hours or more you suddenly breakout? According to the Healthline, sugar contains oxidative properties that are shown to provoke acne and breakouts. Sugary foods once ingested, convert quickly into glucose and cause the body’s insulin levels to rise leading to bursts of inflammation on the body. Research shows that insulin spikes play a huge role in producing excess sebum or skin oils and this contributes to clogged follicles plus a worse skin complexion.

HYPER ENERGY- I am sure most people are aware of the dangers of giving children candy and how uncontrollable they become afterwards. I remember when my little cousins came over to my place and ate some candy. Oh, my goodness, how I wished they hadn’t eaten those doughnuts! They couldn’t settle on one place, some were running all over the house and I had to chase them, some were laughing nonstop and it wasn’t even something funny to laugh at. Can you imagine a kid laughing like crazy after every 10 seconds? It was like that. They were high and hyper. After some time, they eventually lost all that energy and slept like babies. Whew, that was over finally! My point is, don’t give children treats that contain sugar, rather buy sugar-free sweets or make healthier snacks for them like fruits etc.

WEIGHT GAIN- sugar is high in calories while offering few other nutrients, they are often referred to as empty calories, as they are high in calories yet void of nutrients, Consuming small amounts of added sugar is unlikely to cause weight gain, but regularly eating food with added sugars may cause you to gain excess body fat quicker and more drastically. Food high in sugar are less filling thus one tends to eat more in order to feel satiated. This causes one to eat an excess of their daily allowance and results in weight gain.

LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF CONSUMING ADDED SUGAR

PREMATURE AGEING– We all need the fountain of youth, however, that juice you had for breakfast or the dessert you had before bed is sabotaging your goals. Sugar ages all both internally and externally. Here is something interesting: According to Dr Nish from the Unity Point Health Organisation, when you put a banana out on the counter and unpeel it, It gets brown within 24 to 48 hours. The sugars in that banana are reacting with proteins, causing cross-linking and the brown colour (browning reaction). The exact same reaction happens in our bodies thus we are browning from the inside out. The more sugar we have, the more our skin starts to suffer. This leads to acne, the appearance of wrinkles, sagging in neck and chin, development of dark spots, slower healing of cuts & scraps, etc.

WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM– According to a study done by researchers at Loma Linda University in Southern California, sugar impairs white blood cells. The main purpose of white blood cells is to fight bacteria and viruses that enter the body, however, sugar wears them out so that they can’t get that critical job done.

SUGAR ALTERNATIVES
  1. Honey- Instead of adding cubes of sugar in your tea or coffee, why not replace it with natural honey? Raw honey contains less fructose and is the only natural sweetener with health benefits such as anti-microbial effects, promotes heart health and contains anti-inflammatory effects.
  2. Instead of having fruit juice, drink plain water with lime or lemon fruit to taste.
  3. Include cinnamon in your tea for sweet taste.
  4. Snack on dried fruit instead of candy.
  5. Maple Syrup- unlike sugar, maple syrup contains more than 50 beneficial compounds including antioxidants and a molecule with anti-inflammatory properties. The darker the syrup, the higher the concentration of these compounds.
Various kinds of sugar

Natural foods are always the best.
Check out more of my healthy low-carb recipes on the recipes page. Enjoy!

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Butternut squash

10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE WINTER SQUASH

MELT THE FROST

Are you tired of eating potatoes? Are you out of side-dish ideas to serve your family? Are you at the verge of giving up preparing a hearty winter meal for your guest coming over?
Well, have some little Faith (me), here is a little treat for you!
The winter butternut squash is where you begin. The nutrition and health benefits of butternut squash are plenty, and you can enjoy it—baked, boiled, or sautéed on its own, or added to stir fries and salads. It’s the perfect side dish to any entrée.
Before we delve into the recipe, let me give you some 10 amazing health benefits that the butternut squash can bring to you, your family and guests!

The Health & Skin Benefits of Butternut Squash

1. HEALTHY BONES

Have you been experiencing some leg or joint pains? Have you been struggling to go for those morning runs because your legs start aching when you run that first kilometre? The solution lies in including butternuts in your diet! The winter squash contains plenty of manganese and vitamin C. Manganese helps to maintain a healthy bone structure, calcium absorption and enzyme creation. Vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen, which is vital for building bone mass. Magnesium also contributes to the health of joints and bones. The squash contains minerals such as iron, folate, zinc and phosphorus which contributes to healthy bones and protects them against osteoporosis.

2. REDUCES PMS SYMPTOMS

Have you been suffering from excruciating cramps before or during your monthly period? Well, some people rely on the pills to subside the pain, but, how about approaching this differently. How about you try to adjust your diet, start to eat healthily or exercise more often? I believe that doing things the natural way will lead you to the perfect you. When you do so, you will experience fewer period cramps and have an immune system which is less prone to viruses (airborne). A study proved that the women who consumed high amounts of this mineral as part of their daily diet suffered fewer mood swings and cramps than others. Therefore, eating squash is a great way to increase your intake of magnesium.

Butternut squash
Butternut squash
3. ASTHMA PREVENTION

Butternuts contain high levels of Beta-carotene: an antioxidant. Studies have found that people who have a high intake of beta-carotene have a lower risk of developing asthma. This delicious orange vegetable can prevent the emergence of asthma in you or your loved ones.

4. MAINTAINS A HEALTHY SKIN

As mentioned earlier, squash is an excellent source of vitamin A. It has beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A within the body. Being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A is required for maintaining proper health and integrity of the skin. The butternut squash also contains nearly half of your daily dose of vitamin C, which has been linked to healthier skin.

5. PREVENTS SKIN AGING

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined links between vitamin C and skin ageing in 4,025 women aged 40-74 and found that higher intakes of the vitamin were linked to a lower likelihood of wrinkles and dryness. The squash protects your skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure and prevents dehydration. Regular consumption of squash keeps your skin hydrated. Look younger!

6. BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS

The butternut squash is the best choice for healthy and sustainable weight loss. It is fat-free and very low in calories. A cup of yellow squash contains about 36 calories, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1-gram protein and less than 1-gram fat besides being cholesterol free. The squash has low-calorie content due to fewer carbohydrates. Thus, if you want to lose weight, you can easily replace higher calorie vegetables like potatoes and corn with yellow squash.

Butternut squash
Butternut squash
7. PREVENTS & FIGHTS CANCER

The high antioxidant content in the butternut helps in eliminating free radicals from the body. The beta-carotene present in the vegetable protects the body from pollutants and chemicals that can lead to cancer.

8. PERFECT FOR YOUR EYE HEALTH

The squash contains lutein antioxidant which plays a huge part in preventing the emergence of cataracts and macular degeneration, which often leads to blindness. If you want healthy eyes and improved eyesight, then start eating!

9. PERFECTS YOUR HEART HEALTH

Butternuts reduce the risk of heart disease as they contain negligible fat and almost no cholesterol. They also contain magnesium which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Magnesium along with potassium helps in reducing high blood pressure. The vitamin folate present in butternuts helps in removing an unhealthy metabolism which is responsible for heart attack and stroke. Moreover, folate lowers cholesterol levels, and this reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

10. FIRES UP YOUR DIGESTION

Doctors recommend that you should consume plenty of fibre-rich foods to aid the body’s digestion process. The squash contains good amounts of dietary fibre, and you can include it in your diet to facilitate bowel movements. If you have been having digestion issues such as constipation or bloating, the butternut squash can relieve those symptoms.

RECIPE TIME!
Butternut squash
Butternut squash


INGREDIENTS:
• 800 grams of butternut
• 350 ml of water
• 125 ml of full cream
• 10 grams of chia seeds
• ½ grapefruit
• ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
• Cucumbers
• Cooked beetroot
• Mint leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Chop the butternut into cubes
  2. In a saucepan, put the butternut pieces, pepper & water, then bring to boil.
  3. Boil for 20 min.
  4. Put the boiled butternut into a food processor.
  5. Add cream, squeeze the grapefruit juice into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy
  6. Decorate your soup with sprinkles of chia seeds, cucumbers and cooked beetroot. Enjoy!
    Prep time: 25 min
Butternut squash
Butternut squash

I would like to thank The Refillery SA for the wonderful chia seeds!

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