Food

4 benefits of cutting back on sugar

There are plenty of great reasons to reduce your daily sugar intake.

Written by Medibank
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Whether you’re trying to give up sugar, or you just want to cut back a little to improve your overall health and nutrition, focusing on the benefits is the best way to keep you committed to your plan. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults and children should reduce their intake of sugar to less than 10% of their total daily energy intake. This includes both added sugars, as well as naturally-occurring sugars in our food.

Here are some of the benefits of reducing your daily sugar intake:

Aid weight loss

Food and drink with a high sugar content such as soft drink, pastries or fast food meals often contain a lot of kilojoules with little to no nutritional benefits. Consuming more kilojoules than your body needs for energy can result in weight gain. As a result, reducing your sugar intake may help you to lose weight.

Instead of reaching for junk food when you’re hungry, focus on eating food that contains fibre, protein and low GI complex carbohydrates to give you energy throughout the day and help your body get the nourishment it needs. The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide great advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we should eat each day to boost our health and wellbeing.

Keep your smile healthy

If you like having bright and shiny pearly whites, cutting back on sugar is an excellent idea. When sugar from the food and drink we eat enter our mouth, the germs found in plaque convert this sugar into acid, which can gradually damage our teeth and cause decay. Over time plaque can build up, which eats away at the tooth enamel and can lead to cavities and gum disease. Limiting or avoiding sugary foods, brushing your teeth twice a day and regular dentist visits is the best way to keep you grinning from ear to ear.

Prevent chronic disease

In Australia, many chronic health conditions share common risk factors that are largely preventable. Consuming too much sugar is associated with tooth decay and weight gain, which may increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. Small changes in the kitchen like cooking at home instead of picking up fast food meals, swapping soft drink for soda water infused with a few slices of cucumber, lemon or mint, or deciding to skip dessert, are small steps that you can take each day to keep your body as healthy as possible.

Save money

A simple grocery list refresh can help keep your bank balance healthy, as well as your body! Steering clear of the vending machine at work, swapping sugary drinks for water, making homemade sauces and salad dressings using vinegars, tomatoes, and herbs and spices from the pantry, instead of store-bought jars and bottles will help to reduce your intake of hidden sugar and save a surprising amount of money over the course of a year. For more ideas, check out our guide to eating home cooked food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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