Many Singaporeans eat far too much sugar without even realising it, putting their health and wellbeing at great risk. Having a carbonated soft drink, nibbling Lemon Puff biscuits and having a bowl of Mee Siam for lunch – along with a one or two seemingly innocent snacks and drinks – can easily push you over your sugar allowance for the day. The fact is that today’s quick-bite diet of convenience leads to various health problems, affecting everything from your complexion to your internal organs to your waistline.
Read on to find out why you should be keeping that sweet tooth in check, and how you can do it.
The dangers of diabetes
Over 400,000 people in Singapore were diagnosed with type II diabetes in 2015, and if unchecked this number could rise to one million by the year 2050. A serious chronic disease, it’s expensive to treat (and painful if you require insulin injections) and can lead to complications like heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Sometimes it even results in amputations, with over 1,500 Singaporeans losing limbs to diabetes every year.
Getting real about sugar
According to the Health Promotion Board and the World Health Organization, your sugar consumption (excluding naturally-occurring sugars found in veggies, fruit and milk) shouldn’t exceed 10 per cent of your daily caloric intake. Added sugar intake should be no higher than 40 to 55 grams a day, depending on your energy requirements, which vary according to factors including daily physical activity, age and gender. (Added sugar refers to sugar that is added to food or drinks: during the manufacturing process; while food is being prepared; or at the table.)
Sugary foods are high in calories, significantly increasing your chances of developing type II diabetes, as well as causing you to pile on the pounds. Cutting down on your daily sugar consumption makes maintaining a healthy weight easier and has other benefits, too – including cavity-free teeth, fewer energy crashes and better skin.
Cutting Back Doesn’t Mean Missing Out
But cutting out sugar is easier said than done for many of us, so just start small. Instead of drinking soda every time you’re thirsty, drink a glass of water or fruit juice for a change. Replace candy bars and sweets with fruit when you’re craving a snack. And every now and then ask for wholegrain rice and bread. When you crave dessert, pick the healthier but yet tasty alternative like non-fat yoghurt.
For a healthy treat, consider Vitagen Less Sugar. Containing 50 per cent less sugar than regular cultured milk drinks on the market, Vitagen Less Sugar is loaded with billions of probiotics and prebiotics– the essential and healthy bacteria that promote good digestion and fight harmful microorganisms.