From January 1 2020, the UAE government will increase the cost of sugary, carbonated drinks by 50 per cent. The legislation was passed to curb the population’s excessive sugar consumption and improve the nation’s health
So, how much sugar is too much? In today’s age, we’re experiencing unprecedented access to information, especially through social media. Influencers and celebrities are able to share insights into their lifestyles and offer advice to their followers. But how do you know what diets and lifestyle choices are truly beneficial?
One step you can take that will categorically improve your health is reducing your consumption of sugary drinks. By cutting down on sweetened beverages, you can lower your body’s production of insulin and lessen excess calories, which are stored as fat. This reduction in weight will also lower your chances of obesity-related health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention recommends that adults should be consuming less than 10 per cent of their total energy intake, which is equivalent to 12 teaspoons of sugar each day. When you consider that some popular carbonated drinks contain around 10 teaspoons of sugar, you can see how easy it is to quickly reach unhealthy levels.
Beating the habit
When you consume sugar, the body releases dopamine in the brain, which triggers sensations of excitement in the brain’s reward pathways. In 2016, a study by Australia's Queensland University found that in the long term, excessive consumption of sugar leads to lower dopamine levels, which in turn leads to higher consumption as people try to attain the same sense of reward.
If you want to break the habit of consuming too many sugary drinks there are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances of success:
1. Eat fruit
There is a misconception that the sugar levels in fruit can make them unhealthy. And, while some fruits are indeed high in sugar - when compared to other foods - eating excessive amounts of fructose through fruit alone is relatively difficult. Fruit is also nutritious and loaded with water and fibre, especially when compared to the lack of nutritional value found in sugary soft drinks.
2. Drink water
When your blood sugar levels drop, your body starts to crave sugar. The body requires water to keep the blood flow at the right pressure, so not only is water essential for your body but it helps control your cravings. It’s also sugar free!
3. Clean out the cupboard
If you’ve got a pantry packed with sweet treats and a fridge stocked with ice-cold sugary drinks, it makes it far harder to avoid succumbing to your next fix. Swap the soda for water and your chances of success will dramatically improve.