Why Do We Need to Eat Sweets?
Something we hear too often is people saying that the only way to be healthy, is to cut sugar out of your diet. According to a study by Statista, 44% of people consume chocolate or sweets a few times a week while only 3% never indulge. But there are many conflicting opinions about whether or not we should include high sugar snacks in our diet. So, why do we need to eat sweets?
The Sweet Tooth
Is the sweet tooth real? Well, it depends on how you look at it. There is evidence to suggest that some people are predisposed to crave more sugar in their diet. A study published by the NCBI shows that a sweet tooth is something many people have, but their cultural background, age and personality defines their perception of sweets.
All humans are predisposed towards enjoying sweet things, but how they perceive sugar defines how much they eat. For many people, sweets are an indulgent treat, but for some, sugary snacks become an addiction that they don’t know how to break.
What’s the Deal With Sugar?
Interestingly, people have come to view sugar as a bad thing they should stay away from. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals that consume regular amounts of sugar are no more at risk of developing cancer or Alzheimers than people that don’t consume it at all.
The real issues occur when people fill their diet with sugar and consume too much of it regularly. But if you consumed nothing but fruit or cheese you’d suffer from side effects. The truth is that a healthy diet consists of moderate amounts of sugar, fat, protein and fibre.
Perhaps people focus more on sugar because such large amounts are in popular drinks. For example, one can of Coke has 39 grams of pure sugar, which is significantly over the 37.5 grams and 25 grams recommended for men and women, respectively.
Naturally, if a can of Coke takes you over your sugar limit, then it’s understandable why people are scared of sweets. But while it’s easy to lose track of how your fizzy drink intake, sweets are different.
Why It’s OK to Eat Sweets
For many people, the idea of giving up their favourite treats fills them with terror. We see people struggling through new diets all the time. The keto and paleo diets drastically restrict what you can and can’t eat, which can cause more harm in the long run.
Let’s look at why it’s OK to eat sweets, in moderation.
The Adverse Diet Effect
One of the worst things to do is completely deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy. For example, the keto diet requires participants to cut out massive amounts of carbohydrates and sugars. It focuses on protein and dense dairy foods, and people can lose a lot of weight.
But, a common side effect of the keto diet is binge eating. For example, if you completely cut sugar from your diet, then you’ll want it more. It’s human nature to crave the things we can’t have, and sugar is no different.
Many people find they swing diet, meaning they embark on an intensive journey to lose weight, reach their goal, then binge on sugary snacks and gain the weight all over again. Crazy, right?
When you allow yourself to eat whatever you enjoy in moderation, then you can stay healthy and maintain your body weight.
There Are Benefits of Sweets
You might be surprised to find out that there are some sugar benefits. It’s not all bad, and in some cases, a sweet treat can boost your health. Here are some advantages to indulging in your favourite treat.
Sugar Can Boost Your Concentration
If you have a test coming up or a stressful project at work, eating a small bag of sweets can power up your mind and enable you to concentrate. We see a lot of athletes using energy drinks to boost their performance and sweets have the same effect, but it’s less intense.
You Could Live Longer
Believe it or not, but moderate consumption of sweets can make you live longer. Published by the NCBI, the prolonged study from Harvard showed that even people with a daily candy habit lived longer than individuals who cut it out of their diet completely.
While nobody could explain the surprising results, the College did note that factors such as smoking, exercise and alcohol consumption weren’t contributing factors in the study.
Chocolate Can Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Yes, even chocolate offers health benefits. There are many studies to back this up, including guidance from the NHS. People who eat dark chocolate five times a week are least at risk of heart disease.
Sweets Improve Your Mood
In moderation, sweets can provide you with a much-needed dopamine hit, which can release feelings of pleasure and happiness. When you’re stressed or suffering from a low mood, sweets can temporarily provide some relief. But, it’s also important to remember that using sugar as a mood elevator too much can lead to addiction.
What Can We Learn From This Information?
Why do we need to eat sweets? Because they’re a part of our diet and restricting ourselves could lead to more health problems in the long run. Whether it’s a bag of jelly babies or Stinger bar sweets are good for you in moderation.
From the advantages sweets offer, it’s clear they’re not the enemy many people think they are. But people steer clear of sweets because they’re terrified of the sugar content. Ultimately, the most important thing we can learn from the studies is that everything in moderation is the best way to live.
If you’re eating 2000-3000 calories a day (depending on your recommended amounts) and adding sweets on top of that, then you’re going to feel the adverse effects.
Weight gain occurs when people consume more than their daily allowance over a prolonged amount of time. Still, a stable calorie intake enables you to enjoy your favourite foods and maintain your body weight.