Salt, Sugar and Stress: The 3 Sins

ANI | Updated: Feb 09, 2018 09:26 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 9 (ANI): Do you often give in to the temptations of your taste buds?

Indulging in that extra slice of cake, another piece of sweet, sprinkling extra salt over your food can seem completely harmless at that time but can eventually lead to various health issues.

"Lack of self control and poor lifestyle choices make us more susceptible to various life-threatening diseases. Consumed in the hustle-bustle of everyday life we hardly pay attention to our health. The pressure of maintaining balance between work, family and friends can take a huge toll on our physical and mental health," said Dr. Snehal Singh, Lifestyle Management Consultant, Healthians.

Several studies have revealed that to stay healthy, it is important to have control over the 3 Sins, which include:

- Salt: the necessary evil

Can you even imagine your food without salt? It is the essence of all our meals. It helps in the retention of fluids in the body and maintaining the pH levels of blood. It is only obvious to love salt but too much of salt can have really harmful effects on our health.

Here are some of the facts about salt intake:

• When there is a shortage of sodium: In case of shortage of sodium in the body, a host of chemical and hormonal message sends signal to the kidneys and sweat glands to hold onto the water and conserve the sodium. Salt deficiency can lead to shock with sudden decrease in blood pressure which can affect our heart health.

• When there is excessive of sodium: Kidneys generally flush out the excess sodium by making more or saltier urine. But excessive salt in the body leads to water retention which can lead to edema. More fluid in the body also means more blood moving through veins and arteries.

• To be healthy: This does not mean that you have bland or tasteless food, rather maintaining the right balance is the key. Stop adding raw salt to salads, meals and raita. Fast foods like processed foods, canned and dried soup, baked goods etc. have high salt content and should be avoided or eaten in a controlled way.

- Sugar: the sinful temptation

Just the thought of yummy sugary delights can make our mouth water and are extremely hard to resist. Sugar is also a major source of energy but excess sugar consumption can have negative effects on our metabolism and can lead to all various kinds of diseases.

Sugar intake is also one of the major reasons of weight gain. Sugar can have various impacts on our body, like:

Calories consumption: Consuming about 10-20% of calories or more in the form of sugar can act as a major problem and can cause nutrient deficiencies.

Eating large amount of sugar: Repeated consumption of large amount of sugar can lead to some serious problems like fatty liver, joint pain (as sugar can lead to inflammation in the body), kidney damage, and weight gain.

Snacking on candies or cookies: Having a candy, cookie or sugary snack occasionally can give a quick boost of energy (or sugar rush) by raising your blood sugar levels really fast. But, once the sugar levels drop, the cells absorb the sugar which can cause anxiety and a high intake of sugar can lead to depression in adults.

- Stress: the slow killer

Today's extremely busy lifestyle hardly leaves us with any time to focus on our health. Stress can be our biggest foe causing several health issues. It affects our energy levels, desire to work, relax, and our peace of mind, happiness and physical health as well.

Stress is the most ignored illness but can cause turmoil in our lives. Some of the common effects it can have on our body are anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, irritatability, feeling exhausted, constipation, acne, hair fall and weight gain.

How to manage stress?

A lot of us suffer from stress but hardly do anything about it. Various social stigmas related to stress is one of the major reasons behind lack of acceptance.

Following are few things that can help in managing the stress levels:

• Regular exercise or any form of physical activity

• Some relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga or massage

• Socializing with family and friends

"Salt, sugar and stress are an integral part of our daily lives. Therefore, maintaining balance is of utmost importance. The 3S can have a major affect on our body and health. Various exercises, workout routines, yoga, meditation, intake of stress-busting nutrients and limiting the intake of stress-inducing substances can make us feel better about ourselves and our health," said Singh. (ANI)