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.
‘Limit your desires and you will improve your health’
As humans we are prone to various temptations and often end up indulging in them. Lack of self control and poor lifestyle choices makes 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. Several studies have revealed that to stay healthy it is important to have control over the 3 Sins, which include:
Let us read to know all about the 3 S (salt, sugar and stress) and the role they play in maintaining our health.
Salt: the necessary evil
Can you even imagine your food without salt? It is the essence of all our meals. Salt not only makes our food taste amazing but is also a major source of sodium which is critical for good health. It helps in the retention of fluids in the body and maintaining the pH levels of blood. Our body requires sodium to transmit the nerve impulse, contract and relax the muscle fibres. It is only obvious to love salt but too much of salt can have really harmful effects on our health. So, let’s have a look at 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. Over time, the increased volume of blood causes the veins and the arteries to stiffen, which could gradually lead to problems like high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. Salt can directly have an effect on the heart, aorta and kidneys as well. Excessive sodium levels in body is also known as hypernatremia. Severe hypernatremia can cause seizures, coma and even death.
- To be healthy: This does not mean that you have bland or tasteless food, rather maintaining the right balance is the key. Salt is an essential in our meals. What we have to keep in mind is the amount of salt intake. Stop adding raw salt to salads, meals and raita. Indian meals are supported by pickles, chutneys and papads; all loaded with salt. Keep a check on the quantity of these side dishes. 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.
It is really important to keep in mind the effects of sodium on our body. Hence to stay healthy, have a control on your salt intake!
Sugar: the sinful temptation
Don’t we all love sugary drinks, candies, cakes, sweets, breads, sweetened dairy etc.? Just the thought of these 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 a negative affects 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 impact 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. Added sugars are just calories with no essential nutrients in them.
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
- Weight gain
- It can make the skin age faster
Snacking on candies or cookies: Having a candy,cookie or sugary snack occasionally can give a quick boost of energy (or sugar high) by raising your blood sugar levels really fast. But once the sugar levels drops, the cells absorb the sugar which can cause anxiety and a high intake of sugar can lead to depression in adults.
Consumption of sugar in excess can lead to a series of problem affecting practically all our organs. Keeping the sugar levels in control is an important step in staying healthy. Avoiding all the sugar laden foods should not be a temporary change, instead an everyday effort. Controlled sugar levels can keep away diabetes and various problems like heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems etc.
Stress: the slow killer
Today’s extremely busy lifestyle hardly leaves us with any time to focus on our health. Swamped in our daily routines and never ending list of responsibilities, it is quite common to get stressed out. Stress can be our biggest foe causing several health issues. It affects our energy levels, desire to work, relax, our peace of mind, happiness and physical health as well. Stress is the most ignored illness but can cause turmoil in our lives. Little bit of stress can act as a booster in dealing with certain situations but a high amount of stress on daily basis can mess with the mind and body and affect the overall health of the person. Some of the common effects it can have on our body are:
- Feeling exhausted
- Hair fall
- 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. One has to realise the affects of stress and learn to deal rather than succumbing to it. 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
- Taking out time for some hobby like reading book, listening music etc.
- Eat well, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins, vitamins and other necessary nutrients
Defeating the 3 sins smartly
Salt, sugar and stress are an integral part of our daily life. Knowingly or unknowingly we all fall victims to one or all three at some point of our life. Therefore maintaining balance is of utmost importance. The 3S can have a major affect on our body and health. Healthy lifestyle changes with proper and right amount of sugar and salt intake should include our everyday diet. 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.
Good health means good life which is a blessing, so take control of your life.
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