By now, we all know that as Americans we’re consuming much more sugar than we ever have before, but could this excessive sugar consumption actually be shortening our lives? According to the experts, maybe so. Leading a long and healthy life is, of course, dependent on a number of factors, from diet and exercise to social connections, but cutting back on sugar is one simple step that could make a real difference. Medical alert systems are another example of a quick and easy step to take that could save your life.
The Negative Health Effects of Sugar
Sugar is processed in the body by insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. When we consume too much sugar, the pancreas must strain itself to keep up with producing enough insulin; when it can’t keep up anymore, diabetes is the result. In addition to diabetes, a diet with too much added sugar can increase your risk of:
High blood pressure
Tooth decay and gum disease
Accelerated aging of the skin
Some types of cancers
All of these health issues can be associated with a shortened lifespan. Simply cutting out some of the extra sugar in your diet can go a long way towards promoting a long and healthy future.
Unexpected Sources of Sugar
We all know it’s not healthy to spend all day eating sugary cakes and candies, but you may be consuming more sugar than you think in foods you’d never suspect:
Frozen Meals. Always check the labels on frozen, processed foods – even savory entrees consisting of meats and vegetables can have a surprising amount of added sugar and salt. Usually, you’ll be better off eating fresh, but when you opt for frozen meals, pick an option with less sugar.
Beverages. It can be easy to focus on what we’re eating and forget that many of the beverages we drink are loaded with sugar. And sodas aren’t the only culprit – sports drinks, fruit juices, and even iced coffees and teas can be a hidden source of sugar.
Sauces and Dressings. Salad dressing, ketchup, and barbecue sauce can all be sources of surprisingly high sugar levels, so check the label before you buy. At a restaurant, ask to keep the sauces on the side so you can control how much you consume.
In addition to these, sugar may also be lurking in your granola, yogurt, or almost any processed food. Sugar is often added when food is being processed to preserve the flavor, so make a habit of reading labels at the supermarket and opting for products that are lower in sugar.
Leading a Long and Healthy Life
Many seniors become even more aware of the need to take care of their bodies as the aging process starts to cause physical limitations or health concerns. Reducing your sugar intake is just one change to your diet and exercise routine that could make a dramatic difference in your long-term health. In addition to eating right and incorporating physical activity into your routine, medical alert systems can help keep you safe, healthy, and independent for far longer.
Wearable medical alert systems are typically found in the form of a bracelet or pendant that can be worn at all times. If you fall or are otherwise injured and are unable to reach a phone to call for help, you can simply press a button on the medical alert system to be connected to an operator and the services you need. To learn more about the different types of systems available and their features, read our reviews page.