For every kuih, roti canai, or teh tarik sold there seems to be an equal or greater amount of hair growth products on store shelves! Research shows that there is a surprising link between the two: sugar.
Yes, you heard it right! Sugar in your diet can contribute to hair loss. But how is that possible? Let me explain.
When we consume sugar, our body breaks it down into glucose, which is then used as a primary source of energy. However, excessive sugar intake can lead to a spike in insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that helps our body regulate blood sugar levels. But when there is too much of it, it can lead to insulin resistance, which can cause inflammation in the body.
This inflammation can affect hair follicles, causing them to shrink and produce thinner hair strands. Over time, this can lead to hair loss in clumps.
While the effects aren’t necessarily immediate (no, that plate of Kuihs your co-worker brought in today won’t leave your locks limp by tomorrow), they are long term. Feasting on constant sugar will cause serious damage to your hair’s precious follicles over time.
Sometimes we may not even realize that we are losing hair until one fine day you notice that your hair band that used to go around your ponytail twice a few years ago now needs to go around four or five times before it fits! Although the effects of excessive sugar intake on hair may not be immediate, it can cause serious damage to the hair's follicles over time.
The only way to reverse the issue of hair thinning caused by excessive sugar intake is through proper nutrition and lifestyle changes. A healthy scalp is essential for growing gorgeous hair, and consuming the right foods can provide nourishment from the inside out. Diet can be a powerful weapon against thin hair, and everyone should recognize the power of eating real food.
Start by reducing your sugar intake and incorporating more protein-rich foods into your diet. Protein is essential for hair growth and can help strengthen hair follicles. Additionally, try to eat more fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants can help reduce inflammation in the body, promoting healthier hair growth.
As a Malaysian, reducing sugar intake can be a challenge, as many traditional foods and drinks are often packed with sugar. However, there are some practical steps you can take to reduce your sugar consumption:
1. Read food labels: Pay attention to the sugar content of foods you purchase. Choose products that are lower in sugar or have no added sugar.
2. Drink water: Opt for plain water instead of sweetened drinks like Teh Tarik or carbonated beverages. If you find water too bland, try infusing it with fresh fruits like lemon or berries.
3. Eat fresh fruits: Rather than reaching for processed snacks or desserts, try incorporating fresh fruits into your diet for a natural source of sweetness.
4.Cook at home: When you cook at home, you have more control over the ingredients you use. Try experimenting with sugar alternatives like honey, maple syrup or stevia to sweeten your dishes.
5. Be mindful of portion sizes: Even natural sugars from fruits and carbohydrates like rice or bread can add up quickly. Be mindful of how much you are consuming and try to stick to smaller portions.
By making some simple dietary changes, you can help promote healthier hair growth and say goodbye to those clumps of hair in your shower drain. So, go ahead and indulge in a little less sugar and a little more protein and antioxidants, and your hair will thank you for it!