LIFE IS SWEETER WITH LESS SUGAR…
It doesn’t matter which nutritional program you choose, sugars seem to be the enemy. It’s such a hot topic…..especially today with our quarantine situation. People who sit in their homes ingest huge amounts of sugars from all sorts of food items (did you know that Catsup has a fair amount of sugar in it????). Unfortunately, according to recent research, more than 40% of our young children are now obese. And, with schools conducting online classes……no more PE to get these kids moving!
The average American consumes 22 to 30 teaspoons of sugar each day, according to the American Heart Association. That’s an extra 350 to 480 calories each day in sugar — and over three times the recommended daily amount.
Lots of people write to me asking about fruit in their diet. And, unless you are committing to a strict diet – like my 90 day lean down (Thanks Gina), natural sugars such as those found in fruit are usually ok in a balanced diet. We DO need to keep them in mind (and eat fresh fruit as opposed to dried fruit…) but, the real culprits are the added sugars which seem to be hiding everywhere. These added sugars are what we put into our foods and drinks – think brown and white sugar for that southern favorite – sweet iced tea (now if I could just get that accent down…..). They are also added by the manufacturer – things like corn syrup and agave. The big negative is that sugar makes you feel good. AND, it’s HIGHLY addictive….
One of the major problems is that they are useless calories. In other words, they are not beneficial to us in any way. As we age, our activity tends to decrease (I’m here to get you moving if you feel ready for change:) yet we are often taking in the same number of calories PLUS the caloric addition of the added sugars. This sneaky sugar makes weight gain all too easy!
Regular soft drinks and sweets are the biggest culprits for added sugar. These added sugars result in our consuming an inordinate number of empty calories. Research has also shown that added sugars can cause an increase in heart disease and Type II diabetes. Additionally, recent research has shown a link between added sugar intake and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
But the effects of sugar on the body go far beyond a simple increase in calorie consumption. Sugar consumption affects organs throughout the body, including the liver and heart. It increases your risk of disease. It can affect your thought processes. It even affects the appearance of your skin. Sugar messes with your functioning from head to toe — from minor annoyances to life-threatening health conditions.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 100 calories, or roughly six teaspoons, of sugar per day, for women, and 150 calories, or nine teaspoons per day, for men. Cutting back is no easy task. About 80 percent of food contains sugar, so it’s tough to escape the effects of the sweet addiction.
What else can we do to cut our sugar consumption and educate ourselves? Here are a few ideas:
*Learn to read labels and look for “added” sugars and other sweet ingredients.
*Eat whole, real foods. Try to cut out overly processed items….i.e., pizza, soups from a can.
*Try alternative sweetners – I love Sukrin Alternative Brown Sugar and Sukrin Syrup. Both taste like the real thing but, have zero calories.
*Cut sugary drinks. Try Crystal Light or the new liquid flavoring products.
*MOVE. Even if you are confined to a wheelchair, you can take two cans of veggies and do some very simple bicep curls. You can move your legs around as you are able. We all need to keep our balance, work on keeping our joints functioning smoothly and get our heart rates up.
**Reach out to me via DM, email or “contact” on site to schedule a free consultation about your health and goals.
Stay Well. Eat Real Foods and Read labels!