THE SUGARY TRUTH
According to a Harvard Medical School study the biggest source of sugar in our diets comes from sodas, energy drinks and sport drinks. These food items account for more than 1/3 of the added sugar we consume as a nation. Coming in a close second are the cakes, cookies, ice cream, frozen yogurts and breakfast cereals we all love to eat.
Sugar adds nothing to our health - it is empty calories. It lacks nutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals and causes a whole slew of health problems. Most recently, the same study revealed that regardless of your fruit/vegetable intake, sugar increases cardiovascular mortality. This is what scared me most and prompted me to blog about the importance of getting sugar out of our diets
HOW MUCH IT TOO MUCH?
- 9 tsp of sugar per day is the upper limit
- 6 tsp of sugar per day is the upper limit
- less than 6 tsp of sugar per day is the upper limit
A little perspective for you:
1 can of soda is equal to 9 tsp of sugar
10 failsafe ways to cut sugar from your diet
- Stop Buying Processed Foods - anything that comes in a box, bag or a can contains oodles of added sugar. Also, sugar disguises itself in many different names (ie: agave, corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, cane sugar, cane crystals, fruit juice concentrates, molasses, turbinado sugar and brown sugar).
- Make Your Own Spaghetti/Tomato Sauce.
- Choose Whole, Fresh Fruit Over Juice, Dehydrated, or Other Fruit Products.
- Avoid Flavored Yogurt. It is hard to find a flavored yogurt with less than 10 g of sugar. Try Greek style natural yogurts as they have the highest protein. Watch for a special post on this topic - I have sourced a flavored yogurt your kids will love with only 9 g of sugar.
- Make Your Own Salad Dressing. All it takes is a little oil, lemon juice and a few spices. The best oils to use are avocado oil, olive oil, hemp seed oils or flaxseed oil.
- Don't keep sugary snacks in the house.
- Don’t substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar. This will do little to alter your desire for sweets. If you do need a sweetener, try Stevia, it’s the healthiest.
- Try incorporate protein and/or fat with each meal. This helps control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each.
- Add spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
- Curb those cravings. If you have serious cravings a good multi mineral with Chromium, Vanadium and Magnesium aids in balancing blood sugar levels. If chocolate is the main craving, Magnesium tends to help. Also you can opt for dark chocolate as it is much healthier and you are less likely to eat the whole bar!