Pour Some Sugar on Me? Actually Better Not.
Why is sugar bad?
Sugar is high in calories and low in nutrients. Its overconsumption leads to obesity, cavities, diabetes, heart disease, & increased pain just to name a few. Sugary foods are typically missing key nutrients like fibre, vitamins, & minerals. The empty calories leads to deficits, sparking “hunger” for more food in order to stay full. The excess sugar consumed is then stored as fat. In other words, there are better sources of food to fuel your body with!
How much is too much?
The American Heart Association states you should limit your daily sugar consumption to maximum 6 tsp for women and 9 tsp for men. To put this into perspective, just one can of regular soda contains approximately 9 tsp of sugar. Boom you’ve hit your suggested daily limit of sugar in one beverage!
If you still don’t believe us, check out this video on what making your own Nutella would look like.
There are many different names for sugar on nutrition labels that can deceive the consumer. See the table to name a few.
Quick tip: If sugar is in the top 3 ingredients listed then it’s probably a good sign to stay away from it. Also, check serving sizes for misleading information. If you typically consume more than the listed serving size, you have to account for the additional calories and sugar.
Foods to watch out for: breakfast cereals, flavoured instant oatmeal, flavoured yogurt, dried fruit, fruits such as bananas and pineapple, pre-made sauces such as soy, peanut butter, & products labelled as fat-free (typically pumped with sugar to increase taste).
Many products labeled as sugar free replace sucrose with alternatives that are high in calories or high in carbohydrates. Sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt are technically not “sugar” but are high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have a high glycemic load, meaning they cause a huge spike in blood sugar levels, followed by an equally large crash. Individuals with diabetes want to especially be cautious of carbohydrate consumption as a result of this.
Other common sweeteners include aspartame which are non-caloric and non-carbohydrates but still might be paired with other carbohydrate replacements.
Stevia has become a popular sweetener but keep in mind some brands mix stevia with other ingredients so check the label to ensure a pure brand.
Quick Tip: Remember sugar-free doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free.
1 Week Sugar-Free Challenge
The new year is the perfect time to become more aware of what we’re putting in our bodies.
This brings us to our Sugar Free challenge -> For one week consume one less sugary culprit a day! This might look like no sugar in your coffee, one less chocolate chip cookie, switching from milk to dark chocolate, or drinking one less pop a day. Energy levels might suffer when starting this challenge but after a few days, blood sugar levels start regulating, and energy increases. Try and get creative with it by replacing your sugary vice with something new. Put cinnamon in your coffee rather than sugar and control sugar contents by doing your own baking. Check out recipes like Lime Coconut Cranberry Balls and Fall Fruit and Spice Cake for examples of tasty treats without high sugar contents.
If you enjoy this and want to extend your test join C’est La Vie Wellness in their 21 day Sugar Tribal Challenge starting Jan 1st, 2017 for daily support and recipe tips. Visit their Facebook page @c’estlaviewellness for more information.