SUGAR!!! Sugar is everywhere and it is detrimental to achieving that lean physique that you may be working towards. If you are just starting your fitness journey or are on to those last 5 lbs its really important to pay attention to the amount of sugar that you are consuming. Not all sugar comes in the form of white crystals know as table sugar? Sugar is also found in your breads, fruits and potatoes for example.
Did you know that sugar is also know as a carbohydrate? There are 3 types of sugars:
1. Monosaccharides-simple sugars (including glucose and fructose found in fruit, corn, syrup and honey).
2. Disaccharides-complex sugars (includes sucrose, lactose and maltose, found in table sugar, milk and beer respectively).
3. Polysaccharides– complex sugars (includes starches from plant sources found in grains, legumes and veggies).
You need a certain amount of carbohydrates each day to fuel your brain. You need a certain amount of glucose because it is the preferred fuel source of the brain. Did you ever notice that foggy feeling you get when you are low on carbs? That’s your brain in a sugar slump. Complex carbohydrate fuel is a necessary source of non fattening energy. But when you consume it in excess amounts your body will convert it to fat and store it in your tissue! SCARY RIGHT!!! So too much fruit or carbohydrates can actually cause you to gain weight or not lose weight.
Did you know that a teaspoon of table sugar may cause the same glycemic reaction as a potato? So why eat a potato instead of a teaspoon of sugar? Sugar is a pure substance, but it is an anti-nutrient, containing nothing of use toward building and maintaining a healthy body. A potato, on the other hand contains, fiber, vitamins and minerals which contribute significantly to human health. The potato is the entire package while sugar is but one element. Think about how much sugar you would have to eat to get the same filling effect of a potato?
Carbohydrates consumed from vegetables, grains and legumes will contain many more nutrients than a teaspoon of table sugar because their delivery system is complete.
Why you should not eat sugar and fun facts?!
- Eating foods high in simple sugars and low in other nutrients provides a dramatic spike in blood sugar, generating a high insulin response. This can also be responsible for the crash you feel after you eat a candy bar. High fructose corn syrup products which are almost always used in processed foods are closely linked to pre-diabetic conditions. If you flip over to the label on almost all processed foods you will see High Fructose Corn Syrup. I politely put it back on the shelf and WALK AWAY!
- Don’t always assume that a healthy sweetener comes straight from nature and is natural and healthy. Tobacco is natural and it certainly isn’t good for you!
- When it comes to any sweetener, the key is moderation. I know its not always feasible to cut it out completely. But even natural sweeteners such as those made from honey, maple syrup, rice and agave need to be consumed in limited amounts. Too much of a good thing is still bad!
Types of Sweeteners
- White and brown sugar
- Maple, brown rice, corn and cane syrup
- Agave nectar
- Demerara (Guyanese)
- High fructose corn syrup
- Starbuck’s latte
- Granola – my Nemesis
- granola bars
- White bread
- Peanut Butter- unless you get the ones with no sugar!
- Deli meats
Types of Artificial Sweeteners
- Sweet n’low (saccharin)
- Nutrasweet (aspartame)
- Equal (contains aspartame)
- Sugar Twin (cyclamate)
- Splenda (sucralose)
- Sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol
Healthier Sweetener options
- While your ultimate goal should be to kick the sugar sweetener habit altogether, in a pinch these options should be chosen over the others:
- Agave Nectar
- Fruit Sugar
- Unsweetened Applesauce
- Brown rice syrup
Bottom line! If you are craving something sweet, grab an apple, orange or other juicy fruit! I kill my sugar cravings with 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1 orange sliced with some slivered almonds!! The juice from the orange just kicks that sweet tooth! If I need some chocolate, then I reach for my chocolate Shakeology!!!
If you are serious about your diet and your HEALTH!! Then you will consider finding ways to cut some if not all sugar from your diet. It contributes to abdominal fat, insulin sugar spikes and just general feelings of blahhh!!!
Funny Video by Tosca Reno on Eating Sugar! It truly is addicting, the more you eat the more you crave it!