The truth is we are eating way more sugar than we need and there are a lot of hidden added sugars in our diets we are unaware of.
Our sweet tooth could be doing serious damage to our health, leading to weight gain, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and an increased risk for diabetes type 2 (insulin independent), high Triglyceride and cholesterol levels, depression, migraine, gout… just a few of the harmful effects for sugar.
According to the American Diet Association that daily intake of sugar should not be more than 7% of daily caloric intake, that’s equivalent to 6 teaspoons for woman and about 9 teaspoons for man.
Sugar in excess can be harmful and cost a lot of problems, such as craving, binge eating, weight gain and heart diseases. Eating too much sugar triggers a release of the hormone insulin which might give you a nice jolt of energy, but over time, the metabolism becomes inefficient and you begin to feel sluggish.
The idea is to limit our consumption of sugar and cut back on foods that are high in sugar low in nutrition and easy to overeat such as soft drinks, sweets and pastries. We should focus on foods that provide important nutrients along with the sugar they contain like yoghurt and fruits.
Steps to help you detox sugar from your body:
1. Don’t go cold turkey: Reduce the sugar added to your diet and make sure it’s done gradually to give your buds time to adjust. Substitute sugar with flavors to your hot and cold drinks, such as cinnamon and vanilla.
2. Know your sugars: there 3 different kinds of sugar that found naturally in food; glucose, “blood sugar”, the simplest sugar your body use for energy and found in grains, and starch. Galactose, a sugar in milk (and yogurt), fructose, a sugar found in honey and fruits.
3. Eat real food: indulge in complex carbohydrates, including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains like brown rice and legumes.
4. Eliminate foods containing sugar: all sodas, fruit drinks that aren’t 100 percent juice, desserts, processed foods, candy and condiments.
5. Balance your carbs and protein intake, and add more protein to your food, to help you feel full for longer time to stabilize your blood sugar and prevent cravings.
6. Do not skip meals, it’s ideal to eat small frequent meals during the day to help your body balance your sugar levels, make sure you are having at least 5 meals a day.
7. Stick to low GI foods in your meals and snack options which include most fruits and vegetables.
8. Avoid low fat and diet foods which contain hidden sugars and avoid artificial sweeteners.
9. Read Food Labels: sugar, in its various forms, hides in many of the foods that we eat every day.
10. Make the pledge: don’t delay and start feeling your best!
Once you start cutting added sugars from your diet your energy levels will improve, you will lose weight, sleep better, your bad cholesterol will go down, your skin will improve, your sugar cravings and fatigue will diminish and you will feel better. The ultimate goal is to have a permanent lifestyle change.
Glycemic Index (GI)
According to American Diabetic association, the Glycemic index, or GI, measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. Foods are ranked based on how they compare to a reference food — either glucose or white bread. A food with a high GI raises blood glucose more than a food with a medium or low GI.
|Low GI Foods (55 or less)||Medium GI (56-69)||High GI (70 or more)|
|100% stone-ground whole wheat or pumpernickel bread||Whole wheat, rye and pita bread||White bread or bagel|
|Oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut), oat bran, muesli||Quick oats||Corn flakes, puffed rice, bran flakes, instant oatmeal|
|Pasta, converted rice, barley, bulgar||Brown, wild or basmati rice, couscous||Short grain white rice, rice pasta, macaroni and cheese from mix|
|Sweet potato, corn, yam, lima/butter beans, peas, legumes and lentils||Russet potato, pumpkin|
|Most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and carrots||Pretzels, rice cakes, popcorn, saltine crackers|
|Melons and pineapple|
Brown rice syrup
Cane juice crystals
High fructose corn syrup
|Corn syrup solids
Evaporated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
|Grape juice concentrate
Fitness First Middle East