Updated: Feb 1
Sugar is in most packaged items. Sugar is super addictive. The more we eat it, the more want it. It becomes a vicious cycle of unhealthy cravings and poor food choices.
It is important to understand how much sugar is in the foods we are eating. Personally, when I look at the nutrition label I like to really focus on the sugar content. Four grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. For example, one can of coke has 39 grams of sugar which is equivalent to almost 10 teaspoons of sugar. I bet your thinking: whoa that’s a lot. Well it really is a lot. Now think of all the foods that may have hidden sugars. Thus, it is better to understand how to read the nutrition label yourself.
To learn what kind of sugar is present in a product, look at the ingredient list. There are over 60 different names for sugar. Here are some keywords that can help you identify them:
Words that end in “-ose” – sucrose, fructose, dextrose, maltose
Syrups – malt syrup, brown rice syrup, maple syrup
“Juices” – evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, cane juice
A lot of people ask me: Blenda, what about the sugar content in fruits? I would always make the comparison of eating a fresh peach compared to eating a bag of fizzy peach candy. Which one would have higher sugar content? Of course, the candy (along with a lot of empty calories). On the other hand, a peach is full of vitamins and minerals, and fiber that will aid with digestion. Therefore, I always say to my clients to not to worry so much about the naturally occurring sugar in fruits.
Here are some strategies to help cut out sugar:
Add protein to your diet. I always suggest loading up on lean proteins such as plant-based proteins, nut/seeds/beans, or chicken breast or fish. You can always prepare a protein shake to curb cravings.
Avoid grabbing takeout. Instead plan your meals ahead of time. What's for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?
When you know you are going to be out all day make sure you pack a lunch/dinner. Your kids pack a lunch, why not pack one for yourself. Choose whole natural food, lean proteins, nut/seeds, veggies and fruits.
Eat fruits instead. Fruit is loaded fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Incorporate whole-natural foods into your diet daily, you won’t need to count calories or worry about the naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables as much.
Quit sugar…you're sweet enough already.
As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ and Certified Personal Trainer, I will focus on all aspects of a person's wellbeing and life. If you have any questions or comments you can send me an email at BlendaRHN@gmail.com
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The entire contents of this article are based upon the opinions of Blenda Chan. Please note that Blenda Chan is not a dietitian, physician, pharmacist or other licensed healthcare professional. The information in this article is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health care professional. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. Always consult with your primary care physician or licensed healthcare provider for all diagnosis and treatment of any diseases or conditions, for medications or medical advice as well as before changing your health care regimen.