Lately, everywhere you turn someone is telling you to Give. Up. Sugar. Now.
At Nutritious Life, however, we are not about doling out advice that feels impossible to follow. Sugar is everywhere and it’s addicting, and reducing its presence in your diet is a (worthwhile!) process.
WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS WITH SUGAR?
Although sugar might not be addictive by definition, overconsumption of refined and added sugar
can promote obesity and other weight-related problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure,
and coronary artery disease.
Research is now showing that sugar is worse for your heart than salt.
Dependency, binges and withdrawal can lead to changes in blood sugar that can disrupt sleep, fuel
overeating and lead to fatigue. Your body doesn’t require processed sugar, but it does need the sugar
that comes from breaking down whole grains, fruits and starchy vegetables. Instead of shunning
sugar altogether, avoid foods with added sugars. These foods have fewer vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants, and/or fiber – all of the most nutritious parts!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The first step in that process is truly understanding the role it currently plays in your life. What does the science say about why you crave it or how it affects your health? How can you stock your pantry in a way that satisfies your cravings (conscious indulgences included) with less of the sweet stuff?
Start with checking the ingredient list. When refined or added sugars are listed among the first few ingredients, you know the product is likely to be high in sugar.
Look for total grams of sugar (listed under “Total Carbohydrate”) and added sugars, which is a new component of the updated nutrition panel.
- A product is high in sugar if it contains more than 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
- A product is low in sugar if it contains less than or equal to 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
- Expect that healthful foods such as dried fruit and whole grains may be considered high in
sugar but the sugar comes in a healthful and nutrient dense form (assuming no added sugar!).
These foods can still be incorporated into a healthy diet.
Aim to consume as little added sugar as possible. There is no nutritional need for added sugar. The new Daily Value for added sugar is 50 grams, but I think this is still too much.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day for women (6 teaspoons, 100 calories) and 36 grams per day for men (9 teaspoons, 150 calories). That is a better goal, although I still tell clients to aim for no added sugar at all.
BECOME THE EXPERT
Love all these health and nutrition facts? Perhaps you’ve always dreamed about becoming a wellness expert yourself. Join our Nutritious Life Studio (TNS) coaching program!
Our founder, Keri Glassman, MS, RDN, CDN, (along with a team of experts) shares her 20+ year knowledge that will not only help your personal health journey, but also kickstart your own wellness business.
You’ll get cutting-edge nutrition, coaching, and business education—and the coolest part, its 100% online, go-at-your-own-pace. So perfect to do around your own schedule and timeline.
Some of the courses include: Nutrition 101; Cravings and Emotional Eating; Inflammation, Allergies, and Gut Health; What Makes Us Fat?; Detoxing and Cleansing; Supplements; Common Nutrition Myths; Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw, and Paleo Diets, Running a Successful Business and more.
TNS is approved and accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). This means that once you successfully complete The Nutritious Life Studio program and become a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach, you’ll be able to register as a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner. Sounds great, right!?