Sunday, June 8, 2014

How Much Sugar Should I Have Daily?

Added sugar is single handedly the most terrible thing you can have in your diet. It increases your blood sugar, blood pressure, as well as your risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. But I am sure you already knew that because EVERYONE knows that, people just don't seem to care. First I want to break down the sugary difference.

Added Sugars vs. Natural Sugars

Natural sugars are those that are found in nature and have not been altered or changed in any way, shape, or form. These are sugars that are present in foods from the very beginning and are naturally occurring. ADDED sugars are those that are added to foods, the most common include table sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

How much sugar should I be having daily?
This is such a great question because it really does impact your health and weight loss. There is no simple answer to this question, but here are some guidelines I stumbled upon:

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are (7):
    • Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
    • Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)
So now here is the real question, how much sugar do common food items have? Let's break it down.

The fruits in the sugars are natural sugars, but obviously in these tasty beverages, the sugars included are those that are added to the product. Added sugars are NEVER good for your health and wellness, but are you expected to never have another ounce of sugar again? Of course not! Everything in moderation..

What if I am obese or trying to lose weight/fat? Then no amount of sugar is good for you. It's unnecessary and provides no positive physiological substance to our bodies! Stick to the natural stuff, if you can't pronounce it..don't eat it!

Here are some great of natural sugar substitutes that you can use. Information provided by Mind. Body. Green:
1. Molasses
2. Dates
3. Honey
4. Maple Syrup
5. Stevia

I love adding a packet of stevia and a dash of raw, organic maple syrup to my flax seed/steel cut oatmeal. I find it gives it the perfect sugar flavor and doesn't taste like that fake garbage sweetener, sweet n low or splenda. 

The bottom line is, stay away from sugar. The less you consume the better. A little every now and then is good, but stay below 150 calories from NATURAL sugars! If you can't pronounce the ingredient on the box, put the snack back and head over to the produce section for something more natural and clean.

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