Nutrition Tip: Say No To Sugar
One of the simplest and most effective moves you can make towards having a healthier and leaner body is to practice saying “NO!” to sugar. Here’s some of the widely studied reasons why added sugar (including the fake crap) is posing serious health risks.
1) Sugar (and ALL carbohydrates) directly influences Insulin activity in the body. With over-stimulation, this can lead to sensitivity and Type II Diabetes.
What is over-stimulation? Consuming more than your body can process effectively at any given moment. The recommendation is that an adult not take in more than 90 grams of sugar in one day (that’s 2.5 cans of soda), total. Breaking that out per meal, we’re looking at an average of 30 grams per meal (that’s less than a can of soda). But, we’re talking about ALL sugar (carbohydrates) being taken in at once, not just the sugary drink or added sugar. Fruits, dressings, marinades, and other foods all have natural sugars, too. So, with all of the natural stuff, ditch the soda can or juice and opt for water and you should keep your liver and hormonal activity much healthier.
2) Due to this relationship with Insulin, excess sugar (which cannot sit around in high amounts in the blood without doing some serious harm), is readily stored as fat. We’re talking ACTUAL, “THIS PEPSI WILL GO STRAIGHT TO MY THIGHS” FAT. Higher fat concentrations, especially around the liver, in the body and obesity are linked to many diseases and comorbidities. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes and immunosupression diseases are just a few of the bigger ones.
3) Excess sugar is addictive and is linked to tooth decay, cognitive impairment, sleep dysfunction, depression, ADD/ADHD, skin disorders, hair loss, and metabolic syndromes.
Is the sweetener in your coffee worth all that? I don’t think so. If you can’t drink coffee without something sweet in it, then just don’t drink the coffee or find a healthy alternative (but just use one teaspoon, I promise you’ll be ok and you’ll get used to it)! And before you tell yourself, “I don’t have it THAT often,” let’s do some math. Most people consume a coffee 6 days a week. The average amount of sweetener thrown into a Starbucks Grande size coffee (I call them caffeine milkshakes) is nearly 50 grams (over half of your daily recommendation). That’s 300 grams of sugar (75 teaspoons) in one week. That doesn’t leave much room for the natural sugars found in the foods that have ACTUAL nutritional value like fruit and vegetables.
So, here are a couple quick fixes that you can start doing today:
1) Stop buying and drinking soda in any and all forms. I believe “diet” versions are worse for you, too, but that’s a whole different article. Opt for water or tea when possible. And before you say, “but, I NEED it. It tastes better!” you’ll be dead wrong. You don’t NEED soda. You NEED air, water, and food. Our ancestors got around for thousands of years just fine without it and you will, too. Plus, ever notice how much cancer has spiked in the last 100 years? Soda was invented in the late 1800s…hmmm. Food for thought.
2) Stop adding sugar to your recipes and drinks. Some baking items absolutely require it, I get it, but try cutting out half and I bet it will still taste great (most of the time birthday cake tastes good because of the experience and the people around it, not the cake itself). The same goes for sauces and dressings, just try half and add seasoning to make up the difference.
3) Evaluate your sugar intake. Download one of the hundreds of apps that help you track your food intake and look at the sugar content of a few days. If it’s over 90 grams per day, then look at the bigger culprits and reduce how much you take in of them. If you need help with us, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org