Most Americans eat a lot of sugar, and it takes a toll on their health and well-being. In our last article, The Sour Truth on the Side Effects of Eating Sugar, we learned the amount of sugar most people consume, outlined three types of sugar, and discovered just how addicting sugar can be. Sugar consumption is linked to increased risk for many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It’s such a concern we felt we needed to learn more. So this month, we show that some foods contain unexpectedly high amounts of levels of sugar. You will learn about healthy alternatives to sugar and sugar substitutes. Plus, you will learn how to start cutting sugar out of your diet and start on the path to a healthier diet and feeling better.
There are two ways sugar finds its way into the foods we eat. The first way is through the ingredients used to make the food. The second is the sugar we add to it after it’s served, like adding sugar to coffee. When many people think of sugar in foods, they only consider the amount of sugar added after the food is served. Others think the only foods high in sugar are the ones that taste sweet. While baked goods and candy are high in sugar, there are many foods that contain an unexpected amount of sugar.
According to Healthline, there are some foods that are surprisingly high in sugar.
|Low Fat Yogurt||1 Cup||Up to 45 Grams|
|BBQ Sauce||2 Tbls||Up to 9 Grams|
|Gatorade Sports Drink||20 oz||Up to 34 Grams|
|Granola||3.5 oz||Up to 34.5 Grams|
|Protein Bar||1 Bar||Up to 20 Grams|
All this hidden sugar underscores the need to read labels on the packages of food you buy. FDA regulations require all food manufacturers to list the amount of sugar in their products. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. If someone eats a bagel and drinks a cup of coffee with a teaspoon of sugar, they are consuming 12 grams of sugar. That’s almost half of the entire day’s recommended consumption. The standard American diet promotes high sugar consumption.
Many of the sugar substitutes widely found in the American diet are known to cause serious medical issues. Aspartame, marketed under Nutri-Sweet and Equal brand names, is the most popular and widely used sugar substitute. Unfortunately, aspartame is known to cause headaches and an increased risk for heart attack and strokes. Furthermore, it accounts for 75% of the adverse food reactions reported to the FDA. Another sugar substitute is Splenda. Splenda is made with sucralose, and according to Insider, it can cause increased cravings for sugar, reduce good gut bacteria, and is linked to type II diabetes and heart disease.
Fortunately, there are some healthier alternatives to sugar, aspartame, and Splenda. Unrefined sources of sugar are better choices because they retain trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Raw organic honey and pure maple syrup are good choices. Other options are monk fruit and Stevia. Stevia is plant-based and is 200 times sweeter than sugar, cinnamon, and raw coconut. Additionally, Stevia is widely available and found in powder and liquid form.
How to Wean Off Sugar
Like with any addictive substance, a slow approach to eliminating sugar from your diet is recommended. Start with the obvious. Eliminate all foods that are sweet, like candy, baked goods, and ice cream. Also, toss out soft drinks. After a few days of reduced sugar intake, you will start to feel better and get the incentive to take the next steps.
Next, read the product labels for everything you have. Look for ingredients ending in “ose,” like sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, and lactose. Eliminate those foods you don’t need and cut back on the ones you can’t live without. Ultimately you want to get to a baseline, where your sugar intake is low, and your diet consists primarily of veggies, fruits, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, and seeds. One way to reset your relationship with sugar consumption is to take a Total Body Cleanse from Naturally You.
Over time, you will appreciate how much better you feel. Your cognitive abilities will improve, and you won’t want to go back to eating an unhealthy diet that makes you feel bad. Naturally You is dedicated to helping you feel your best. Visit our website to learn more about diet and six keys to optimal health, as well as our complete line of full-spectrum CBD products. Plus, we offer a live chat feature and are always happy to discuss any natural health and healing topic. We look forward to chatting with you soon, naturally.