Let’s face it, we all love sugar!! For thousands of years sugar has been right up there in terms of giving the human body energy to run, hunt and function. The problem today is that the quality of sugar consumed is highly processed a lot of the time. We have gone from berries, fruits and vegetables to cheap and easy access of lollies, chocolate and packaged foods that are loaded with sugar to make these type of food taste good.
Sugar occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. Sugar found in foods that come in their original form such as fruits, vegetable and grains are totally fine to eat as they also contain essential vitamins and minerals as well as the key ingredient fibre. Fibre aids in slowing down the rate at which the body digests these foods which provides your body with long lasting energy without spiking your blood sugar. Eating wholefoods as mentioned above has shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Now we understand what foods contain the best sugars, let’s see the top foods that contain added sugars. These are the foods you need to limit and only have occasionally and/or in moderation. Most of these will be common sense but some may surprise you.
For women no more then 24g (6 tsp) of added sugar per day and around 36g (9 tsp) for men. When you pay greater attention to the foods you eat, you will notice that there is sugar is most processed foods including flavoured tuna, a product that is healthy but also needs to be monitored for the sugar content. I would suggest under 5grams of sugar per 95 gram tin.
Many manufacturers will add sugar to foods to increase flavour and also to extend shelf life, cost wise this is a great option for the manufacturer but it does not take into consideration the health of the consumer.
Both high blood pressure and inflammation can lead to heart disease, you would know someone who has had heart disease or who is on blood pressure medication as heart disease is the worlds biggest killer so we have to get real and be proactive in preventing heart disease. In today’s society there is so much choice and the foods that are not the best choices are usually the cheapest and taste great because they contain added sugar. We need to rise above and focus on the 80/20 rule, eating well 80% of the time and allowing the occasional treats in, this will be a great start and your body will love you for it.
Food labels can be so confusing because a lot of the time there will be ingredients on the list that you have never heard of and commonly these ingredients are just other words for sugar Here are some examples:
Total sugar, which includes added sugar, is often listed in grams. Note the number of grams of sugar per serving as well as the total number of servings as you may eat more than the serving size. Also remember that ingredients are listed from highest to lowest so if sugar is the first or second ingredient on the list you know that the product has a high sugar content.
We all need to get real when it comes to our sugar consumption, the research is out there to warn us that eating sugar without pairing it with vitamins, minerals and especially fibre is harmful to all of us if consumed regularly. This sounds like common sense but too much sugar is having such a detrimental effect on so many people’s health around the world with some not even realising or consciously making a plan to positively change. Research shows that it takes 10 days to break a sugar habit, these 10 days can cause side effects such as headaches, but the reward at the end of not craving sugar is well worth it. Remember the more sugar you consume the more you want.
What does your sugar intake look like?
Do you have a go to treat that is always in your cupboard that you continue to re-stock regularly?
This blog is all about taking the time to re-assess and think about where your health is at and to decide if you need to tighten things up a little when it comes to consuming sugar! x
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