Thursday, November 13, 2014

Curbing Added Sugar This Holiday Season

As we head into the season of apple and pumpkin pie, cider, cakes, holiday cookies and candy, sugar steadily creeps it's way more and more into our diet. It starts messing with our sense of taste and balance, making us want more.
So what, right?
Hey - just this morning I read an article that moderate consumption of sugary drinks aren't so bad for adolescents provided they are physically active - which translates to walking at least 8,000 steps for girls, and 10,000 steps for guys. 
I don't know about you, 
but for me, on days that I don't run, and just sit and work at my computer, 10,000 steps is a hard goal to reach. At least that's been the trend per my FitBit!
Maybe we just need to accept the consequences
 - like when we eat something sweet and don't brush our teeth. 
We get cavities. 
Big deal - we get them filled.
This is a lot less intimidating than what I read on that new website SugarScience.org
SugarScience says that sugar can make us 
fat, hurt our heart, and liver, and lead to diabetes. 
The big problem with upping the amount of sugar we eat during the holidays is that added sugar is already in 74% of packaged food and Americans scoff down about 66 pounds of sugar each year
The sad thing is that we are kept in the dark. 
Take something as wholesome as yogurt. 
I like Stonyfield Vanilla Greek Yogurt, but even with my yogurt there is no way to tell how much sugar has been added to one serving. Sure I know it contains 19g of sugar, but all dairy contains sugar - I want to know how much of this is "Added Sugar"? 
For that info, 
you're gonna have to read the ingredients list.

Reading the ingredients list is no easy feat.
Especially if your my age or older - you're out of luck if you forget your granny specs. When did print get so small?
Next, you gotta do like a word search because there are 
So, what should we do?
How do we stop sugar from ruining out smiles, our bodies, and our guts?
Here are Five Easy Ways to Curb the Amount of Added Sugar to Your Diet this Holiday Season to avoid craving more sugar:
  1. Reduce (or eliminate) sugary sweetened beverages, like soda, juice, iced tea, coffees. What's wrong with water? 
  2. Before you chow down on any sugary snack, ask yourself, "Is there something else I can eat?" Fruit? Veggies? Low Fat Cheese Stick?
  3. If the answer to #2 is "No Way, Baby - I need a sugar fix, and I need it NOW!" then check to make sure you are not HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired - because those emotions aren't going to feel satisfied with one piece of chocolate, or just two cookies.
  4. Avoid simple carbs - whether it's pasta, crackers, or rice. Go for the whole grain. The fiber will help fill you up, plus it will keep your blood sugar from spiking up, which when it crashes and leaves you craving more sugar.
  5. You can do the math: How much sugar is enough? SugarScience.org recommends 25grams of added sugar for adult females (25g X 4cal/g = 100 calories of added sugar per day) or 38grams of added sugar for adult males (38g X 4cal/g = 152calories of added sugar per day). But if you're like me, you're gonna want to ditch this one. Eating should be fun and easy, right - well Don't ditch it - make it work for you another way ...like using it to compare which product to buy. Example: Low fat BBQ Sauce or Salad Dressing with tons more sugar (10g) or the regular BBQ Sauce or Salad Dressing with a healthy fat (like Organic Canola or Olive Oil), and less sugar (1g)? Or maybe there's some product in between that work best for you.
Bottom line: Knowledge is Key! Know what's in your food. Learn those 61 names of sugar. Also, go slow - and we're not talking about running here. But just like when you started to run, you didn't start out running marathons - you made small improvements, and added one mile at a time. Well, maybe this holiday season, you start with one snack or drink during the day - and if that's too much - maybe you practice less sugar for only one day a week. Try that for a few weeks, and challenge yourself again, eventually building a healthier holiday season while saving your figure, your heart and liver, and of course - your beautiful smile!
What do you do to avoid eating too much sugar?
Train Smart Today!