We have come to know that there is sugar in a lot of the foods we eat. First let’s discuss the differences between naturally occurring sugars versus added sugars and which ones to avoid.
1. What are they? Like their name, they are naturally occurring sugars found in our foods
2. Where are they Found? They are found in fructose. Fructose is found in fruit and lactose which is found in dairy products like milk.
3. Are they Unhealthy? No, these come with other important nutrients as well like fiber and protein which helps stabilize your blood sugar levels helping you stay full.
4. What are Natural Sugar Substitutes for Added Sugar? There are quite a few more natural occurring sugars to use when cooking or baking including organic honey, organic maple syrup, dates, cane sugar, stevia, or even unsweetened apple sauce.
Added or Refined Sugars:
1. What are they? They are processed forms of sugar that are added to foods to make them taste better.
2. Where are they Found? They are found in a lot of baked goods, most cereals, sodas, juices, sport drinks, candy, ice cream, and even some granola.
3. Are they Unhealthy? Unfortunately, they are compared to natural sugars! They are empty calories that do not provide the nutrients our body needs. It is okay to eat them, but in moderation!
4. What are the Effects of Added Sugars? There is a long list of the negative effects including, weight gain, decrease in metabolism causing a rise in insulin levels and fat storage, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to name a few. They also are detrimental to your skin and even increase your cravings for more sugar, making it a vicious cycle!
5. How to Get Back on Track? Start by having a snack or meal that is high in fiber and protein to slow down your metabolism and lower your blood sugar levels. Meal prep your meals and snacks for later so you are not tempted; eat foods with probiotics, Greek yogurt, kombucha, or sauerkraut, to help cleanse your gut; or even take a yoga class to relieve the possible stress that is causing the cravings for sugar. Look for healthier alternatives and products that contain natural sugar to stay on track!
Takeaway: If you read the food label, look for the added sugars and instead opt for the more naturally occurring sugars for a healthier lifestyle!