Sugar is everywhere we look these days. It’s a sneaky ingredient used to make many products taste good and it comes in many forms, and under many names.
You can be sure that the more sugar you eat, the more weight you will gain. That’s because sugar is processed by the body into carbs. Carbs are the body’s first source of energy, but if you are intaking more than you can burn off, the rest is going to be stored as fat.
How Much Sugar Do You Eat?
With sugary treats such as candies, cakes, and even ice cream, it’s easy to overdo it. That’s because it doesn’t take much to set you past your recommended daily limit.
According to the AHA (American Heart Association) men should only be intaking about 37 grams of sugar per day, and women 25 grams per day. Your average soda contains roughly 40 grams of sugar alone, that’s a lot! One soda can exceed the sugar limit, is it really worth it?
Sugar isn’t just in the sweet treats or drinks we eat, it can also be found in sauces, condiments such as ketchup, and even seasoned snacks such as BBQ chips. So, always read your labels, and know what you’re getting into.
Why Fruit Is The Better Option
Sugar is sugar, no matter if it’s found in cake or fruit. But the difference between indulging in a slice of cake vs eating an apple is simple. Your basic sugar-filled processed treats contain almost no nutrients, they can quickly spike the blood sugar levels and leave you with a subsequent crash soon after.
With fruit, it’s filled with many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and very beneficial fiber. The fiber found in fruit, slows down the digestion process, which gives a slower release of the sugar into your bloodstream. This prevents the quick spike in blood sugar levels that you would see when you eat processed sugar.
Fruit is also typically lower in sugar by volume. For example, a slice of your typical bakery-made birthday cake contains about 55 grams of sugar. A large apple contains about 19 grams of sugar. That’s a big difference for the same amount of food!
Do A Few Small Swaps To Lose Big Pounds
Cutting out sugar isn’t an easy task for most people. Sugar can be very addicting. According to studies, sugar lights up the same areas of the brain as alcohol and other addictive substances.
In order to ditch processed sugar for good, you could make the following substitutions:
- Swap out soda and other sugary drinks for iced green tea sweetened with stevia extract. Stevia contains zero calories and is all natural. The green tea will give your metabolism a boost and provide you with antioxidants.
- Instead of ice cream, try freezing a banana, then blend with milk and vanilla extract for a frozen treat with less sugar content and more fiber and other nutrients.
- If you normally crave desserts after dinner, try eating a bowl of low sugar cereal with milk. Milk contains naturally occurring sugars, but the content will be much less than that of decadent desserts.
- If you crave peanut butter, try switching to a natural and unsweetened brand. You can always add in stevia if you like yours sweet.
By making these small changes in your daily life, you will have reduced your sugar intake significantly and be on your way to weight loss in no time.
Please Note: Before following exercise routines or changing your fitness regime, please consult a certified fitness professional. Always talk with a medical practitioner before following dietary advice or taking supplements.