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DISTRESSING SUGAR: Why should we try to Avoid Sugar?

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

Avoiding Sugar is tricky, but helpful when trying to be healthy.


It is pretty common knowledge that it can wreak havoc on your waistline. The implications for your health extend far beyond that. From your heart to your skin, let's explore all the ways that excess sugar affects your body.


HEART DISEASE


Diets that are high in sugar lead to increased risk for obesity, inflammation, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar levels. All of those are risks for heart disease.

TYPE 2 DIABETES


Obesity is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and obesity is linked to high sugar consumption. Long-term high sugar consumption can also create insulin resistance in the body, which can lead to #diabetes.

SKIN


Processed sweets have a high glycemic index and raise blood sugar levels. Spiked blood sugar and insulin levels trigger responses in the body such as inflammation and oil production which can lead to acne.


MENTAL HEALTH


Processed foods, which are often high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, have been associated with an increased risk of depression. A high-sugar diet can also drain your energy.


If a product has a lot of sugar, which our body breaks down quickly, but no other #nutrients that are slow-digesting, it messes with your blood sugar.

You'll get a quick energy burst from those #carbohydrates and then a blood sugar dip when they are depleted. Most of us have experienced that "crash". Blood sugar swings like this will really affect your energy levels.


So where are these sugars in the things we are consuming? It is pretty common knowledge that soda is sneaky and hides in much less obvious products as well. It's suggested that women should not consume more than 24 grams of added sugar per day, 36 for men.


Now this varies based on what risk factors or health conditions the individual has and striving for less is always best. Check out some sneaky sources of sugar:

  • 20 oz. Gatorade - 34g sugar

  • 1 Clif bar (Chocolate peanut butter builder's) - 21g sugar

  • 1/2 Cup of Prego Sauce - 10g sugar

  • 1 Gatorade whey protein bar - 29g sugar

  • 1 Chobani strawberry greek yogurt- 19g sugar

  • 1 tbsp Coffeemate French Vanilla creamer - 5g sugar

Let's say you start your day with a coffee with 2 tbsp of french vanilla creamer (honestly, if you don't measure it's probably more than that). You are running late so you grab a Clif bar for breakfast. Your morning snack includes Chobani strawberry yogurt. You have already had 50 grams of sugar, before lunch! You're not drinking soda, you're not snacking on candy. It can be easy to miss these sneaky sugars and accidentally sabotage your health. Whole, unrefined carbohydrates such as oats, whole grain bread, brown rice, legumes, fruit, and vegetables are your best source of natural sugars that are paired with #fiber. For breakfast on the go, try a banana, apple, or hard-boiled egg instead of a bar. When choosing your #yogurt, be sure to get one without added sugars. Oikos Triple Zero strawberry yogurt has 7g compared to the 19g. When choosing your bread, look for one with higher fiber and lower added sugars. Little swaps every day can add up quickly.


Homemade Yogurt


Suggested variations: before serving, consider adding fruit, nuts, honey, maple syrup, or granola

  • 2 quarts whole milk

  • ½ cup plain yogurt for starter

Pour milk into a large pot. Place on stove, medium heat, stir the milk so it doesn’t scald on the bottom of the pan. Bring milk up to 210 F. Turn off and place pan in a sink of cold water. Stir milk, lowering the temperature to 110 F. Add ½ cup yogurt and stir thoroughly. Pour mixture into a crockpot and cover with lid. Wrap crockpot with a towel and place in an unheated oven with the oven light turned on. Leave in oven overnight (About ten to twelve hours). Take out of the oven, unwrap and enjoy!


Recipe: LaFleur Family from Mason.


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