It’s not too late to meet your fitness goals for 2017; if you’re reading this post, then congratulations because you have just taken the first step towards achieving your dream body. In this article, we are going to be taking a close look at sugars and how they affect our health.
Have you asked yourself why after months spent at the gym, you are only losing weight at a ridiculously slow rate or not at all? You decide to increase your cardio time by 20 minutes, you’re now doing more pushups and sit-ups but nothing seems to be making an impact? The problem might just be the amount of sugar we consume on a daily basis and sugar is very addictive.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA), have both cautioned us about our sugar intake because sugar is quite detrimental to our health. It causes tooth decay, damages the liver, causes heart disease, and even diabetes.
Before we go further, please note that there are two types of sugars – simple sugar and complex sugars. Simple sugars are primarily carbohydrates that are made up of one or two molecules of sugar. These types of sugars are easily and quickly absorbed into the body. They give you that burst of energy you need and can be found in both natural and processed foods. Examples of simple sugars include fructose, galactose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, and maltose.
Complex sugars, on the other hand, are made up of long complex chains of sugar molecules. You would easily find these in peas, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. Unlike simple sugars, these take a longer time to get absorbed by the body. As you can clearly see, we already consume enough sugar as it is, this is why the AHA recommends keeping our added sugar intake to less than 6 teaspoons for women and under 9 teaspoons for men.
It’s very easy to do without adding sugar to your coffee or tea, it’s also very easy to ignore the cakes and ice creams but what people fail to realize is that often times our store bought processed foods contain quite a significant amount of sugar. The US makes it compulsory for manufacturers to state the amount of sugar on their labels; they are also required to state the types of sugars present as well. This is great because next time you are at the grocery store, you might want to take your time and review those ingredients, and chances are you may find one or two ingredients with spellings that end in “–ose”, that’s your simple sugar right there.
Now you know what to look for, let’s look at how you can curb those sugar cravings.
- Ensure your daily meals consist of 50% fruits and vegetables – they not only help cut down your sugar cravings but they also contain essential vitamins and nutrients to keep you healthy and strong. They also contain fiber that keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time.
- Drink a lot of water – it not only helps keep you full but it also flushes away toxins from your body.
- Keep nuts and dried fruits handy – You can snack on these when you feel like munching on something sweet.
For more ways to cut out added sugars from your diet, here’s a very helpful infographic for you.
Photo by cohdra at Morguefile.com