Hidden Sugars To Avoid
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During a sugar detox, you want to avoid snacks that are high in sugars or highly processed . But, there are less obvious foods that are better left on the shelf and out of your diet. For example, some healthy foods like packaged granola contain lots of added sugars, as well as partially hydrogenated oils. There are hidden sugars in many of our packaged convenience foods. And often, many of these dont necessarily taste particularly sweet, explains OConnor. Some wheat bread, for instance, may contain barley malt and other ‘sugars,’ such as honey to balance the flavor, but we dont consider this dessert.”
Granola bars, and even protein bars, also often masquerade as something healthier than they are. While some energy bars are formulated to be low in sugars and high in protein and/or healthy fats, there are so many that contain an excess of added sugars, chemicals, and fillers we dont need. So, youve got to read those labels, advises OConnor. Rather than decipher through a laundry list of ingredients, make your own trail mixjust be sure to limit the dried fruit because its concentrated in sugars.
Also, be aware of drinking too much alcohol. It’s less satisfying than food but still adds a lot of calories to our day with its hidden sugars. “Not only that,” says O’Connor, but “alcohol impairs our judgment, so we tend to eat ‘more freely’ as opposed to sticking to moderation.”
Your Blood Pressure Could Decrease After Giving Up Sugar
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 percent of Americans have high blood pressure, defined as a systolic pressure greater than or equal to 130 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 80 mmHg. High blood pressure increases your risk for both heart disease and stroke. While we often blame salt for high blood pressure, sugar may have just as important a role to play.
A 2014 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that children who consumed the most added sugar had higher diastolic blood pressure than those who consumed the least amount of sugar. Interestingly, the researchers found no significant correlation between salt intake and blood pressure.
If you’re having trouble giving up added sugar entirely, you don’t necessarily have to in order to see an improvement in your blood pressure. A study of older women published in Nutrients in 2019 developed a statistical model that predicted decreasing daily sugar consumption by just 2.3 teaspoons would lead to a drop in systolic pressure of 8.4 mmHg and a drop in diastolic pressure of 3.7 mmHg.
Reach For Protein And Fibre
Protein and fibre are digested much slower that simple carbs so they will help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you satiated longer. I love eggs with avocado and a piece of whole grain toast, or Greek yogurt with almond butter mixed in. One of my favourite yummy recipes is for Avocado Cottage Cheese Toast.
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Quash Sugar Cravings With Tea
Next time you’re having a hard to ignore the sweet-tooth attack, fix yourself a cuppa tea. Mint, ginger, cinnamon, and Chai teas will all help you fend off those longings by hitting that “sweet spot” without sugar overload, explains Brown. And with so many varieties, it’s hard to get bored. If you need to sweeten it up, add just a teaspoon of honey , which is a bit healthier for you than straight sugar or sweeteners.
Binge Eating Rx: Sugar Binge Detox 101
Medically reviewed by Abbey Sharp, Registered Dietitian , BASc.
Im discussing binge eating and how to recover from a sugar hangover.
We have all been there. Been subject to a bit of a binge eating episode, and lets be honest it wasnt on celery. We had leftover cake in the fridge and a box of cookies in the cupboard. Because they were on sale, we brought home a few pints of Ben & Jerrys.
Sometimes binge eating happens when were happy. Sometimes it happens when were sad. But whenever it happens, it doesnt feel so good the next day. I recently wrote a post about my top tips for stopping a snack attack binge in front of the TV , and now Im back with some of my top tips for nursing the sugar hangover.
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Are Artificial Sweeteners Better
Artificial sweeteners, which are sugar-free and typically lower in calories than sugar, might seem like healthier options, but that idea is controversial. A 2012 scientific statement from the AHA concluded that using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame , saccharin , and sucralose can reduce the number of calories in your diet, thereby helping you lose weight.
However, there’s also evidence that eating these sweeteners, which are generally hundredsor even thousandsof times sweeter than sugar, can make you crave sweets even more. You undermine the benefit of using artificial sweeteners, for example, if you use a glass of diet soda to justify having a bowl of ice cream.
However, if artificial sweeteners can help you cut back on calories in a meaningful way, then they can be helpful in controlling weight and blood sugar. “For people who are trying to make small changes to their diet, artificial sweeteners are sometimes a good stepping stone, but they’re not a permanent fix,” Dr. Hauser says.
You may wonder which artificial sweetener is best. All of the sweeteners on the market are considered safe. There were reports during the 1970s linking saccharin to bladder cancer in rats that were fed extremely high doses of the sweetener. However, later studies didn’t find any evidence of the same effect in humans. Aspartame was also linked to cancer at one time, but that association has also been disproved.
Understand The Difference Between ‘naturally
Before you freak out and throw out everything sweet in your kitchen, take a moment to fully understand the official sugar recommendation and the difference between added sugar and naturally-occurring sugar.
- Naturally-occurring sugar: Fruits, veggies, and plain dairy products have naturally-occurring sugar that shouldn’t overly concern you. Because fruits and veggies contain other digestion-slowing nutrients like fiber and healthy fats, your body doesn’t process the sugar as quickly as it would a cookie or a Twix bar. In other words, the sugar in apples and peppers won’t contribute to weight gain and diabetes like a soda will.
- Added sugar: The FDA defines “added sugars” as all sugars that are added during the processing of foods. This includes sugars from syrups, honey, and concentrated fruit or vegetable juices.
To remind you, the official recommendation is to cut back on added sugars, not all sugar. Beginning in January 2020, the Nutrition Facts Panel will have a column dedicated to added sugars, which will make it easy to detect which foods are high in added sugar.
Because some manufacturers will have until January 2021 to add this “added sugar” line, make sure to know how to calculate added sugar on your own. Naturally occurring sugars and added sugar are clumped together under “sugar.” This is particularly confusing when you’re buying things like flavored yogurt, which contain both types of the sweet stuff. So when in doubt, read the ingredients list.
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Suss Out Sugary Restaurant Food
They don’t call it sweet and sour pork for nothing. Many types of takeout or eat-in cuisine are smothered in sauces or coatings made with added sugar. Even the crust of takeout pizza is likely to pack hidden sugar, even though you may not taste it, says Avena. Glazes, condiments, and even pasta sauces are often loaded with sugar, the same sugar that is just as harmful in a prepackaged box of cookies, she adds. Read labels carefully: look for brown sugar, corn syrup, maltose, fructose, dextrose, molasses, agave, brown rice syrup, cane sugar, cane syrup, and evaporated cane juice, which are all just other ways to say “sugar.”
Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth
Giving up sugar is hard, especially if you have a sweet tooth. The good news is that many foods are naturally sweet. Fruits contain sugar, but they also contain health-promoting nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and minerals. Although you shouldn’t go overboard, eating a serving of fruit when you used to have a sweet treat such as after dinner can help you curb your sugar cravings.
You can also use sugar substitutes such as stevia and erythritol. These natural, plant-based substances provide the sweetness of sugar but without the calories. According to Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, M.D., and Franziska Spritzler, R.D., these sugar substitutes have little effect on body weight or blood sugar.
However, Eenfeldt and Spritzler warn that consuming no-calorie sweeteners can perpetuate the craving for sweet foods: “Cravings aren’t kicked to the curb, they’re coddled and kept.” Using these sweeteners can perpetuate old habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place. While it’s OK to use them occasionally, the ultimate goal is to reduce your cravings for sweet foods and become accustomed to a low-sugar diet that you can sustain long term.
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Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable
Eat breakfast, eat protein with every meal or snack, eat low GI foods, and eat at regular intervals. Why? All of these things will stabilize your blood sugar, so that your moods and energy are at an even keel. Much of the time, I craved sugar because I was hungry . Eat enough so that you feel satisfied, and regularly enough so that you feel stable, and you wont crave as much junk. As this is not my area of expertise, you can learn more about what and how to eat from the sugar addiction reading list. Try the work of Mark Hyman, I Quit Sugars Sarah Wilson, and Diane Sanfilippo for different approaches to low sugar eating. For help with traditional foods cooking, try the Traditional Cooking School.
Pile Protein And Healthy Fats Onto Your Plate
Cutting out sugar is the perfect excuse to indulge in more healthy fats and lean protein . Both keep you feeling satiated and energized, preventing the blood sugar rise and fall that can lead to hard-to-resist sugar cravings.A protein-fat breakfast will help you start the day off right. “Have a breakfast with protein and fat as the stars, like eggs and avocado, instead of the traditional starch and sugar combo, like a muffin or sweetened cereal,” suggests Kohn.
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First Thing In The Morning
Remember, breakfast shouldn’t taste like dessert.
Breakfast is the most dangerous meal of the day for sugar. Many breakfast foods that sound as if theyre healthy are in fact laden with sugar. In Chobani Strawberry Yogurt, for example, the second ingredient ahead of strawberries! is evaporated cane sugar. And many brands of granola have more sugar per serving than Froot Loops or Cocoa Puffs. In the United States, as the science writer Gary Taubes says, breakfasts have become lower-fat versions of dessert.
There are two main strategies to ensure that breakfast doesnt become a morning dessert. The first is for people who cant imagine moving away from a grain-based breakfast, like cereal or toast. If you fall into this category, you have to be quite careful, because processed grains are often packed with sugar.
A few grain-based breakfasts with no or very low sugar:
- Cheerios. Theyre quite low in sugar.
- Plain oatmeal. Flavor it with fresh fruit and, if necessary, a small sprinkling of brown sugar.
- Bread. A few breads have no sugar . A longer list of brands have only one gram, or less, per slice . Authentic Middle Eastern breads, like pita and lavash, are particularly good options and a growing number of supermarkets sell them.
- Homemade granola. You can also make your own granola and play around with the sugar amounts.
- Scrambled or fried eggs
- A small portion of well-spiced vegetables, like spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Giving Asprosin Time Off
The team confirmed the benefits of giving asprosin time off.
They used a special monoclonal antibody, designed to interfere with asprosins ability to do her job, in mice suffering from metabolic troubles, it HELPED.
It stabilized glucose and it lowered insulin.
Graph showing glucose and insulin levels, in mice with diet induced obesity, following treatment with anti-asprosin antibody. Copyright 2016 Elsevier Inc.
So what does it mean for you ?
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Cut Back On Sugary Drinks
Most added sugars in the American diet come from sugary drinks sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and others .
Additionally, drinks that many people perceive as healthy, such as smoothies and fruit juices, can still contain astounding amounts of added sugar.
For example, 1 cup of cranberry juice cocktail contains more than 7 teaspoons of sugar .
Additionally, your body doesnt recognize calories from drinks in the same way as those from food. Calories from drinks are absorbed quickly, resulting in a rapid increase in your blood sugar level.
Drinks also dont make you feel as full as solid food, so people who consume lots of calories from drinks dont eat less to compensate (
Swap Marinara Sauce For Fresh Tomatoes
There’s really no need to add sugar to tomato sauce because, well, the fruit is naturally sweet. But that doesn’t stop food manufacturers from loading their cans to the brim with the stuff. Since store-bought tomato sauce is often made with things like dehydrated tomatoes and cheap oils, they rely on the sweet stuff to amp up the flavor. Your best bet? Switch to a no-sugar-added option like Ragu’s No Sugar Added Tomato Basil or combine chopped fresh tomatoes with olive oil and spices in a frypan to create a quick pasta topper right on your stovetop.
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From The Bottle And Can
Beverages are one of the biggest sources of added sugars in our diets.
Eliminate soda from your regular diet. Just get rid of it. If you must, drink diet soda. Ideally, though, you should get rid of diet soda, too.
That may sound extreme, but sweetened beverages are by far the biggest source of added sugar in the American diet 47 percent, according to the federal government. Soda along with sweetened sports drinks, energy drinks and iced teas is essentially flavored, liquefied sugar that pumps calories into your body without filling you up. Among all foods and beverages, says Kelly Brownell, an obesity expert and dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke, the science is most robust and most convincing on the link between soft drinks and negative health outcomes.
Get this: A single 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52 grams of sugar. Thats more added sugar than most adults should consume in an entire day.
As for diet soda, researchers arent yet sure whether theyre damaging or harmless. Some scientists think diet soda is perfectly fine. Others, like the Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, think it may be damaging. Dr. Krumholz recently announced that after years of pounding diet sodas, he was giving them up. There is reason to believe, he wrote, that the artificial sweeteners they contain lead to weight gain and metabolic abnormalities.
You Could Lose Weight When Giving Up Sugar But Probably Not As Much As You’d Think
Many people hope giving up sugar will help them shed unwanted pounds. In addition to the empty calories it contributes, sugar affects hormones that influence weight. As a 2019 paper published in Medical Hypotheses pointed out, the body deals with the sudden spikes in blood glucose that sugar causes by secreting insulin. Insulin allows glucose to be used by cells but also causes any unneeded glucose to be stored as fat. If you eat large amounts of sugar long enough, your body becomes resistant to insulin’s effects and your pancreas has to secrete more and more insulin, leading to weight gain. In fact, as the paper noted, insulin resistance is a defining characteristic of obesity.
But swearing off sugar isn’t a magic bullet for weight loss. A 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that although decreases in body fat were correlated with limiting sugar intake, the underlying reason was simply a reduction in total calories. Those who swapped sugar calories for an equal number of calories from other, healthier sources didn’t lose any weight. In other words, there’s no escaping the simple rule of calories in versus calories out.
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Your Beneficial Gut Bacteria Will Thank You For Giving Up Sugar
Many people experience improvements in digestion and more pleasant trips to the bathroom once they quit added sugar. This may be due to sugar’s negative impact on the gut microbiome.
According to a 2016 paper published in Current Opinions in Gastroenterology, the gut microbiome is an ecosystem of billions of microorganisms that resides in your large intestine. It performs a number of important functions, including helping to break down food, producing certain vitamins, and protecting the body against foodborne pathogens. Everyone’s gut microbiome is unique, but for optimal health it’s important that this collection of microorganisms be large and diverse.
Per a 2017 study published in Physiology & Behavior, a high-sugar diet appears to decrease microbiome diversity and upset the balance between the two most commonly found types of gut bacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes. It also promotes inflammation in the gut and disrupts the nerves that allow your brain and digestive tract to communicate with one another. Cutting out sugar and replacing it with foods that support your microbiome, like nutrient-rich vegetables and fiber-rich whole grains could help rebalance and strengthen your friendly flora.