Dont Ruin It All At The End Of A Meal
Dessert doesn’t have to be any less sweet if you are cutting back on sugar.
Eating dessert is one of the great little joys of life, and were not going to tell you that you cant have dessert. Have dessert! Just keep three rules in mind:
1. Portion size. Many standard American desserts have become grotesquely large. At Applebees, the countrys largest casual dining chain, a single piece of cheesecake has 1,000 calories and a whopping 21 teaspoons of sugar. Imagine pouring 21 teaspoons of sugar into your mouth after a meal. At Starbucks, a piece of chocolate marble loaf has 490 calories and is also packed with 43 grams of sugar.
The desserts of yesteryear were not nearly so monstrous. Even if youre not a fan of Oreos, which have been around since 1912, theyre illustrative. A single Oreo cookie the regular kind, not double stuff or mega stuff has only one teaspoon of sugar. You should think of two or three Oreos, or a different dessert of similar size, as a normal dessert. Anything larger is a big splurge, the sort of indulgence to reserve for special occasions.
2. Habits. Ive gone through periods when I ate a bowl of ice cream every night. Its not a great idea.
If you want to keep your sugar consumption under control, you can help yourself by getting out of the habit of having a full artificially sweetened dessert every night. There are other end-of-day rituals that can help you fill the void, like a cup of tea or…
Some tips on picking great fruits?
What To Do After You’ve Eaten Too Much Sugar
At Cooking Light, we think you should have treats in moderation . But theres something about Halloween that makes us want to binge eat anything with sugar and throw healthy eating completely out the window.
The problem is that when you eat candy by the fistful, your body can take a major hit . If youre a sweets lover, youve probably experienced a stomachache, felt shaky, or crashed after a particularly large serving of sugar.
Sweet On The Sweet Stuff
You drink a flavored latte. One moment youre wired the next, youre making a beeline to the couch. What gives? Youve just downed too much sugar. Your body goes on a physical and emotional roller coaster after having too much of the sweet stuff. The minute you put a sweet in your mouth, you get a surge of dopamine, a feel-good hormone with addictive properties, says Amanda Bontempo, RD, a nutritionist at NYU Langones Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center. But the high doesnt last.
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Negative Effects Of Sugar On The Body
Per Harvard Health Publishing, when we eat sugar, most of it gets broken down and absorbed in the small intestine. Specialized enzymes attack larger molecules and convert them into three simpler sugars: glucose, galactose, and fructose. The liver and muscles store some of the glucose as glycogen, a molecule that can be turned back into glucose when your body needs it.
When glucose enters the bloodstream, however, levels of blood glucose rise. In response, the pancreas secretes insulin to help glucose get where it needs to go in your body. If youre consuming large amounts of added sugar, the cells can become resistant to insulin over time a risk factor for systemic inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
According to a study published in November 2016 in the journal Nutrients, consuming too much added sugar has also been linked to weight gain and obesity, risk factors for heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cancer.
Excessive intakes of added sugars impact our energy, mood, weight, and disease risk, Cording says. Across the board it can impact our physical and mental well-being.
In order for us to function as smoothly and as normally as possible, we need our blood sugar to be operating in the Goldilocks zone of energy, says William W. Li, MD, a physician in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of Eat to Beat Disease.
Monitor Your Sleep Patterns
Whether you sleep well or not, your blood sugar increases every night as a part of the natural human circadian rhythm cycle. Many studies have confirmed that short sleepers alter your appetite-regulating hormones. These people crave added sugar, have irregular eating habits, and snack on unhealthy food items.
Getting a good nights sleep helps you lower stress levels, improve your memory, and help you make healthier food and lifestyle choices. It will also be beneficial for your health to avoid daytime napping.
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Limit Items With High Sugar Content In The House
If you keep high sugar foods in the house, you may be more likely to eat them. It takes a lot of willpower to stop yourself if you only have to go as far as the pantry or fridge to get a sugar hit.
However, if you live with others it can be hard to keep certain foods out of the house so you may want to have a plan in place for when sugar cravings strike. Studies have shown that distractions, such as doing puzzles, can be very effective at reducing cravings .
If that doesnt work, then try to keep some healthy low sugar snacks in the house to munch on instead.
What Are Sugar Cravings
A craving is not driven by hunger but by your desire for pleasure. Everyone has sugar cravings every now and then, which is what makes a healthy diet difficult to follow. The urge can be extremely powerful, and many fail to overcome it. This leads to a vicious overeating cycle of sugar addiction where your cravings never end. If you give in and eat something sweet, you end up wanting more, and no matter how many chocolates you eat, the satisfaction never comes.
In order to reduce your sugar intake, you have to first learn what causes sugar cravings, so you can make smart choices and avoid potential triggers. An imbalance of blood sugar is a well-known culprit of a sweet tooth. Once you ingest something sweet, your body digests it and in the process, the sugar gets absorbed into your blood. In this way, your blood sugar level increases. To counter this rise, your body releases a hormone called insulin. Sometimes, your body might release too much insulin which will further decrease your sugar levels below the normal range. This sharp reduction in blood sugar makes your body crave for more to bring it back to the standard level. And so the cycle begins.
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Why Exercise Helps Speed Up Your Sugar Detox
Even if you feel bloated and miserable, do some kind of exercise after eating too much sugar. Hit the gym, do some high-intensity interval training or just go for a long walk.
Exercise stabilizes your blood sugar and helps you burn through glycogen stores faster, and psychologically, it helps you get back to your high-performance routine after you break it. It can be tough to exercise during or on the heels of a high-sugar day, but youll feel much better afterward.
Try Including Bitter Foods
This is the trickiest tip its easier to say than to do! But bitter foods and herbs stimulate digestion and detoxification. The liver deals with any kind of overload in the body, so you want to encourage the detoxification process.
Bitter options include:
- Greens such as broccoli and kale
- Lemon and lime juice
Some kids like bitter foods but most dont. Nettle comes in tea form, and has a mild grassy taste, so kids might be ok with it. You can also hide the bitters with other flavours try adding small amounts of greens to a smoothie or make a parsley pesto to put over a main meal.
There are tinctures such as Swedish bitters, gentian or dandelion root. But they can be tricky to get kids to take.
Another great thing about bitters is that they can reset the palate after too much sugar. Bitter is the opposite taste of sweet, so its like rebooting the tastebuds.
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Make Your Next Meal Super Blood
“Eating a ton of sugar throws your blood sugar out of whack, which will have you crashing quickly. When this happens, you typically start craving more quick carbsit’s a vicious cycle!” explains Desiree Nielsen, a registered dietitian and author of Eat More Plants. She recommends making sure your next meal helps stabilize your blood sugar. “Think protein, fiber, and healthy fat. This trio of nutrients will help slow the rate at which nutrients enter the bloodstream, stabilizing your blood sugar curve and activating hormones that satiate your appetite to put the hangries to bed.”
Nielsen recommends making sure your plate is filled with at least half colorful veggies, with 20 grams of protein . For good fat, Nielsen loves avocado. “You could also make a beautiful chickpea scramble or a smoothie with plenty of greens, a good plant-based protein powder, and hemp hearts,” she says.
You’re Breaking Out Around Your Mouth And Chin
While experts say that severe acne has nothing to do with diet for the vast majority of people, somestudies have linked breakouts to eating too many sugary foods. In theory, says Ansel, sugar increases the production of hormonesâparticularly androgensâthat are linked to inflammatory hormonal acne, which usually appears around the jawline and the mouth, says Bruce Robinson, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
“If you’re struggling with breakouts and don’t know why, it can be helpful to cut out added sugars in your diet,” says Ansel.
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Sugar Detox Plan: What To Eat During A Sugar Detox
Certain phenomena happen so predictably that they have become ordained laws of nature. For example, we know gravity will always bring things back down to Earth, and the Sun will rise each and every morning. Similarly, eating a lot of sugar will make us crave even more sugaror that’s at least how it seems.
Science backs up this seemingly inevitable sugar-craving cycle. Studies show that we can become biologically addicted to sugar, just as we would other substances like drugs or alcohol, which might explain why statistics on sugar consumption are so staggering. A report from the University of California San Francisco explains that the recommended daily sugar consumption is no more than six teaspoons, or 25 grams. However, the average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons or 82 grams, per day. It’s scary stuff.
Ready for a meal plan that will help you ditch sugar from your diet? Read on to learn what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during a sugar detox.
Meet the Expert
- Lauren O’Connor is a Registered Dietician, the author of Healthy Cooking for One Cookbook, and the owner of Nutri-Savvy.
- Darby Jackson is a certified holistic health coach, personal trainer, and the founder of Darby Jackson Well-Being.
Top Foods With Fruit Rather Than Syrups
Pancakes and syrup is certainly a dynamic duo, but if you want to stop eating so much sugar, you’re going to need to separate the two. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to eat bland pancakes. Top your flapjacks with fresh fruit for a nice touch of sweetness. You can also make pancakes with ricotta cheese and lemon zest for a fresh take on the breakfast staple.
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How To Save A Dish That’s Too Sweet
If you’re cooking something savory like soup, sauce, or stew and you discover upon tasting that it’s too sweet, you’re not alone. Messing up the seasoning is one of the most common kitchen mistakes that home cooks make.
Sometimes cooks add too much sugar or another sweet ingredient, or mistakenly add the wrong, sweeter ingredient . Even just mistaking sugar for salt can happen to the best of us. However it happens, too much sugar can threaten to ruin a dish.
It’s important to remember that you can’t remove sugar from a recipe. Once it’s in, it’s in. Nor can you add another ingredient to cancel out the sweetness. But you can balance out the sweetness, making it taste less sweet.
You Crave Dessert After Dinner
The more sugar you eat, the more likely you are to crave it. “Sugar boosts feel-good hormones. Because your brain feels good, it will want that high again,” says Zeitlin. “You’re also having peaks and dips in your blood sugar, which leads you to want to eat more.”
An after-dinner sugar habit can be one of the toughest diet pitfalls to kick. “Habits can be as powerful as hunger in steering food choices. After a meal, you should technically feel full, but if you’re in the habit of treating yourself to dessert every night your body becomes conditioned to want it,” says Ansel. If this is the case for you, a lot of people find it easier to avoid sugar altogether than having less of it, she says.
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How To Counteract The Spiciness In Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauces are very popular among people around the world. Tomato sauces are used in many dishes such as pasta, pizza, soups, stews, salads, sandwiches, and even desserts. However, if you are not careful enough while preparing tomato sauces, you could end up having a spicy dish instead of a delicious one. This happens because tomatoes naturally contain a certain amount of acidity. To avoid this problem, you can try adding baking soda to the sauce. Baking soda is known to neutralize the acidity present in tomatoes. Therefore, when you add baking soda to tomato sauce, you will get a milder taste.
You’re Moody And Irritable
Some studies have linked sugars to mood disorders like depression. In addition to blood sugar swings, sugar can mess with the neurotransmitters in your brain that regulate your moods. Sugar, in particular, causes a spike in the feel-good hormone serotonin. “Because we know carbs affect neurotransmitters, it only follows that when you upset your carb balance by having so many entering your body at an unnatural rate it might make you feel better at first. But what goes up comes down, and they may make you feel worse in the long run,” says Ansel. Result: You feel cranky and tired.
Zeitlin says the best way to stabilize your blood sugar and mood is to eat more foods that take longer to digest, like whole grains, fiber, and protein.
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Increases Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years .
Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.
Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes .
Whats more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.
A population study comprising over 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about one can of soda, consumed per day .
Other studies have also shown that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, are more likely to develop diabetes .
A high-sugar diet may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Make Your Own Salad Dressing
When food manufacturers strip the fat out of salad dressings they replace it with sugar and salt. The result? A waist expanding salad topper that doesn’t have the healthy fats you need to absorb the vital vitamins from the superfoods in your bowl. Keep calories and sugar in check by sticking to two tablespoons of an olive-oil based dressing like Bolthouse Farms Classic Balsamic Olive Oil Vinaigrette, and be sure to steer clear of varieties that use honey, sugar, concentrated fruit juice soybean or vegetable oils. They aren’t doing your body any favors. Or better yet, make a low-sugar dressing yourself!
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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.