Looking To Cut Back On Sugar? The Surprising Details You Need To Know
There’s nothing like a date night out for ice cream, birthday cake or grabbing your favorite snack at a summer carnival! We love an occasional sweet treat, and it’s totally okay! It’s part of life’s most enjoyable occasions!
A lot of you have been asking how to cut excess amounts of sugar. Having too much of anything can cause issues (Kale might be the exception!?) and unfortunately, having too much sugar is linked to a variety of issues, including weight gain, diabetes, and obesity.
But completely ditching sugar from your diet can be a lil’ difficult because it’s in a lot of products — and we’re not just talkin’ candy and soda. Take a peek at the nutrition label of cereal, fruity yogurt, or any other packaged food and you’ll likely find at least a few grams of sugar per serving. Plus, you’ll find it in sneaky places like sauces, dressings, and some crackers.
But here’s the thing: carbs and sugar are part of the same family but they aren’t the same. Sugar usually means simple carbohydrates such as fructose, glucose (monosaccharides), sucrose, and lactose (disaccharides). These initially come from healthy products like fruits and beets, but go through processing to remove fiber and nutrients, leaving only sugar and empty calories. Thankfully, as a Tone It Up Nutrition Plan member, your meals will be low in added sugars and high in fiber and other body-loving ingredients. But if sugar’s been on your radar, check out all the surprising info you need to know!
The deets on insulin
One of the major reasons we limit our sugar intake is that it causes a massive spike in insulin and blood glucose levels. Insulin is the hormone that shuttles glucose into cells to use for energy. Sugary foods that lack fiber cause a rush of glucose into your blood supply when eaten. Because your body doesn’t need all of that glucose at once, insulin signals your body to store it as fat instead. Foods, like fruit, that are high in fiber slow down the release of glucose into your bod, which decreases the insulin spikes and results in less weight gain.
What to look out for
In a landmark 2015 study, researchers reduced dietary sugar (mostly from sweetened beverages and pastries) in test subjects from 28% of their calories to 10% and replaced those foods with starches (like in sweet potatoes) that release sugar more slowly into the system.¹ The study found that after just 9 days (!!!) blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol went down. And even though calories remained the same between the control and test groups, the reduced sugar group lost weight! Seriously amazing!
When buying pre-made or packaged items, always check the food label. Look for “sugars” and check how many grams there are per serving. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories or 25 grams of added sugar per day.² If you’re following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, you’ll naturally be avoiding high-sugar products and replacing them with fiber-packed, slimming ingredients. Join HERE to get all the deets on exactly what to eat and when to get the maximum perks.
What not to stress about
Even though fruits contain simple sugars, they’re still body loving. Fruit contains fiber that slows the release of sugar into your body so that you don’t get that rush then crash. Plus, the amount of simple carbs in a piece of fruit is less than a sugary soda or candy bar, And fruit will keep you satisfied longer due to high fiber and water content.
So don’t shy away from your morning apple, cup of berries, or fruit smoothie. They’re packed with good for you vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals that keep your skin and hair lookin’ fab and reduce your risk of certain cancers. Plus, fruit is a natural way to satisfy your sweet tooth! ;)
And don’t be wary of all carbs! Complex carbs found in foods like sweet potato, quinoa, and butternut squash release slowly into the blood stream as well because they require extra enzymes to break down. Feel free to add these to your meals! We love adding sweet potato and butternut squash to our lunches and topping a kale salad with quinoa.
How to cut back
Swapping out sugary staples may seem super tough, but eventually your taste buds will be reprogrammed to prefer the healthier options! We swear, it happens!! If you drink soda, slowly start replacing it with flavored water, seltzer, or kombucha one glass at a time. Love chocolate-y treats and pastries? We gotchu, girl! We have totally yum snacks and desserts HERE. We’re constantly creating delish sweet treats that don’t contain added sugar like THIS smoothie and THIS muffin! You can also join the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan HERE for thousands of recipes that will help you reach your fit goals.
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