Lets talk about sugar!
Specifically I would like to spotlight refined sugar.
What is refined sugar?
Refined sugar comes from natural sugar in corn or sugar beets. It’s highly processed and stripped from all nutrients, vitamins proteins, fat, fibre and minerals. It simply becomes an empty calorie. It’s added to food to improve taste of processed foods and add shelf life.
Refined sugars may increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. They’re also linked to a higher likelihood of depression, dementia, liver disease, and certain types of cancer.
Your body and refined sugar
A hormone in your body called leptin, tells your body when to stop eating. Refined sugar blocks the signal that leptin sends to your brain. This means that you can keep eating while you are actually already full. This is why refined sugar is linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Your body processed natural sugar and refined sugar in the same way. Natural sugar though, is full of other beneficial nutrients, like vitamins, minerals and fibre. Especially fibre is important in the digestion of sugar. Fibre slows down the uptake fromsugar into your bloodstream and therefore keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Read more on blood sugar levels in another post here.
Refined sugars are added to many processed foods for flavouring and to add shelf life to the product. Checking food labels and reducing your intake of these foods will help limit the amount of refined sugars in your diet.
Things to be wary of:
Soft drinks, fruit juices, specialty coffees, energy drinks and vitamin water
Storebought breakfast foods; cereals, muesli, muesli bars
Storebought pastries and baked goods
Canned food (beans, fruits and vegetables)
Storebought bread spreads; nut butters, chocolate spreads, cream cheese spreads
Ready made meals
If you normally buy all these things listed above, just start with replacing one thing at the time. It can be quite daunting to upgrade your health.
Another thing that doesn't make the process any easier is that sugar can hide under 56 different names!
For startes focus on the 7 basic ones. These are the simple sugars, that have virtually no nutrients left in them. These will spike your blood sugar through the roof.
If you want to dive a little deeper look out for the following:
Anything -syrup, - crystals, is sugar.
Fruit juice & fruit juice concentrate
Cane juice crystals
Dextrin & maltodextrin
Molasses & black strap molasses
It's not that easy to avoid refined sugar in a modern day diet. I started with replacing processed foods with wholefoods and fresh produce. I am still working on this, and probably always will. In this day and age we are surrounded by processed foods and convenience is important to us.
Life is all about balance and feeling good in your body. There is no perfect shape and weight. Everyone is different and that's okay!
If you 'd like to know more about reducing your sugar intake, living more healthfully or would just like a chat feel free to hit me up with via the messenger chatbox below or book in for a free health consultation!