How much sugar can I have and why can’t I have more since it tastes so good?
From what I’ve read, and what you already know, it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, obesity …. etc. But why were we created with the “sweet” detecting taste buds if we can’t have sugar? It’s a set up! No matter how we try to fight it, we should limit the sugar in our diet to make room for more nutritious foods. Here are some suggestions:
- Set your limits. If your caloric limit is 1600 cals/day, try to limit sugar to 22g/day. 2200 cals/day, limit sugar to 44g/day. 2800 cals/day, limit sugar to 66g/day.
- Read your food labels. Typically if an ingredient is listed as one of the first 3 ingredients, it is the largest in quantity in that item. Be aware of all your -ose’s: sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, lactose, maltose. These are sugars. Also, honey, maple syrup, molasses. Then there is the corn sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, and other syrups.
- Select fresh fruit first. Then opt for fruit packed in either water or light syrup.
- Soft drink will effect your teeth. Not only because of the sugar but the acid in soft drinks promote decay.
- Some low fat food items will be high in sugar because sugar has no fat… just causes it.
- If you reduce the sugar in baked goods, add spices. Spices tend to make food taste sweeter.
- Don’t be afraid of sugar, simply opt to put more healthy items in your diet rather than filling up on sweets with no nutritional benefit.
Why am I CRAVING BREAD?!!! A thing or two about Carbohydrates.
We need carbs in our diet because they give us energy. Limit the simple carbohydrates such as cakes, soda, candy. Satisfy your cravings with complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables. Even most dairy products are a super good source of carbohydrates with the added benefit of calcium.
How many carbs do you need? It is reported that 60% of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates. If you want to get really technical, use the following calculation:
Multiply the no. of calories you need per day by .6 Since there are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, take your result and divide by 4. Now check your food labels and add it up at the end of the day.
What about fiber? It’s a carbohydrate that is derived from fruits, veggies, and grains. There is soluble and non-soluble. The soluble kind controls our blood sugar and … rumor has it… might lower your cholesterol. Non-soluble helps prevent constipation … if you know what I mean?! As an adult, we need about 20 – 35 grams of fiber daily. For your soluble fiber eat your oatmeal, beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, strawberries, other fruit. Some non-soluble sources might include whole wheat breads and cereals, brown rice, cabbage, the skin on fruits and veggies.
Here is an interesting “Did you know”: All carbohydrates eaten are converted to blood glucose within 5 minutes to 3 hours after the food is eaten.
Hold the Fat and Calories Please:
Energy in our body comes from our fat stores. If you eat too much and the body can’t readily utilize it, our body will pack it away like a little squirrel for when it might need it later. This is our fat storage. This is why we get fat: eating too much, and not using it.
Fat is important because it helps the body maintain healthy organs, bones, skin, hair, nails. Yet not all are created equal. Saturated Fat = Solid Fat = BAD FAT (butter, cheese, shortening, tropical oils, fat in meat, poultry skin… you need to limit these. Notice something here? Solid at room temp.
Unsaturated Fat = Mono or Poly. Monosaturated fat has been shown to help raise our good cholesterol. Don’t go nuts yet! Speaking of which, you can find your good monos in limited amounts of nuts, nut butters, olive and canola oils. Polyunsaturated fat might contain free radicals that lead to tissue damage so you need to limit them although some healthier ones are vegetable oils, high fat fish (salmon, tuna). So when the unsaturated fats replace the saturated fats in your diet, you are definately onto a good thing.
Trans fat is to be avoided. Partially hyrogenated oils are also trans fats.
How much fat? About 30% of your daily calorie count. Try to keep those saturated fats to 10% or less. Here’s a great way to measure a gram of fat ( 9 cals per gram). Picture 1 tsp. fat which is about 4 grams.
To use up your body’s fat stores, you need to exercise on a regular basis. Try to elevate your heart rate through exercise (NOT stress!!!) every day. Exercises using weights will help build muscle and will also help burn calories because muscle is more dense than fat and therefore requires the body to burn more calories when carrying more muscle.
The above tips were summarize from a great source site: http://www.lifeclinic.com/focus/nutrition and since I am not a professional of fitness nor nutrition, recommend you read up on the whole story. Now, go grab an apple and go for a walk!