Happy Halloween! And given the amount of sugar that will exchange hands later on this afternoon and evening, I thought this article would help you understand the different types of sugar and how our bodies process that sugar so you can make healthier choices moving forward.
For instance, were you aware that "just eating and drinking a typical American diet, we suck down about 23 teaspoons a day of 'added' sugar—sugar that does not occur naturally in food?"
"That is 367 calories' worth per day or 2,569 calories per week," and if one pound equals 3,500 calories, then we Americans need a better weight loss strategy.
The article then goes on to highlight three types of sugar that we humans consume on a daily basis. They include:
"Fructose and glucose are 'simple' sugars, and both are found naturally in fruit in roughly equal proportions."
"Sucrose is a combo of glucose and fructose. Therefore, they are all cousins. "
"Despite their kinship, they behave differently in the body."
"Glucose is absorbed by your intestines and makes its way into your bloodstream; there a hormone called insulin helps shuttle it to your cells, where it is used as fuel. Any extra is stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles."
"Fructose, on the other hand, bypasses the insulin step and goes straight to your liver, where it is mostly converted to fat. Studies link the overconsumption of fructose with increased visceral fat, high blood lipid levels, and insulin resistance. Moreover, fructose does not produce as many satiety hormones as glucose does, so you feel less full."
"Sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose in equal proportions. Table sugar, for instance, is sucrose."
And as humans, "sugar is one of the primary things we crave. It activates brain pathways that reinforce our desire to keep eating it."
So what are we to do?
The article lists three changes we can make to our nutrition plan.
First, "beware of 'healthy' sweeteners."
"Most of the caloric sweeteners we consume—high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), white and brown sugars, honey—have both fructose and glucose, and 3 or 4 calories per gram. "People think molasses and brown sugar are healthier than white. They are not," says nutritionist Mike Roussell, Ph.D. "What's more, table sugar has been underdemonized."
Second, "stop drinking sweetened beverages."
"The top source of added sugars in our diet is soft drinks. They just add to your wide-bottom line: We typically do not compensate for drinking sugar-sweetened beverages by eating fewer calories at meals, a 2012 French study found."
Third, "scan labels and cook more."
"Some 75 percent of packaged foods harbor caloric sweeteners, a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reveals." Therefore, please read the labels on the food products you purchase and try to buy those products that have the least amount of sugar because the article recommends we limit our daily quota of sugar to only:
Nine (9) teaspoons. And at 4 grams per teaspoon, we should be eating no more than 36 grams of added sugars a day.
So how many grams of sugar do you eat on an average day?
Please let me know by hitting the "Add Comment" button below, and thank you in advance for doing so.
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