The topic of sugar has been all over the place lately, people are becoming more aware of added sugars looming in their foods and making it more and more difficult for individuals to lose weight. So yes, we are becoming more savvy as consumers, we are paying more attention to the nutritional labels on boxes. But are we taking as much time to actually run our finger down that long list of ingredients, detailing the building blocks of some of the "foods" that we are eating.
So often we take the time to go out and buy the products with 0 grams or 5 grams of sugar in it thinking we are making the best possible choice for ourselves, but only if we took those extra few seconds to then turn our minds to the ingredients we would see that some form of processed sugar is looming second or third on that list, meaning that the product is more sugar than whatever else it is claiming to be.
Avoiding added sugars is just a sometimes long learning experience, it will take some tiral and error, it will take you putting back your favourit salad dressing, scouring the shelves for sugar-free mayonaise or just hoping that the next package of sausage you pick up doesn't also contain so form of added sugar, but you will get there it will just take some time.
But that isn't what today is about, today isn't about all the sugar in our foods, today is about all that extra sugar we are drinking back.
One of the fastest ways to deliever anything to your body is in liquid form, so when we drink sugar it heads right to the blood stream asking our body to pump out the insulin to start lowering the level of glucose (just a fancy name for sugar) in our body. This constant triggering of insulin tirggers a "storing" process in our body. In order to reduce the amount of sugar floating around in our system our body wants to store it in our cells, yes some of that glucose will be stored for energy use later on, but when we have anything in excess that our body's can't use it is turned to fat. Not only is your body storying all this extra sugar as fat, it is also holding onto that precious stored fat for a rainy day, which typically translates into some pretty frustrating conversations with your favourit pair of pants or that full length mirror.
So, wait does that mean all hope is lost? Will your body never allow you to lose that extra fat your are carring around? or worse yet will you never be allow to consume sugar again? In short no. All hope is not lost, you can burn that fat, and sugar isn't necessarily the devil.
First, I want to start by saying that I am addressing the issues of added and processed sugars, I am not talking about sugars which naturally occur in our fruits and vegetables. Sugars from fruits and vegetables are a completely different animal than refined processed sugars (yes, even if they are labled as "organic cane sugar" it is still added sugar). These processed sugar unlike fruits and vegetables are completely devoid of any other nutrient. They are not being delievered to your body with vitamins which are naturally occuring in the fruits and vegetables, they aren't coming with healthy soluble and insoluble fibers and dispite them being shoved into our beverages they aren't doing much to help us stay hydrated. So, please keep this in mind when I am refering to sugars, I am referring to added sugars in our beverages.
Now that that is out of the way lets get down to it. In a day for the maintenance of health how much added sugar do you assume your body needs to keep moving and keep being alive? Keep in mind I am not talking about how many servings of vegetables and fruits you need, I am talking about how many teaspoon fulls of sugar do you think your body needs to stay alive? If you said ZERO you are completely correct.
In fact our bodies have a difficult time processing sugar in excessive amounts, but what does that mean? For women our bodies can adequatly process about 5-6 teaspoons or 25g of added sugar and men can process about 8-9 teaspoons or 37.5g of added sugar in a day. This means for most of us drinking a can of coke puts us over that limit for the whole day. Just one can of pop! Isn't it a bit nutty to think that just one can of pop will push you past a point where your body is able to efficiently recover without causing you to hoard fat instead of burning it, releases excessive amounts of insulin in your body, and causing your energy to crash craving more sugar further down the line.
So then I pose this question...Why? Why is it available? Why bother consuming it? just Why?
Even though I can't answer the question why I firmly believe that the best way to protect ourselves from the periles of excessive sugar in our diet is to educate ourselves. Next time you are in the grocery store or about to enjoy your favourit brand of flavoured water just take a moment, look at the sugar content AND the ingredient list and decide for yourself if it is worth it to you and your health.
In the mean time enjoy this super refreshing spa water recipe to keep you hydrated and calm those sweet tooth cravings.
Orange Mint Spa Water:
1 Pitcher or Juice Jug, filled halfway with ice cubes
1 Orange (organic preferably or washed thoroughly), sliced into rounds
3 sprigs of mint
Filtered Water to fill the pitcher
1. Before filling the pitcher with ice and water place in half the orange and mint springs. Using a long wooden spoon smash them up a bit. Don't destroy them, but give them a good mashing.
2. fill picture up with ice, and water. Add remaining orange and mint, give it a quick stir and it's ready to serve.
My name is Brittany, I am a Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher and Certified Personal trainer. My hope is to help inspire, encourage and motivate others to live their happiest and healthiest lives.