In the article "Sugar" we touched on the differences in naturally occuring sugars (in fruit, milk, etc) vs. added sugars, and the importance of limiting added sugars in your daily intake. Did you use the download to explore how much added sugar you may really be consuming in a day? Were you surprised at the amount you consume, and at all the ways added sugar may be sneaking in to your intake without really knowing it?
Refined sugar (what we know as white table sugar) is inflammatory, high in calories and offers no nutritional benefit. Excessive sugar consumption can increase our risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease and more. Eliminating added sugar from our daily intake completely isn't realistic or sustainable long-term, so what are our options?
The safest way to satisfy that sweet tooth is to opt for fresh or frozen fruit, which give you the added bonus of fiber and nutrients. Fruit can also be used to add some sweetness to your food and water. For example, try stirring a little applesauce into your oatmeal, including fresh berries in your Greek yogurt or smoothie, or infusing your water with fresh citrus.
As an alternative to refined sugar, there are more natural options that are less processed and may create lower fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Natural sugars include things like honey, molasses and maple syrup. Use the download below to explore some of the options available, and learn how to substitue refined sugar with natural sweeteners in your recipes.
Remember, though...refined or natural, sugar is sugar. Although natural sugars may be somewhat healthier than refined sugar, they should still be used in moderation. All added sugar still needs to be counted in your total daily intake, with the goal of limiting your added sugar intake as much as possible for better health.
~Nicole Hutchison, PT, CSCS, Holistic Health & Integrative Nutrition Coach