There’s been a lot of media publicity recently about how sugar is “evil”, and that sugar is responsible for weight gain, not fats etc..
Let’s clear this up:
Your body does use sugar for energy. However, it really matters what form the sugar is in as far as health impacts on your body. Simple sugars (glucose, fructose, lactose, sucrose etc) offer very little nutritional value and will rapidly raise your blood sugar levels causing a rapid insulin response.
Without having to get into too much detail, repetitive cycles of this puts stress on your insulin system, all organs, circulatory system, digestive system, nervous system etc. This is the main cause of type 2 diabetes.
Consuming lower GI carbohydrates (also sugar but in a different form) doesn’t have the same sorts of negative health consequences.
Modern science has stated: High sugar diets can lead to, and have been directly linked with:
Body fat gain
Chronic fatigue syndromes
Chronic inflammatory disorders
Decreased concentration and mental focus
Poor gut health
So how much should you have per day?
The American heart association now recommends a maximum of 6 tea spoons (24g) per day for females, 9 teaspoons for males (36g)
Recently its been reported the average Australian diet consists of 30- 40 teaspoons of sugar per day… 160g!
Think you’re doing ok?
I encourage everyone to track how much sugar they eating for an average day and see how you compare. Include all drinks.
Also bear in mind if you want to decrease body fat and weight then really you need to be below this average number.
Most of us are aware of the obvious foods to be avoiding and limiting, soft drinks, cakes, sweets, and biscuits but there are lots of hidden sugars in foods that are marketed as being “healthy”:
Some foods to be aware of: (amounts are averages only)
Yogurt – 20-40g of sugar per small tub
Canned soup – 20g
Muesli bars – 15 -30g per bar
Bread – 4g per slice
Sauces – 4- 8g per serving
Fruit juice – 20g per glass
Cereal – 15-30g per serving
Dried fruit – 60 -80g per 100g
It’s always good to focus on the positives! – The positives of a low sugar diet include:
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Better hormonal patterns
- Healthy weight and body fat percentage
- Improved mental functioning
- Improved concentration levels
- Reduced underlying inflammation in the body
- Improved gut health
- Less pain
- Better moods
If you are interested in more info we can refer you to a fantastic Dietitian on location with us, Steph from OnPoint Nutrition, or come in and see one of our Senior Physiotherapists, David, that is a qualified personal trainer and Nutritional Therapist for a holistic lifestyle and fitness consultation. This includes a detailed history assessment, specific nutrition and exercise recommendations and a structured plan to help you achieve your goal.