Samantha Cassetti, MS, RD, says sugar demonization (and the many sugar myths that go hand in hand) is nothing new, but we see it on a large scale today because of social media. She explains that as the craze for fat-free diets grew in the ’90s, companies needed to find ways to improve their products – because seriously, who wants to eat fat-free cookies? “As a result, sugar was used instead of butter or oil to dial the flavors of packaged foods without tackling any grams of fat,” says Cassetti. “Unfortunately, after five to 10 years of low fat intake and high sugar levels, research has shown that this type of eating habit can lead to serious health problems.” Some of these negative health consequences, according to Cassette, include inflammation, high triglycerides, low levels of HDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and more.
“Since then, we’ve seen a lot of research showing that the type of fat you eat is important and can actually be very nutritious – think about how important extra-virgin olive oil is in the Mediterranean diet,” says Cassetti. “We started focusing on all the scary sources of sugar in our diet. In fact, the nutrition statistics label was just updated to reflect the amount of sugar added to food labels – and all of a sudden, you can see that there’s added sugar in everything. Soup, ketchup, bread, And even think about foods that we often see as the crown of health effects like oat milk.
This placement of added sugar content took full effect in 2020, sending a new wave of sugar-haters comparing bananas to donuts and promoting low-sugar and low-carbohydrate diets. While Cassetti says we should adhere to US dietary guidelines that recommend that women consume less than six teaspoons (25 grams) per day and men less than nine teaspoons (36 grams). Wise decisions about sugar consumption when feeling strong Always Enjoy flawless food. Remember: an ingredient is not considered “good” or “bad” – it’s just food. Here, we ask Cassette to help you do just that by busting some popular sugar myths.
Myth # 1: Fruits contain sugar, which means they should be consumed in moderation
“I can’t stress enough that there is a big difference between naturally occurring and added sugar,” says Cassetti. “Fruits contain sugar by nature and are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. So when you think about how eight out of 10 Americans don’t eat enough fruit, this myth is very bad because a lot of people are losing a lot of beneficial nutrients. “
Cassetti says that all fruits are delicious and nutritious. Her personal favorite? “I really like Zespri Sungold Kiwis. This fruit is delicious and sweet while meeting 100 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement on a server.” Skincare mavens know that this vitamin is essential for collagen production and glowing skin, and it is also (as we are well aware) important for a strong immune system.
Cassetti also says that watermelon has a bad wrap in some circles of the toxic diet culture because of its glycemic index, but says it is 90 percent water, which contributes to the hydration needed to maintain good energy levels and focus. “It also contains a unique compound called L-citrulline, which is linked to reduce muscle pain after a workout,” says Cassetti. Indeed, the list goes on and on for all kinds of fruits – yes, other “high sugar” grapes and bananas too. “I’m a big fan of fruit, and I never worry about consuming it,” says Cassetti. “I always add that carbohydrates are team players, and I like to combine toasted nuts with fruit. You get all this vitamin C and fiber from fruits, as well as a few grams of protein and fiber, as well as magnesium and vegetable-based ALA omega-3s. . “
Myth # 2: Artificial sweeteners are a good alternative to the real thing
Since artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Aspartame are relatively new to the culinary and food science scenarios, it took some time to research. While nutrition labels may view baking soda or sugar-free packaged sweets as healthy alternatives, Cassetti says she’s not so sure. “I often stay away from artificial sweeteners, including things in the pink-yellow-blue packets that are found in diet drinks,” she says. “They cut back on added sugar, but over time, studies have suggested that it may actually weaken your body’s insulin response, which can lead to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Cassetti says that while these beverages have been used to help manage blood sugar and overall health, emerging research has shown that they can do the opposite. She notes that much of the research being done is epidemiological, meaning that links show correlations rather than causes – and adds that there are several studies pointing in the same direction at this point that links are probably true. While Cassetti says that for some, it may be helpful to opt for a diet drink daily for a period of time if you are trying to skip soda and are usually consuming several servings a day, you should avoid artificial sugar. It is better to ignore it completely. Also, there is a lot of satisfaction to be found in your favorite dessert made of real sugar, isn’t there?
Myth # 3: The natural sugar found in foods like honey and maple syrup does not count in your overall sugar intake.
This is undoubtedly one of the biggest sugar myths – there is a lot of confusion surrounding natural sweets beyond fruit. Maple syrup, honey, and more recently, date syrup, are known as “healthy alternatives” to refined sugar. Cassetti says these types of desserts are enough for her personally to drink a cup of coffee in her morning coffee or to promote oatmeal, because they are healthy. Of Some degree Due to the presence of antioxidant content and bioactive substances. However, according to Cassetti, these desserts still count as a daily intake of added sugar and should still be consumed in moderation.
“I pay more attention to the overall ingredients on the food label to see where the sugar source is coming from,” says Cassetti. “I’m looking at how it’s made from almost all foods and what the added sugar is.” The best example of this, she says, is their fruit bars. While the sugar content may look high, they are made without Added Sugar and fruit are the only ingredients, so they’re a great choice for an on-the-go lunch that doesn’t count on your sugar intake. However, packaged cookies – yes, even if they are vegetarian and / or gluten-free – will count on your added sugar intake if there is the presence of sugar, maple syrup, honey, or any other type of dessert.
Cassette also mentions that people often forget about the common natural sugar: lactose, which is found in all dairy products. (And like the natural sugar found in fruits, lactose is not associated with the negative health consequences of adding sugar.) She says, however, that flavored yogurt Also Be one of the biggest culprits in terms of added sugar, so be sure to check the labels for products that are low in added sugar. Her favorite brand is Siggy because she says it’s the only mainstream yogurt brand she knows that has a range of options where added sugar intake is controlled. There should be only a few extra grams of lactose on top, so pay attention to labels that have more or less sugar than scoops of ice cream.
Myth # 4: Consuming anything with sugar will send sugar in my blood to the roller coaster
Not true “First of all, the response to blood sugar varies from person to person,” says Cassetti. “Regardless of your personal body reaction, I would say again that carbs are a team player. Whether it’s oatmeal or a piece of fruit, combine it with all other foods – especially protein, fat, and / or fiber – if you have high blood sugar. Trying to manage is a great strategy. “
How to manage your sugar intake without being obsessed
If you have not been informed by a healthcare professional that you should be concerned about your blood sugar but still think that your daily added sugar may be more than recommended, a simple (but personal) approach to cassette sugar management Believes in . “My work is very customer-centric, so people can decide how much sugar they want to consume. That being said, excessive sugar intake can be linked to everything from mental health conditions to stomach aches,” says Cassetti. “I would like to suggest a step-down approach where I want people to think about the foods they consume most often that contribute to excessive consumption. Yes. “
From there, Cassetti suggests replacing some of these foods, such as replacing your fruit gummy habit a few days a week with a serving of unsweetened dried fruit to give you added sugar without adding sweetness and texture or by adding 75 percent. With 25 percent of your favorite sugar grains without sugar-added grains you can’t get 50-50 ratio or less. She says she is able to customize your taste buds, and adopting a step-down approach can help make added sugar management a much less challenging task.
“Also, remember that your health is never about one thing,” says Cassetti. “It’s not just about sugar. To maintain energy and prevent early hunger, it is important to eat a balanced diet at regular intervals, such as listening to your hunger and fullness signals to be present throughout your diet. Also, getting this trick, evaluating your sleep And stress management is about practicing because if you don’t sleep well or don’t have stress management equipment, it will be really difficult to manage your sugar intake. ” Talk about words to survive.
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