All sugars are the same... Or are they?
It's time to cut through the confusion about sugar!
The dieting world often goes through ups and downs of phases and fads, and the current view of sugar as the "root of all evil" is no different. Did you know that 51 percent of American adults report that they are trying to limit or avoid sugars when choosing foods and beverages? Some people go so far as to avoid fruits, or don't eat bread because they've been told it turns into sugar.
As nutritionists, our job is to sift through all the information out there to discern what is actually OK to consume when it comes to sugar, and to help you understand how its various types affect your body and weight.
Natural vs. added sugars
All types of sugar essentially fall into two categories: natural sugars and added sugars.
Natural sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables, and dairy.
Added sugars refer to any sugars and/or syrups that are added to foods and beverages during processing, preparation, and/or before consumption.
Although they are different in makeup, these two types of sugars are metabolized in the same way in our bodies. However, there are not any negative health outcomes associated with consuming natural sugars from fruit, because fruit contains minimal sugars compared to sugary drinks and sweets. It is also packaged with fiber and other nutrients which are beneficial to your health.
So don't be afraid to reach for that apple or banana!
How much sugar should I be consuming?
The most updated recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise limiting added sugar intake to less than 10 percent of daily calories. For a person eating a 1600 calorie diet, this comes to less than 40 grams of added sugar (or 10 teaspoons) daily.
Want to know how much sugar you can safely consume?
At Juno Wellness, we offer custom meal plans that take your daily caloric needs into account. We use your personal health profile to determine how much sugar you can consume daily without adversely affecting your health.
Start by taking our survey to provide us information about your lifestyle, any health conditions such as a diabetes, and your food preferences, intolerances and/or allergies.
We then analyze your data and create the right combinations and food pairings to provide you with a plan that provides an outline for how much sugar you can safely consume.
You then receive a personalized 1-week meal plan (up to 7 weeks total), a shopping list for each week, and easy-to-follow recipes for all dishes.
Are all added sugars created equal?
Some added sugars have been blacklisted, while others have been promoted to the ranks of a health food! Foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, for example, are considered unhealthy, while others such as naturally-derived agave nectar are considered healthy. But what's the truth?
Added sugars come from a variety of sources and go by many different names, yet they are all a source of extra calories and are metabolized by the body the same way.
The reality is that most added sugars are composed of glucose and fructose in varying ratios. Whether an added sugar contains more or less fructose versus glucose has little impact on health (except in the case of those with diabetes, who should consume less glucose).
In short, it’s best to limit all sources of added sugar to within your recommended intake level. For most of us, one type of added sugar isn’t better than another, so keep them all to a minimum!
Enjoy a guilt-free sweet on us! I has just 5 grams of sugar per serving!
Chocolate drizzled cookie dough bites
Cooking time: 30 min
- 1/2 cup Chickpeas (cooked)
- 1 tbsp Almond Flour
- 1 tbsp Oats
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt (flaky, divided)
- 1 1/2 ozs Dark Chocolate (divided)
1. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, almond flour, oats, maple syrup, vanilla, and half of the sea salt. Process until smooth, stopping every thirty seconds to push down the batter with a spatula.
2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
3. Chop 1/3 of the dark chocolate and add to the bowl.
4. Stir the batter to combine.
5. Using a one-inch scoop or a tablespoon, portion out the batter into balls.
6. Melt the remaining chocolate and drizzle it onto the balls.
7. Set in the fridge for five minutes. Top with the remaining flaky sea salt. Enjoy!
- Juno Wellness