Sugar 101: Have you ever counted your grams?

There is a lot of buzz and hype in the health and fitness industry about how we use sugar.  We are supposed to stay away from it to see results, yet we can use it for a post workout meal and be ok because our trainer should have told us that the sugar, if consumed within 30 minutes after training, will be used as a glycogen replacement for the expended calories and carbohydrates burned during exercise... People living with diabetes already know that consumption of sugar at any time throughout their day should be measured and safety consumed. A diabetic person's life depends on how he or she interprets the consumption of sugar and carbohydrate calories.  

Natural vs Added Sugar

Natural Sugar - Found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose).

Added Sugar - Any sugar or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation.

The major sources of added sugars in American diets are regular soft drinks, sugars, candy, cakes, cookies, pies, and fruit drinks; dairy desserts and milk products (ice cream, sweetened yogurt and sweetened milk); and other grains (cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles).

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The American Heart Association (AHA) has found sufficient evidence to conclude that the grams of added sugar a person consumes daily is directly related to their risk of heart disease.  This is not just a diabetic concern.  Studies further conclude that the average man should eat no more than 37 grams and the average woman no more than 25 grams of added sugar each day to stay in the “low-risk” category for heart disease.

Placed into perspective: the average American eats 110 grams of added sugar daily.

Food Quality and Sugar Have a Direct Link

Mountains of studies show how processed and low-quality foods cause obesity and since most processed food contains amounts of sugar that we don't need, having a daily "sugar quota" is a great way to cut back on foods that are not very nourishing. 

Fat Storage

One of the jobs insulin performs in the body is to switch from “fat-burning mode” to “fat storage mode.” If your goal is to maintain a lean physique, causing an insulin spike is the last thing you want to do.

Start Counting

The best thing you can do is to start counting your grams of sugar per day, in all that you consume; food and drinks.  Do this honestly with yourself.  You will be amazed, or saddened by the result.  You have been wanting to reach your fitness goals but you have hit plateaus, road blocks, or even a dead standstill.. here is a great way to find out how you can make new changes. Give this plan 2 weeks.. see where you stand in your sugar consumption on a daily basis.  Let me know how you did! 

Zeke Samples

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