Guys! I’m so sad that this is our last week of Nutrition Boot Camp. So far we have…
Upped our fiber intake
Taken a closer look at fruits & vegetables
Added some protein to breakfast
Now it’s time for our final challenge:
I’m typically a fan of ADDITION to your diet. Because if we are adding plenty of goodness then a little bit of not-so-goodness isn’t really all that bad. But this week we are going to look at something that we should think about subtracting… and it’s something that really needs to be subtracted: added sugar.
What is added sugar?
Added sugar is pretty much just as it sounds… any sugar is ADDED to a product.
What types of foods have added sugar? Well, there’s the obvious: candy, cookies, cakes, and soda.
But then there’s the sneaky stuff. Did you know that sugar is added to sports drinks, yogurt, salad dressings, snacks, breads, and granola bars? That vitamin water drink that you’re drinking? Added sugar. Your strawberry greek yogurt? Added sugar.
Any time you sweeten a product, even if it’s with sugar in the raw, honey, agave nectar, or anything else that sounds super natural… that is still added sugar.
What is NOT added sugar? Don’t forget that fruit and dairy naturally have sugar. We don’t consider that added sugar. So if you’re checking out the grams of sugar on a yogurt label, how can you tell what is natural and what is added? Just compare it to the nutrition label on a plain yogurt. So for example, if your coconut yogurt has 13g or sugar and the plain version has 6g, then you know that the coconut has 7g of added sugar.
Why is Sugar Bad for You?
More and more studies are showing us that sugar is detrimental to our health, effecting everything from chronic disease to weight gain and obesity. Here’s an article specifically about cardiovascular disease mortality. Check out this article from Time Magazine about how excessive intake promotes prediabetes and diabetes.
Does anyone remember this study where children who reduced their added sugar intake saw decreases in their LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and fasting blood sugar in just 10 days? Something remarkable about this study is that their added sugar intake was replaced with other carbohydrates. So their caloric/carb intake stayed the same but their added sugar was decreased.
Challenge This Week / How Much Added Sugar is Too Much?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends getting no more than 10% of your total kcal from added sugars. This equals out to 50g in a 2000-calorie diet. The World Health Organization is actually a lot more strict, recommending a limit of 5%… that’s less than 25g of sugar in a 2000-calorie diet.
Your goal this week is to keep track of your added sugar. If you track it for a whole day then you get a point. This week should get you thinking about:
- Reading nutrition labels and being mindful of added ingredients
- Decreasing your processed products (because really, those are the main sources of those pesky hidden sugars)
- Seeing how you can substitute your sugary products with products that are less sugary
Here’s your food diary! Good luck this week
Please check in!
Was it difficult to meet your breakfast protein goal this week?
What is your favorite protein-packed breakfast item?
How many points have you gotten this week?