MondayMunch: 9 Truths about Sugar Addiction
Did You Know?
· Starch Equals Sugar. Think you don't have a sweet tooth, but crave doughnuts, chips, or french fries? These starchy foods are complex carbs that the body breaks down into simple sugars. Eaten without better foods, starches can make blood sugar surge and crash like sugar. White rice and white flour do this. Highly refined starches like white bread, pretzels, crackers, and pasta are worst.
· You don't need Sugar. In fact, you can train your taste buds to enjoy things that aren't as sweet. Try cutting out one sweet food from your diet each week. For example, pass on dessert after dinner. Start putting less sugar in your coffee or cereal. Over time, you will lose your need for that sugar taste.
· Don’t Give up Sweetness. Just get it from other sources. Try fresh berries or pureed fruit on oatmeal instead of sugar. Explore fruit that's dried, frozen, or canned (without too much added sugar). A glass of low-fat milk or low-sugar yogurt can help.
· Seek Protein. Eating protein is an easy way to curb sugar cravings. High-protein foods digest more slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer. Protein doesn't make your blood sugar spike the way refined carbs and sugars do. Pick proteins like lean chicken, low-fat yogurt, eggs, nuts, or beans.
· Win with Fibre. Fibre helps fight a sugar itch in many ways. First, it keeps you full. High-fibre foods also give you more energy. Because they don't raise your blood sugar, there's no hungry crash after. Choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Or smear some peanut butter on an apple for a protein/fibre combo.
· Healthy-not. Honey, brown sugar, and cane juice may sound healthy. But sugar is sugar. Whether it comes from bees or sugar cane, it can cause your blood sugar to rise. Honey and unrefined sugars are slightly higher in nutrients, but their calories still count.
· Sugar in disguise. You don't always see the word "sugar" on a food label. It sometimes goes by another name, like these:
Brown rice syrup
High-fructose corn syrup
Evaporated cane juice
Watch out for items that list any form of sugar in the first few ingredients, or have more than 4 total grams of sugar.
· Hidden Sugar: Sugar can hide in foods where you least expect it. Although they don't seem sweet, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and pasta sauce can have loads of sugar. So can reduced-fat salad dressings, bread, baked beans, and some flavoured coffees. Get in the habit of reading labels. Filter out high-sugar foods before they hit your shopping cart.
· Sugar Doesn't Cause Diabetes. But lots of sugar splurges can point you there. Too much of anything, including sugar, can pack on pounds, for one thing. Heavy bodies may have a harder time using insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. When your body resists insulin, blood sugar and your risk of diabetes go up.
Credits: webmd.com, greatist.com