Sugar Is Hiding From You
We have all heard that eating too much sugar is one of the many detrimental parts of the American diet. While it can contribute to a slew of health risks, it still does not resonate enough with many people, as the population still continues to consume copious amounts of sugar each day.
Sugar is added to everything! Would you think that frozen pizza, mayonnaise, ketchup, bread, peanut butter, soups, and bacon have added sugar? Typically not but they do, to increase flavor and life shelf time. Ugh, as I’m writing this it makes me frustrated and sick to know those are primary reasons we have the added sugar in our foods. If I am going to consume a bowl of ice cream, I get it! It will have sugar in it and that’s ok. But when I eat a piece of bread or piece of bacon I do not want extra sugar added into it.
Sugar recommendations as part of a healthy diet, recommend no more than 25 g of added sugar each day. If you have a glass of fruit juice, you have already consumed all your daily sugar. If you have one soda then you have already consumed almost twice your daily sugar recommendations.
I am a very conscious eater and yesterday I decided to count just my sugar grams. I was shocked to find out that after adding a cup of almond milk to my morning coffee (to make a yummy, little mocha), and a tablespoon of natural almond butter to my oatmeal, I had already consumed 9g at breakfast. Add another 8g from my protein bar post workout and I was already at 17g by 10am. ( I will add that sugar consumption post workout may actually be beneficial to you depending on the intensity of your workout and your goals. That is a blog for another time). Here I am, such a healthy, conscious, and focused eater and I still had another 12 hours before bedtime and 8 g of sugar left to consume. Yes, I can see why sugar is a problem!
How Many Grams Are You Eating?
Sugar is everywhere. It is more obvious in some sources, such as honey, fruit juice, agave nectar, maple syrup, and less obvious in others, such as the food I listed previously. Even if it is listed as a healthier sugar source, such as honey, it is still sugar. And while maple syrup is all good and natural, it is still 40 g of sugar for 2 tablespoons!!! (Insert distressed emoji face right here). The only sugars you don’t have to add to the 25g a day recommendation, are sugars from fruits. Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are part of a very well-rounded healthy diet. With that being said it is not advisable to consume six pieces of fruit in a day which in turn depends on your goals, what else you are eating and more importantly your health.
Ask yourself – do you know how much sugar you are eating? The problem isn’t when the sugar level creeps up a couple of grams, it is when it creeps to 100-200grams of sugar a day. Have you ever asked your self if this might be you? A pastry and starbucks coffee for breakfast, a mid afternoon soda and sweet and sour chicken for dinner?
3-Day Sugar Challenge
So here’s my challenge for you. I want you to track your sugar grams for three days. You can eat what you normally consume or make an attempt to lessen your sugar. Remember the recommendation is 25 g of sugar or less and the only thing that does not count towards that is fruit. During these three days I will also encourage you to stay away completely from any artificial sweeteners. That includes gum, protein bars, truvia, things like Crystal Lite, etc. (My downfall tends to be the artificial sweeteners). These things can keep your sweet tooth lingering and trigger binges and indulgences at a later time.
If you are going for a stricter approach, then make fruit apart of that recommendation. So if an apple has 15g of sugar, you know it will take the majority of your daily allotment.
My Goal For You – Awareness
My goal for your three days is simply awareness. To be aware of what you are consuming and realize that it may be way, way, way more than you think. Awareness is the first step because without knowing it is hard to take action to make a change.
I’ve become pretty aware of what is in my food and I want you to realize that you have many options of what you can eat. Oatmeal, rice, fresh meats, eggs, raw nuts should all have 0 grams of sugar. If you eat oatmeal and eggs for breakfast you are starting your day at 0g. If you eat pancakes with syrup and a glass of juice you are starting your day at 50g. Sometimes it is something you just do not think about, but I really, truly believe you should take 3 days to monitor your sugar and become more aware of what you are putting into your body.
I am going to do this for three days as well starting Sunday, tomorrow! If you want to join me in my three days please do! It will give you just enough time to shop to have some healthy options, if you do not already, for simply three days.
– No more than 25g of added sugar per day (if you are curious look to see if sugar is in the ingredient list)
– Fruit does not count unless you want to be more strict.
– No artificial sweeteners
Let me know what you think of this mini experiment and report back. I will do the same and post on Instagram and Facebook (see below) with my thoughts, meals and feedback. Feel free to comment with questions or ideas as well. We get through life together, so why not get involved and help each other out. 🙂
The Fit Life on Facebook
“We can achieve so many things by taking the first step – awareness.”
The Fit Life with Adele 🙂