Monday, November 18, 2013

Hidden Sugars Making You Fat

As obesity and excess weight continue to be a health issue for many people, it is important to look at the foods you consume.  Traditionally, processed foods like cereal, crackers, cookies, energy bars, and more have many ingredients we are not aware of.  Besides the preservatives and chemicals, many of these processed foods contain high amounts of sugar.   An extensive new report by Credit Suisse Research Institute explored the impact of sugar and sweeteners on humans' diets.

It is noteworthy that sugar makes up 38 percent of the typical US diet, which includes all forms of sugars.  Further, included in these sugars, 43 percent come from sweetened beverages.  The report also noted that calories in liquid form are processed differently by your body than those consumed in solid form.  This means that liquid sugar calories do not seem to register as energy, and people do not eat less when they consume liquid calories that are filled with sugar.  Liquid does not satisfy like real food.  Even more interesting is the fact that small amounts of sugar do not seem to cause a problem.  Rather, there seems to be a threshold that when crossed creates many health problems like blood sugar regulation, high cholesterol and other metabolic issues.  The report is essentially saying that a calorie is more than just a calorie.  Instead, all calories are not counted equally.  It is more important to look at the type and source of the calories than just counting them when managing weight.  You can get fat because you eat the wrong kind of calories past the allowable sugar threshold.

Ayurveda has always held a calorie is not a calorie.  Rather, it judges a food's health value on whether it suits your body type.  Ayurveda approaches a food by its taste.  Sweet is just one of the six tastes, and it should be balanced in the quantities recommended for your body type.  This may be why there seems to be sugar threshold.  Sweet is a natural taste, but it can be tolerated in different amounts by some bodies better than others.

This is why it is absolutely essential to know where your sugar is coming from.  Processed foods are the worst offenders, and you must be very adept at reading product labels.  You probably already know that table sugar, fruit juice and candy are high in sugar, but did you know that foods like tomato sauce, salad dressings, granola bars, canned and dried fruit, flavored yogurt, teriyaki sauces, smoothies, sport hydration beverages and more are also quite high in sugar? 

Cutting back on sugar can be difficult because it is so pervasive.  The first step is knowledge about where you are spending your sugar calories.  You must keep them low.  Just start to notice how much sugar you consume and in what form, then you can work on reducing the amount of sugar you eat.  If this seems confusing and hard to implement, a good health coach can help make things easier to manage.  An Ayurvedic Health Practitioner can guide you on a diet that is more suited to your body type.

Stay healthy & well,

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