Monday, November 11, 2013

Sugar Sugar everywhere!!

It’s the middle of November and I’m echoing the sentiment of where has this year gone? I had so many topics that I'd wanted to write about and bring to you and there just never seems to be enough time to get it all down.  This month I decided to write about hidden sugars in the foods that we eat and drink as it’s come up many times, for one reason or another, in the past 30 days with clients and friends.   I know that we are coming into the Holiday season so my timing of this may be welcomed and then again maybe not be :-).

I think most people realize that sodas are not a good thing to put in our bodies. They are full of high fructose corn syrup which also means a high sugar content which translates into a fatty liver, a big middle, weight gain, high triglycerides, insulin resistance aka diabetes, heart disease and empty calories. These sugary drinks cause an excess elevation of blood sugar levels, which tells the pancreas to make extra insulin to march out and rescue us by putting all those extra molecules of glucose/sugar in our blood into our fat cells for storage.  Yes, insulin is a fat storing hormone!!! When you eat or drink something with a high sugar content, just think of putting on FAT.  
But sodas are not the only source of a lot of extra sugar. Unbeknownst to most, we are consuming seemingly healthy foods and beverages that contain an incredible amount of sugar.  Most people think that they are eating healthy and doing their bodies a favor by eating these drinks/foods when nothing could be further from the truth.  So I'd like to shed some light here. 



There are fresh juice bars popping up all over California and people are flocking to them in an effort to detox, lose weight, and stay healthy.  Some are embarking on the 1-5 day juice cleansing systems that are often offered for a not so friendly price tag.   I actually like the idea of a little bit of juicing (I prefer blended drinks which still has all of the fiber)  but unless you choose carefully, you may be consuming an astounding amount of sugar without knowing it.   Below, I have listed some popular “healthy” drinks, juices and a few foods so you can see, at a glance, how much sugar you might be consuming.  

So let’s take a look at what I mean.  I used 16 oz as the serving size as that is the size of many of the freshly juiced bottles and Naked Green Juice (one of the original juices).  Please note that the source of sugar found in the items with an * next to them is naturally occurring, mainly from fruit-some have a little bit of agave nectar (mainly fructose and highly processed) added as well.  The grams refer to the amount of sugar found.
  • 16 oz Coke: (The gold standard)    32 grams 
  • Nekter Juices: Raw  *                     18- 27 grams
  • Jamba juice Smoothie                     58 grams   
  • Naked Juice Green Drink *             56 grams
  • Kerns Apricot Nectar                       62 grams
  • Cranberry cocktail                           64 grams
  • NonFat Milk *                                   24 grams
  • Orange juice *                                 51 grams
  • Acai bowls                                       28-40 grams                  
  • Prego Spagetti sauce 1/2 cup        10 grams
  • Cliff Bar                                           22 grams
As you can see, many of what has been listed here have more sugar than coke or close to it !!!! Are you surprised?  If you are not, then you are way ahead of the game!!  

IF the first ingredient listed in a juice is apple or some other kind of fruit, more than likely there is going to be a high sugar content.  If there are two or more fruits listed first, it's going to be even higher.  If your juice is a combination of apples, carrot and beets, all of which have a very high sugar content, or they are the first ingredients listed, then you are in for a spike in your blood sugar up and putting a burden on your body.  The best way to pick what you drink is by looking at the ingredients first and then nutrient label to see the grams of 
sugar. 

I was curious to see how much sugar I actually consume, so I wrote down what I ate and drank for two days and took an average.  Although, I do eat pretty well, I am far from perfect but when it comes to sugar I do tend to eat less than the average bear.   I averaged about 120 grams for the two days.


 I’d like to throw a friendly challenge out to you!!  Keep track of how many grams of sugar you consume, from everything that you eat and drink, over an average of two days, just to be aware.   And then I'm going to challenge you to consume just 100-125 grams per day for 7 days.  You may be surprised how many hidden places you find sugar, even though it is 'naturally' occurring.  To help you with this, www.myfitnesspal.com or the app is a  great  resource to use to plug in what you eat. It has an extensive data base of popular foods including fast foods to make it easy to calculate your sugar consumption.  I am hoping that some of you will post and share your experience here.
Happy counting....

Little more on juicing.....

Juicing/making blended drinks are a great way to get your greens if you find that you have a difficult time getting enough throughout your day and they are a great way to detox.If you make your own juices, I recommend blending them as opposed to juicing them in order to get the whole fruit and vegetable which includes the fiber which will slow down the absorption of the fructose or sugar.  Using mainly greens with just one piece of fruit per 8 oz serving, would be a great way to make a tasty nutritious drink without a whole lot of sugar.  If that is too hard to swallow at first, then add more fruit to start and then slowly lessen the amount as your taste buds become acclimated.  Please, Please use only organic greens, and fruit with thin skin, especially apples, pears, berries, etc.  Even fruit with thicker skins absorb pesticides through the soil and water so it is best to use all organic when you can.  Be sure to see my post of my Living Green Drink that I like to make (but haven't in awhile and need to!).







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