Last week, our goal was to track the ADDED sugar in our food. I will admit, it was really hard and I’m gonna have to give it another try. I did track all of my food and stayed well under my goal of 70 total grams per day set by myfitnesspal (according to my goal of staying within 135-140 pounds). I do eat a lot of fruit with natural sugar but I also use store-bought salad dressings, eat peanut butter every day and drink alcohol, which all contain a good amount of added sugar.
- The basics about sugar are:
1 gram = 4 calories and 4 grams = 1 tsp
recommendations are no more than 6 tsp or 25 grams of added sugar
- The equation to figure out the added sugar in a food is:
___ grams of sugar in 1 serving X total # of servings used = total grams of sugar
total grams of sugar / 4 (number of calories in a gram of sugar) = grams of added sugar
Whew. That’s a lot of work and I’ve been very diligent in tracking my food. Not everyone has the time to do this for every morsel of food they put in their mouth so I will do my best to figure out an easier way to track it.
One thing that I did change, thanks to my client Peggy, is replace my sugar in the raw with organic coconut sugar. I’ve tried everything to get away from regular, white table sugar and all of the artificial sweeteners but this one is actually doable! I measure out a 1/2 teaspoon for a cup of coffee (I drink 3 cups every single day), add a splash of almond milk and, recently, a couple dashes of cinnamon. It’s not quite as sweet as I used to drink it but I’ve gotten used to it and still really enjoy my java!
One of my personal nutrition goals as also to reduce desserts. I love to have a little something sweet after dinner and my boyfriend likes to bring home ice cream, cupcakes, candy bars or to bake brownies, muffins or cake. I’ve been quite successful in eating a banana with peanut butter or some kind of fruit instead. I won’t lie…I’m still completely tempted when I see all of that yummy stuff at the check out line at the grocery store!
I did cut out Wine Wednesday and haven’t drank wine in awhile. I will still drink it when I want to and I know I will enjoy it even more! We have reduced our intake of yummy yet sugary Fireball as well. We do still really enjoy some Dragonberry Rum with Blueberry Red Bull but only on the weekends.
I used to eat Kashi Go Lean Crunch (for breakfast or dessert) but it just had too much sugar in it. After scouring the cereal isle, I finally found a 0 sugar shredded wheat. I was really excited to enjoy my first bowl with a nice banana but it was actually pretty disgusting. Determined to beat this cereal battle, I bought some strawberries and it was delicious. I guess the banana just wasn’t sweet enough. I only did a cup of cereal, a cup of unsweetened almond milk and lots of strawberries (probably any berry would be good).
So the sugary foods to reduce, avoid or completely eliminate are cakes, cookies, pastries, cereals, candy bars, ice cream, sodas. Yes, the yummy stuff. But it’s really the bad stuff that is void of nutrients, high in empty calories and highly addictive. Whether you want to lose weight or just be healthy, high-sugar foods should not be a part of your every day nutrition…save it as a reward for working out hard or going for that extra-long walk/run!