Sugar, Spice And Everything Nice

Stylized_granulated_sugarSugar. Oh yeah,  I’m going there. But wait… I’m not coming at you with a mantra that it’s of the devil and you can’t ever have it… trust me….

Those who know me, know I don’t mind some Peanut M&M’s or that I think homemade chocolate cake is the frosting on life….

I love baking… with real sugar and real butter. Yes. I do. I don’t try baking with stuff that’s supposed to pose as “real” ingredients.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I know you can make some good healthy substitutes with some ingredients. I’m ok with that too.

No, this post is more about awareness of sugar that you take in, and how much of it you might consume.

Excess sugar contributes nothing but fat to your body… no benefits there.

Sadly, so many foods today are processed or made with added or extra sugar. Sometimes it’s so subtle you might not have any idea.

I hope to get you thinking about things you consume in your day and if you’re wanting to make health changes this is an area you might look at.

First, for your info, one teaspoon of sugar (4 grams) contains 16 calories and zero nutrients.

Below is a chart you can see common items and how much added sugar they have…

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You also need to understand that many foods have added sugar and others contain natural sugars ( fruits, veggies, dairy) but these are also packed with vitamins and minerals and other good for you things.

To get a grasp for how much (added) sugar you might be taking in you need to become a label reader. If sugars are in the top five of ingredients you might want to select something else. Ingredients are listed in the order that primarily makes up the product you are looking at.

Sugar also comes in many names, some you may know and other may be unknown to you.  These can include, brown sugar, sucrose , corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, raw cane sugar or syrup.

Excess sugar has also been linked to a host of health problems including, diabetes, visceral fat, chronic disease and hunger ( refined sugar can mess with the hormones that make you feel full) in another interesting thought… research shows our brains are hardwired for pleasure and sugar works like many addictive drugs in our bodies ( this is a whole topic unto itself)

If you are wanting to lose weight or even if you are at the weight you desire and are maintaining your health, being aware of your sugars and how much you take in is crucial to staying healthy and even more important if you’re trying to lose weight.

Take a good look at your daily food and drink intake. I’m often surprised at how many people drink large quantities of sugary drinks. Begin there and slowly weaning yourself off of them ( or greatly reduce) can help you start your weight loss process.

Become a label reader to know where your “unknown” sugars are coming from and be aware of sugar you add to food and drink are all steps you can take to manage sugar consumption.

But hey…along the way… remember …life is good… and so is an occasional piece of chocolate cake 😉