For many years, the food scientists have warned us about eating too much fat. In recent years, studies are showing us some very different results. Good fats are extremely beneficial to a healthy body and a minimal amount is required in order for our bodies to function properly.
Another interesting finding relates to sugar. New scientific studies are showing that too much sugar contributes to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, liver failure, kidney disease, pancreatic diseases, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and gout. In fact, too much sugar can lead to what’s known as “sugar addiction.” This is a vicious cycle whereby one eats sugar, the body goes into a sugar high overdrive and as it comes down from this, the body starts to crave sugar again. This leads to irritability and of course, to overeating.
It is now recommended that we get less than 25 grams of added sugar per day. Added sugar is the sugar we add to foods, not the natural sugars found in fruits, milk or vegetables. To understand how little that is, 25 grams of sugar is approximately equal to ¾ can of Coca Cola, about 7 Oreo cookies, or 1 ½ pop tarts.
If you’re hoping to replace sugary snacks with low sugar snacks, look for something that is higher in protein and healthy fats. Protein and fats help keep you fuller longer and regulate your blood sugar much better.
Instead of that snack-pack of Jello (21 grams of sugar), snack on some plain cottage cheese. Low-fat cottage cheese has 14 grams of super-healthy protein and 97 grams of potassium. The sugar level is only 3.1 grams per serving.
Instead of a chocolate chip muffin (32 grams of sugar), snack on some almonds. A serving of almonds (about 24 of them) have 14 grams of healthy fat, 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber. Natural sugar content is 1.2 grams.
Instead of canned fruit packed in light syrup (18 grams sugar), snack on an apple. Although the apple does have 23 grams of sugar, it is naturally produced sugar, the body handles very differently than manufactured sugars. The pulp and fiber in the apple skin also help your body properly regulate the sugar levels. One apple provides 238 grams of potassium and 5 grams of fiber.
Instead of the package of Cinnamon Roll oatmeal (13 grams sugar), make yourself a hard-boiled egg. These can be made ahead and saved for a quick snack. You get six grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy fat and only .6 grams of natural sugars.
Instead of Frosted Mini-Wheats (12 grams sugar) try a toasted whole wheat English muffin topped with natural peanut butter. The muffin brings in 5 grams of sugar, 4.5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 2.5 grams of sugar, 2.6 grams of fiber and more than 7.7 grams of protein.
Instead of yogurt with fruit (28 grams sugar), try some part-skim string cheese. Part-skim mozzarella string cheese is higher in protein and calcium and has minimal carbohydrates. Grams of sugar: zero!
Instead of a soda (30 grams sugar), make your own infused water. Fill a water pitcher with either filtered or sparkling mineral water. Add in your favorite fruits, vegetable or herb combinations, such as
- watermelon and mint
- kiwi and strawberry
- grapefruit and rosemary
- cucumber and jalapeno
- cherries with a vanilla bean
- mango and ginger
Let sit for six hours then enjoy!