Too Much Sugar May Affect Your Nutritional Health

Too Much Sugar May Affect Your Nutritional Health

It looks like science has given us one more reason to pay attention to how much sugar we consume.

A recent study revealed that a high intake of “free sugar” (sugar added to packaged or home cooked foods) can lead to a lower consumption of important nutrients, including calcium and magnesium.  Based on data collected from 6,150 adults, nutritional deficiency was at it’s highest when free-sugar or added sugar consumption reached 25% of their daily calories.  This discovery makes sense, since processed food with high amounts of added sugar tend to be less nutrient dense and contain more empty calories.

It’s important to note that the study also showed that when free-sugar intake makes up less than 5% of overall calories the risk of nutritional deficiency is also present.  This could be related to restrictive dieting and/or not eating enough food since elimination diets have been know to lack important nutrients.

Based on the study mentioned above, added sugar has it’s place and I don’t believe that it needs to be demonized.  However, if too much added sugar can potentially harm our health, it’s probably a good idea to consider limiting how much we consume on a daily basis.  Food for thought.  🙂

Here’s to a happy and healthy week!

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Simple Ways To Cut Back On Sugar

Simple Ways To Cut Back On Sugar

Photo by Brian Chan on Unsplash

When it comes to nutrition, I do not believe in being overly restrictive in any area of your diet unless you are being advised to do so by a medical professional for good solid reasons.  If you enjoy sweets than I believe you should allow yourself to eat them.

It’s important to note that some sugar is actually good for you.  Naturally occurring sugars found in whole foods are an important part of a diverse diet.  We need carbs to function properly.  However, too much added sugar in your diet can throw your body out of whack and  has been linked to some serious health issues.  Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared.

Added sugar can show up in foods you might not expect, like salad dressings and bread.  Simple steps like making your own salad dressings and sauces at home can hep you cut back on sugar without sacrificing taste.  While I’m probably not going to start baking bread every week, making my own salad dressing is definitely doable and I can buy bread with no added sugar.

I recommend reading the labels before buying prepared foods.  You don’t need to obsess, just simply become aware of how much sugar you are eating on a daily basis.  If everything you are eating has “added” sugar, consider alternative brands with less sugar or even making some of the food from scratch and skipping the sugar altogether.  Often times, it’s being used for a preservative so removing it from the ingredients list is not that big of a deal.

Here’s a simple salad dressing recipe to help you get started:

This recipe makes two servings so you may want to double or triple the recipe. 🙂

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp Apple Cider or White Wine Vinegar

1/4 Tsp salt

1/4 Tsp black pepper or salt free seasoning like Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.  It’s okay to get creative.

Place all ingredients in a salad dressing shaker.  You can usually find them in your kitchen section at your local hardware store or search for one on line.  Shake and serve over your favorite salad.

Cutting back on excess sugar isn’t about deprivation.  It’s about creating balance in your daily diet, feeling good, and taking good care of your health.

Here’s to a happy and healthy week!

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Sugary Drinks and Weight Loss

What They Say — Is it True?

Everyone has heard it. Cut sugary drinks from your daily diet. It’s supposed to be a popular and effective strategy for weight loss. Just eliminate extra “liquid calories” to create the caloric deficit needed to start shedding those unwanted pounds.

But wait! There is more to it than meets the eye. Current research shows it may not just be cutting the calories that helps you lose weight. It can also have something to do with the type of sugar you are consuming! The latest research reveals that the type of sugar in your beverage could affect whether or not you feel hungry after drinking it.

What’s the Real Culprit?


In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers determined that your brain processes fructose and glucose differently. Apparently, glucose helped participants to feel full — but fructose did not.

You’re probably asking “what was the reason?” The study authors discovered that the glucose drink suppressed activity in the brain that regulates appetite, motivation and reward processing. Fructose based drinks on the other hand, were associated with reduced levels of insulin — a hormone responsible for sending satiety messages to the brain.

In a nut shell, fructose in its simple form may cause you to feel hungry based on the messages that the brain is receiving, but not because you really need food.

Four ways to limit too much fructose in your diet:


1)  Skip the soda. Based on the study, it’s best to avoid carbonated drinks with fructose and/or high fructose corn syrup to help you stabilize your appetite and curb overeating. You’ll benefit from the caloric reduction as well!

2)  Eat whole fruit!  It’s important to know that fructose found in fruit is absorbed differently in the body due to the fleshy fiber in the fruit. Skip the juice and eat the whole apple or orange instead.

3)  Add greens to your smoothie. Most smoothies are considered healthy foods, but if you’re noticing you’re ravenous shortly after having one, consider switching the majority of the fruit in the smoothie to greens. Include protein in your smoothie to help sustain you longer.

4)  Read the labels! Sugar comes in many different forms, so make sure to read the labels on drinks before purchasing. If the packaging lists dextrose in the ingredients, that’s glucose. Sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. If’ the label says “high fructose corn syrup” skip it!

And, don’t forget to make sure to check the serving information and calories before buying. Even if it is a “better” sugar, the drink could still have more calories than you wish to consume.

The more you know about what’s in your food, the easier it gets to make healthy choices that foster weight loss!

Have a question?  Ask me by leaving a comment below.  I love to hear from you!