We know that as there approach any festive season, sometimes persons relax their diet rules and then the new habit of eating the “bad” stuff creeps in. Of course, there are wonderful things for the sweet tooth, especially at this time, and just to name a few we have seasonal cookies and delights, and more than likely we’ll have a sip of soda, juice or any other sugary beverage – as it is the festive season.
Desserts are a plenty now, and when friends come over hey!!! What is a party if you don’t have a piece of cake. Just one little piece…more…
Well – Just be cautious, and be aware…Be Very Aware… Here’s why you have to be vigilant. Many of the foods which we consume have quite a bit of hidden sugar, ask any dietetic or food nutrition specialist, and our tolerance for sugar is so much more palatable compared to our tolerance for salt. Some of those foods which we may commonly consume include:
- Sushi & Take-out
- Sauces & Soups – E.g – Barbecue sauce
- Yogurt – Especially the fruit kind
- Slushies & Smoothies, Juices and Sodas, Energy drinks…Alcohol
- Several types of Breads – Pastries, Cookies, Biscuits
- Condiments and Salad Dressing
- Baked Beans (Canned)
This list although shortened seems to be most of the foods we all consume anyways.
Did You Know…That at least 12 teaspoons of sugar is found in popular sodas? Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can raise blood pressure. A high-sugar diet may also stimulate the liver to dump more harmful fats into the bloodstream. Both factors are known to boost heart disease risk.
Research shows that just three fizzy drinks a day multiplies your chance of cardiovascular disease significantly.
When there is plenty of sugar in our bloodstream, it can contribute to our liver becoming less responsive to insulin. Insulin is an important hormone that helps convert sugar in our blood stream into energy, but if our liver is unable to respond to the hormone converting the sugar, then the body is not able to manage and control blood sugar levels. When this happens – we are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
So how much sugar should we really be consuming though?
The American Heart Association recommends generally that women eat to no more than 100 calories per day of sugar (six teaspoons or 20 grams) and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about nine teaspoons or 36 grams).
Energy Drinks, even though they may boast of sugar alternatives or reduced sugar are not on our recommended list. The reduced sugar coupled with excess caffeine content has been linked to heart palpitations, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. These drinks are more popular especially as we approach the holiday season. Persons should be aware that the impact may be magnified when you are on some medications as well as if the energy drink is taken with alcohol.
Cookies & Pastries…Our bodies are not made to consume sugar in excessive amounts. In fact this may be considered a toxin – a hepatotoxin (liver toxin). When you think of your favorite cookie or dessert which are special to us at this time of the year, we must consider the correct portion size. the portion size will take into account the correct amount of sugar in our overall daily consumption.
Alcohol is a by-product of sugar, and many of the health hazards of drinking too much alcohol, such as high blood pressure and fatty liver, are the same as those for eating too much sugar. Think about it! Alcohol, after all, is simply the distillation of sugar. Notice as well that a high percentage of those who regularly consume alcohol also have a build up of fat around the abdomen.
We do not take for granted that every one knows exactly what the signs or symptoms of simply consuming to much sugar are, and it is important that we also share with each other. Individuals have unique reactions to various products and therefore some persons may experience one reaction more than another while other individuals experience more than one symptom. Some of these signs may include:
- Mood Swings – When we have a sugar rush after a cookie or sweet beverage…sometimes persons are more pleasant and sociable. However as that sugar burns out of our bodies and we are coming into the “crash” our mood drastically changes. Many persons indicate that this seems to feel like an addict coming out of a fix.
- Weight Gain – Yes! It happens every season…we go into the holiday but some of us do not make it through without succumbing to the craves and delights and aromas. On the other side, we are sure to quickly jump into the gyms and then they sign us up for the latest diet craze and they are waiting each time when festive season is over.
- Skin Breakouts – The constant spike in insulin may affect some persons and shows up on their skin. This may be in the form of acne or rosacea, as the entire escapade of hormonal imbalances with spikes and troughs become visible on our skin.
- Craving – At times the more sugar we eat, the more we crave the product. This leads to the cycle of consuming more sugar and continues into craving more, then the craving goes on. Be mindful that this is closely linked with mood swings.
There are several remedies to consider to help manage when we’ve used too much sugar or to help deal with the cravings. Many of our readers and experts indicate that they crave sugar especially when things become stressful or when faced with stress. The sugar can become a coping mechanism, however it is to know when this stress factor is about to occur, and find an alternative. Alternate methods to the sugar intake may include taking a Yoga Class or Mindful Meditation Session.
Other experts suggest that we eat foods which are high in fiber and slow digesting protein pack foods. This effect works by stabilizing the crashes and spikes which persons experience and give a more consistent sugar “burn” or conversion by our bodies. Therefore hormonal levels and mood swings are reduced to some extent, a similar effect is seen when we eat probiotic foods.