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4 Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Fear Carbs, According to Experts

This article was written by Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LGSW, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with adolescents, survivors of trauma, eating disorders, body-image issues, and mood disorders. She is a blogger on The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. She is a junior board member for The National Eating Disorder Association. http://www.jenniferrollin.com

“These days, carbohydrates are frequently demonized by popular media and diet culture. People often proclaim the “benefits” of low-carb diets with an almost religious zeal. Many individuals have developed a sense of anxiety and guilt surrounding foods containing carbohydrates.

As a psychotherapist who specializes in treating individuals with eating disorders, I know the danger of labeling specific nutrients and food groups as “good” and “bad.” This mindset can contribute to disordered eating, eating disorders, and may lead to poor physical and mental health outcomes.

I reached out to some nutrition experts to help debunk the myth that carbohydrates should invoke a sense of fear. The following are four reasons why you don’t need to fear carbs.

1. Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source.

Carbohydrates are an important energy source for your body. Carbohydrates are actually the macronutrient that we need in the largest amounts. Additionally, it is recommended that carbohydrates supply 45-65% of our total daily energy needs.

Julie Seale, RD, of Seasoned Nutrition, explains, “Why avoid carbs? They are the primary source of energy for the body, plus they are in most foods…and they taste great! Avoiding carbs would limit many other nutrients.”

Beth Rosen, MS, RD, CDN, Registered Dietitian/Owner of Goodness Gracious Living Nutrition says, “Carbohydrates contain essential nutrients that our bodies need to function each day. In fact, our brain’s nutrient of choice is glucose which comes from carbohydrate intake.”

“The body’s main and preferred source of energy is carbohydrate. So, “cutting carbs” will come at a serious energy loss. People are often scared of carbohydrate-rich food because of past experience with it – they’re afraid of overeating it because they’ve done it in the past. This is not about the food itself, though. This is a behavior that can be addressed by looking at the underlying issues that contribute to someone overeating/binging,” Lauren Anton, MS, RD, Co-Chair of the Health at Every Size Special Interest Group of the Academy of Eating Disorders, explains.

Anton says, “Also, I’ve found in working with my clients that the more someone doesn’t give him or herself full permission to have a particular food, the more they will disinhibit (read: overeat) when they encounter that food.”

2. Carbohydrates can help to boost your mood.

“Carbs are needed to make serotonin, our hormone that helps us feel calm and relaxed, like our own natural “chill pill”. If you like being in a good mood, make sure carbs are on your menu,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, and author of the upcoming book Body Kindness.

Additionally, going on a “low carb diet” or “cutting carbs” can have negative implications in terms of one’s physical and mental health.

Michelle Kuster, RD, LD, certified intuitive eating counselor, explains, “There’s always a nutritional demon; carbs are currently the culprit. With a $60 billion diet industry, marketers think of creative ways to make people fear food. But carbohydrates are your bodies and brain’s preferred source of fuel, and even a short time without them will lead to fatigue, headaches and irritability.”

3. Carbohydrates add satisfaction and pleasure to the eating experience.

Food provides important fuel for the body, but it is also supposed to be a source of pleasure and enjoyment.

“Without carbs, meals tend to be less satisfying. Having a source of carbs with meals helps you stay full and happy for longer. Who doesn’t want that?” says, Josée Sovinsky, a Non-Diet Dietitian.

Ultimately, you deserve to be able to nourish yourself with food and movement that you enjoy.

4. Restricting carbs can create a disordered relationship with food.

Cutting out carbs or going on a “low-carb diet” can trigger disordered eating or an eating disorder in individuals who are genetically predisposed.

Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and host of Food Psych podcast, explains,

“Cutting out carbs is a great way to make yourself start bingeing on them. Because carbs are your body’s primary fuel source, your brain is wired to seek them out if there’s a shortage. Carbs are essential for keeping your blood sugar from dropping too low. If that happens (as it often does in a low-carb diet), your brain will actually send out neurotransmitters that drive you toward whatever high-carb foods are available. So people who attempt to cut carbs end up feeling out-of-control around those very foods, without realizing that this is actually their body’s way of protecting them. To avoid this vicious cycle of restricting and bingeing on carbs, don’t cut them out—instead, learn to trust your body around all foods.”

Michelle Kuster, RD, LD, certified intuitive eating counselor, says, “Any time we over-emphasize one aspect of nutrition, we lose the big picture, which is that all foods can be enjoyed in a balanced diet, and avoiding foods typically leads to unintended consequences such as intrusive or obsessive thoughts about food.”

The Bottom Line

Having a “black and white” mentality surrounding food sets people up for disordered eating habits. Further, mental health is an important part of one’s overall health. I think we can all agree that feeling guilt and shame about eating a bagel is not mentally healthy.

Instead of thinking in extremes, aim for balance, variety, and moderation in your eating experience. Work to let go of judgments of certain foods as being “good” or “bad,” and instead choose to mindfully nourish yourself with food that you enjoy.

If you are struggling with this, it can be helpful to reach out to a registered dietitian who specializes in intuitive eating, the non-diet approach, and disordered eating.

After all, life is just too short for food rules, chronic dieting, and self-hate.”

Carbs

Why are we getting fat and sick?

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10 reasons we are getting fat and sick

1. Sugar consumption has skyrocketed.
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Numerous studies show that eating excess amounts of added sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism, leading to insulin resistance, belly fat gain and high triglycerides…to name a few.
There are also a load of studies showing that the people who eat the most sugar are at a much greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Sugar is also fattening, partly because it doesn’t get registered in the same way as other calories by the brain, making us eat more; and it has adverse effects on hormones related to obesity.

2. People gain lots of weight during the holidays which they never get rid of.
Most people don’t gain weight overnight… it happens slowly, over years and decades.
But the rate is uneven throughout the year and spikes dramatically during the holidays, a time when people tend to binge on all sorts of delicious holiday foods and eat much more than their bodies need.
The problem is that sometimes people don’t lose all the weight after the holidays are over. They might gain 3 kilos, but only lose 2kgs, leading to slow and steady weight gain over time.
In fact, a large percentage of people’s lifetime weight gain can be explained just by the 6 week holiday period.

3. The obesity epidemic started when the low-fat guidelines were published.
There was an epidemic of heart disease running rampant in the U.S. in the 20th century.
A lot of scientists believed fat, especially saturated fat, to be the main dietary cause of heart disease (although this has since been disproven).
This led to the birth of the low-fat diet, which aims to restrict saturated fat.
Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time the low-fat guidelines first came out.
Of course, this doesn’t prove anything, because correlation doesn’t equal causation.
But it does seem likely that putting the emphasis on saturated fat, while giving processed low-fat foods high in sugar a free pass, may have contributed to negative changes in the population’s diet.
There are also massive long-term studies showing that the low-fat diet does NOT cause weight loss, and does not prevent heart disease or cancer.
Have you seen “that sugar movie”? In it the actor eats only s0-called “healthy foods” for 60 days like fruit juice, fruit yoghurt, and low fat meals. He eats the same amount of calories as he did before, does the same amount of exercise, yet by the end of the study he is fat, has full blown metabolic syndrome and feels terrible. Isn’t that scary?

4. Food is cheaper than ever before and we’re eating more fast food than before.
This seems like a good thing, but it’s important to keep in mind that real food isn’t cheap… it’s processed food.
In fact, real foods are so expensive that a lot of people can’t even afford them. In many poor neighborhoods, they don’t even offer anything but junk food.
How are poor people supposed to stand a chance if the only food they can afford (and access) is highly processed junk high in sugar, refined grains and added oils?
The consumption of simple home cooked meals has also decreased drastically over the last few decades with people going out to feed themselves and their families cheap, processed fast foods. The result is disastrous to our health and our waistlines.

5. People are drinking more sugary drinks and fruit juices
The brain is the main organ in charge of regulating our energy balance… making sure that we don’t starve and don’t accumulate excess fat.
Well, it turns out that the brain doesn’t “register” liquid sugar calories in the same way as it does solid calories.
So if you consume a certain number of calories from a sugary drink, then your brain doesn’t automatically make you eat fewer calories of something else instead.
Unfortunately, most fruit juices are no better and have similar amounts of sugar as soft drinks.
Studies have shown that a single daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage is linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children.
Sugar is bad… but sugar in liquid form is even worse.

6. Increased food variety contibutes to overeating and weight gain.
Many tests have been done on rats and there is some evidence that this is true in humans as well. When we have more types of foods available, we eat more… and sometimes more than our bodies need. Think of a buffet- our eyes are almost always bigger than our stomachs.

7. People don’t burn as many calories when working
A lot of people blame obesity on decreases in physical activity, that we’re just burning fewer calories than we used to.
Although exercise has increased, it is also true that people now have jobs that are less physically demanding.
In fact people are now burning around 100 fewer calories per day in their jobs, which may contribute to weight gain over time.

8. People are eating more vegetable oils mostly from processed foods.
The fats we are eating have changed dramatically in the past 100 years or so.
At the beginning of the 20th century, we were eating mostly natural fats like butter and lard… but then they were replaced with margarine and vegetable oils.
Most people aren’t frying real food in vegetable oil, they are getting it from processed food. Adding these oils to the foods increases the reward and caloric value, contributing to overconsumption and obesity.

9. The social environment can strongly affect calorie intake
The social environment is another factor that determines calorie intake. For example, eating in a group can dramatically increase the number of calories consumed.
According to one paper, eating a meal with several people can increase calorie intake by up to 72%, or 310 calories in a single meal. At home we don’t likely eat starters, mains and desserts but when out for dinner with friends we do. This is a simple example.
There are also studies showing that people tend to eat more during weekends.

10. People are sleeping less
Sleep is often overlooked when it comes to weight gain and obesity.
It is known that poor sleep has negative effects on various hormones that are related to weight gain, and can contribute to increased hunger and cravings.
In recent decades, average sleep duration has decreased by 1-2 hours per night. The reasons for this are numerous, but increased artificial lighting and electronics are likely contributors.
As it turns out, short sleep duration is one of the strongest individual risk factors for obesity. It is linked to an 89% increased risk in children, and a 55% increased risk in adults

All of this said, the path society is on is a scary one . Many countries are taking note by placing taxes on sugary foods and changing their dietary guidelines.

Health gurus, professors, bloggers and fitness fundies are jumping on the band wagon and creating their own food trends like paleo, raw till 4, banting and intermittent fasting. It all becomes very confusing though, especiaslly when you read one day that fruit is good for you and the next that it is high in sugar and should be avoided.

At the end of the day we are all different. Our genes and hormones dictate the way we metabolise and respond to different foods and thus there is no one-size fits all diet.

There are some general guidelines that I feel everyone can benefit from though. Here they are:

Firstly, avoid sugar like the plague. It ages you, makes you fat, makes you sick and is addictive. Yes it’s delicious, but the funny thing is that the tastebuds become used to sweetness so try cutting it out for a month and then having some carrots and you’ll be amazed by how naturally sweet they taste! Also that teaspoon of sugar you used to take in your tea will now make it undrinkable for your new palate. It’s all about weaning yourself off of it. Give it a go!
Eat whole, real foods. Not too much, mostly plants. I like to look at my food and be able to see exactly where it came from. If I can’t I won’t eat it. Think apples from a tree, fish from the ocean, sweet potatoes from the earth. If it’s in a package with an expiry date longer than a week. Be warned, it’s likely highly processed and ladden with sugar and preservatives.
Eat mindfully. Chew your food, taste it and enjoy all the flavours and textures. Don’t shovel it down your throat in front of the fridge. Not only will you consume more than you intended but you wont get the same satisfaction as you would if you sat down with a plate and took some time out to eat.
Watch your portions: In a resturant you generally get way too much food. A portion of protein is the size of your palm, fat the size of your thumb. Be mindful of this and take a doggie bag home with leftovers. The Japanese believe in eating until you are 80% full. It’s a great mantra, albeit difficult to adhere to.
Make time for fun, exercise and sleep: all of these contribute to a healthy mind which means a healthy body. They help to balance your hormones, and in turn regulate your mood and weight.
Seek professional advice: Please don’t listen to fad diets, they arent sustainable and often do more harm than good. Start by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle and take note of how your body reacts. If you have tried and tested everything, seek professional advice, they are called professionals for a reason.

x DD

Is meat good or bad for you?

meat good or bad?

There are so many conflicting reports about if meat is good or bad for you. Some say it can be part of a healthy diet. Others declare it is the root cause of disease – including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. I have friends who completely avoid it and other friends who embrace meat as an everyday staple.

Whether meat is good or bad depends on with whom you are talking. Paleo enthusiasts say meat is essential to longevity. Vegans will tell you to avoid it at all costs. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated processed meat and bacon are carcinogenic and red meat is most likely, as well.

There are very real concerns involving meat, including the ethical treatment of animals and their impact on the environment, as well as medical and health issues. For some, there are very real ethical concerns about eating meat. For example, if you are a Buddhist and believe that any creature could be your mother from your past life or in your next life, then we can fully support being a vegetarian.

It’s not hard to see why the average person, or even doctor or nutritionist is confused. However, at the end of the day, the whole carnivore-vegan debate misses the real point – the root of chronic disease and obesity is actually sugar and refined carbs.

Studies that take a pro- or anti-meat stance often miss the bigger picture. They overlook the fact that most meat eaters who participate in the studies that show harm from eating meat are also eating a lot of sugar and refined carbs alongside a highly processed, inflammatory diet. They certainly aren’t eating small to moderate amounts of grass-fed or organic meat along with a pile of colourful fruits and veggies.

Admittedly, it would be almost impossible to perform an accurate study about meat. You would have to randomize people into a whole foods, low-glycemic, plant-rich diet with grass-fed or organic animal protein and compare them to those on a high-quality vegan diet. That study has never been done.

Many of the studies demonizing meat use subjects who are smokers, drink too much, eat way too much sugar and processed foods, eat very little fruits and veggies, and do not exercise. It’s no wonder that these meat eaters with bad habits and horrible diets are sicker and fatter…

What if Meat Eaters Only Ate Health Food and Grass-Fed Meat?

Some groups rally against the saturated fat and cholesterol found in meat, or say that meat is inflammatory, or that it contributes to cancer or type 2 diabetes.

The story is not as simple as meat is bad, veggies are good, however. The real question to ask is: do grass-fed meat eaters, who also eat lots of healthy food, don’t smoke, exercise, and take vitamins have heart disease?

Thankfully, some researchers have asked this question. In one cohort study, scientists studied 11,000 people, 57% of whom were omnivores (meat eaters) and the other 43% were vegetarians. Both groups were health conscious.

Interestingly enough, researchers found the overall death rates were cut in half for both health-conscious meat eaters and for vegetarians, as compared to the average person eating a western-style, processed food diet. The study concluded that for the vegetarians, there was no benefit found; and for the meat eaters, there was no increased risk for heart disease, cancer or death.

Does the Type of Meat You Eat Matter?

Another problem with most meat eater vs. non meat eater studies is that the type of meat consumed is industrially raised, factory farmed meat. This industrial grain-fed meat is often full of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, with more inflammatory omega–6 fats from corn and fewer anti-inflammatory omega–3 fats. These population studies don’t include people who eat only grass-fed meat without hormones, pesticides or antibiotics.

What About Saturated Fat?

Another concern that is raised is that saturated fat in meat causes heart disease. Yet interestingly, the types of saturated fats that cause heart disease – stearic and palmitic acid – don’t come from meat. Your liver produces these two fatty acids when you eat sugar and carbs. In other words, your liver produces saturated fat from sugar and carbs and that causes heart disease.

In one interventional trial, researchers showed even on a low-carb diet that is higher in saturated fats, blood levels of saturated fats remained lower because of the carb effect.

Simply put: In the absence of sugar and refined carbs and adequate amounts of omega–3 fats in your diet, saturated fat is really not a problem. Again, quality matters: The saturated fat in a fast food cheeseburger is completely different than what you get in coconut butter or a grass-fed steak.

These same limitations apply for studies that show meat causes diabetes and cancer: Most focused on generally unhealthy people eating a highly processed diet.

4 Rules If You Eat Meat

I hope you can see how eating meat can become healthy or unhealthy when you consider the many factors. If you opt to eat meat, follow these 5 rules to help you make the best choices.

  1. Choose grass-fed, pasture-raised organic meats. They’re more expensive but ideally you will eat less of the meat and more plant-based foods. Think of meat as a condiment, not a main dish. 50–75% of your plate should be vegetables!
  2. Avoid all processed meats. Stay away from processed meats such as deli meats. These are the meats that the World Health Organization points to that have been proven to cause disease, illness and cancer.
  3. Prepare your meat the right way. The way we prepare meats is the key. High-temperature cooking like grilling, frying, smoking or charring causes toxic by-products. This also happens when you cook fish or chicken at high temperatures. All of this leads to the production of compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which studies have shown, cause cancer in animals. Change your cooking methods to reduce your exposure of these toxic compounds. The same rule applies to grains and veggies. Cooking these foods at a too-high temperature can cause the same problems. Focus on lower-temperature, slow cooking for meat and veggies – such as baking, roasting, poaching, and stewing.
  4. Pile on the vegetables. Fill your plate with phytonutrient-rich, colourful, non-starchy veggies and use meat as a “condi-meat.”

At the end of the day, the message on meat is pretty simple. About half the studies show it’s a problem; half of them don’t. For those studies that show meat eaters, as a whole, aren’t a healthy bunch, the reason is most likely not the meat, but rather the smoking, sugar-filled, and sedentary lifestyle that creates heart disease and other problems.

A diet filled with lots of high-fiber fruits and veggies that rejects sugar and refined carbs, welcomes grass-fed meat as a health food, lowering inflammation and improving all of the cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Still unsure of how to eat well for optimal health? Let us feed you! Daily Dietitian uses on the highest quality ingredients when freshly preparing your daily meals which are tailored to your unique needs.

For more info go to our website.

xx DD

TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HALLOWEEN

Healthy Halloween

By Leigh-Ann Silber RD (SA), Daily Dietitian Registered dietitian

Over the past few years, the original American celebration seems to have enticed our South African kids. Personally, I don’t ever remember celebrating it. But, I now look forward to dressing up the kids and even started stocking up on sweets to give “trick-or-treaters” that came to visit us (I tried handing out carrot sticks one year, these of course where hidden by my much embarrassed husband!).

As a mom and a dietitian with a special interest in children’s nutrition, I too am faced with the annual drama of sugar rushes and excess sweet intake that this holiday brings. But it really doesn’t have to be so bad, especially if you turn your focus on the fun of the day and not the sweets! Is indulging in the sweets the reason kids love Halloween? Or is it more about dressing up in funny or scary costumes, decorating, parties and socializing that make the day? My view is that kids love having fun and the treats and sweets are simply a bonus.

I have an American colleague that tried to prove this point:

She once used her neighborhood trick-or-treaters as a science project. In addition to offering a bowl of the smaller “fun-sized” sweets, she also offered a bowl filled with items such as stickers, pencils, colourful shoelaces, sugar free gum, bubbles, small packs of nuts, trail mix and lower sugar cereal bars. She asked the trick-or-treaters to choose one item from each bowl and kept a record of how the kids responded and how many actually took something from the non-sweet bowl. Her first trick-or-treater of the evening was so excited about the bubbles, he almost forgot to take sweets. He actually ran from my house screaming “I got bubbles!” By the end of the evening, 43 total kids had visited her house. All of them made a selection from both bowls. The young children were especially thrilled by the non-sweet “treats!

Below are a few more tricks you can try to make Halloween an opportunity to encourage healthy habits, one that incorporates the eating of sweets.

  • Make sure kids eat a balanced dinner/early meal prior to trick-or-treating. Eating sweets instead of a meal often results in upset tummies and crabby moods. Your child may be more interested in eating if you cook one if their best dishes in your “cauldron” and call it Witch’s Brew.
  • Don’t send kids out trick-or-treating with a big bag! Instead, use a smaller bag or bucket. If kids can’t lift their bag at the end of the night, that’s a sign they have too many sweets.
  • “Halloween sweets” presents a learning opportunity. Work toward having your child be able to manage his own stash. When he comes home from trick or treating, let him lay out his stash, gloat over it, sort it and choose from 2–3 sweets for that evening. Let him do the same the next day. Then have him put it away and relegate it to meal and snack-time: a couple of small pieces at meals for dessert and as well as for snack time.
  • It has also been my experience that the kids get bored and actually forget about the sweets after a few days. However, if you make a big issue over the sweets and hide them and take away the fun, it just drives them to over indulge in them!

Some Healthy Halloween Snacks

There are some fantastic healthy Halloween cookie cutters available at many retail stores. Cut out healthy sandwiches, pieces of fruit or even make low GI biscuits, with these cookie cutters. Let your kids help you make the meals/snacks. Also let the kids help make up scary names for vegetables and meals. That way they can fill up on healthy meals and snacks and it shows them that Halloween is about the fun and not about the sweets.

For more nutritional help or to get healthy, fresh personalised kids and adult meals delivered to your door, contact us on hello@dailydietitian.co.za or go to our website.

Dietitian Leigh-Ann joins the Joburg Daily Dietitian team

Hey Joburg,

We’ve got some great news…Leigh-Ann Silber has joined the Daily Dietitian team!

Yes she’s experienced, yes she’s smart and yes she’s gorgeous. Wow, what a combo!

To give you a little more background, Leigh-Ann is a registered dietitian and nutritional consultant, with over 16 years’ experience. She is passionate about nutrition and wellness (obviously), AND, for all those moms out there, has a special focus on children’s health and functional nutrition.

Leigh-Ann received her Bachelor of Dietetics from the University of Pretoria in 1999, while also completing her undergraduate degree in psychology. She has a diploma in Training and Skills Development and has completed courses in Food Science & Technology and courses in Functional Nutrition, Translational Genetics and Culinary Nutrition. She is one of the first dietitians in South Africa to attend the Field to Plate culinary Nutrition workshop! Yup, she’s a keeper :)

An active figure within South Africa’s nutrition industry, Leigh-Ann has worked in a variety of roles ranging from private practice, nutritional education and training, sales, research and development, as well as nutritional communications and marketing.

Leigh-Ann is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and is also a member of the Association for Dietetics of Southern Africa (ADSA), having served as an executive board member from 2006 to 2009. She represents ADSA at the Health Products Association and Infant Feeding Association.

In addition to consulting to and representing Daily Dietitian, Leigh-Ann runs a children’s practice from Talk Sense, Bryanston and an adults practice at the Integrated Medical Centre in Bryanston.

Welcome Leigh-Ann, we are so excited to have you on board!

Leigh-Ann Silber Daily Dietitian

x DD

7 sugar rules we follow

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The FDA recently proposed putting added sugars on a product’s nutrient label, a move that did not please the food industry. As consumers become savvier, manufacturers seem determined to make understanding sugar even more confusing.

Sticking with a whole food, unprocessed diet is the easiest way to avoid sugar confusion. When you eat broccoli or quinoa, you don’t need to worry about added sugar or sneaky sweeteners. But we live in the real world, which means sometimes you’re going to eat processed foods or add a little sweetener to your green tea. When you do, keep these seven rules in mind to make the best decisions:

1. Remember: added sugar is worse than total sugar.

All sugars ultimately have the same effect on your body, breaking down to glucose and fructose. That said, sugar in fruit and other whole foods comes wrapped with nutrients, phytonutrients, fiber and other good stuff that buffers its effects. Added sugars, on the other hand, often come in nutrient-empty, heavily-processed foods, which automatically deems them worse for your waistline and your health.

2. Sugar hides under innocuous-sounding names.

Manufacturers hide sugar under seemingly healthy names like fruit juice concentrate. Your pancreas and liver don’t care whether sugar comes in an organic package or carries a pretty name. It all breaks down the exact same way.

3. Sneaky sugars lurk in “healthy” foods.

Visit your health food store and you’ll likely discover numerous products sweetened with agave nectar, honey and other so-called healthy sweeteners. Don’t be fooled. A health bar could have as much sugar as a chocolate bar. Look at the nutrient label for sugar amounts, being aware this is for one serving and you’re likely to eat several portions.

4. Artificial sweeteners aren’t better for you.

For far too long, artificial sweeteners got a free pass. Then a few troubling studies surfaced that found, among other things, aspartame and other sweeteners created glucose intolerance (paving the way for Type 2 diabetes) and gut-flora imbalances. Steer clear of those pretty pink, yellow, and blue packages.

5. Green juices can have as much sugar as a coke.

One popular commercial green juice, which actually contains more fruit than veggies, packs almost 55 grams — that’s 11 teaspoons — of sugar in a bottle. If you juice, make your own or ask your juicer to only add veggies with maybe a little lemon/ one small green apple for flavor.

6. Be judicious when buying natural alternative sweeteners.

If you have to sweeten your coffee or tea, erythritol, xylitol or stevia provide better options. Just be aware many commercial varieties come loaded with nebulous “natural flavors,” dextrose (sugar) and maltodextrin (corn). Instead, look for a 100 percent xylitol, stevia or a stevia/ erythritol blend with no bulking agents or other added ingredients.

7. Fructose is especially metabolically damaging.

Unlike glucose, which nearly every cell can utilize, fructose heads directly to your liver, the only organ that can metabolize high levels of it. Studies show that fructose induces less insulin production and triggers hunger signals in the brain. Rather than utilize this sugar for energy, our body often turns fructose into liver fat. This increase in visceral fat has been shown to increase one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

If you want us to take the stress away from hidden-sugar searching, label-reading we will create your meals for you! All our food is sugar free, artificial sweetener free and preservative free so you don’t have to worry about a thing! Email us on hello@dailydietitian.co.za or go to our website.

x DD