Sometimes the weight war seems so overwhelming...all the rules and do's and don'ts and formulas and lifestyle sectors you need to work on. So sometimes I'll tell a client to just focus on one serious habit change, and it doesn't get more important than "limiting sugar." Aside from the fact that too much sugar means too many calories, watching your sugar intake can mean helping to keep diabetes away.
How much sugar is too much? Try targeting 8 teaspoons or 32 grams of sugar daily - that means a lot of label reading.
What about artificial sweeteners? Well, they are very low calorie or calorie free, but they can cause gastro-intestinal symptoms if you eat too many products made with these. Experts also say that too much artificial sweetener in your diet can actually encourage overeating because your brain perceives sweetness but there is less of a feeling of satiation. So you eat more.
Does the kind or source of the sugar matter? White sugar, brown sugar, confectioner's sugar, high fructose corn syrup - they are all forms of sucrose. Don't be deceived by "natural" or "raw" sugar labeling - nor evaporated cane sugar or turbinado (a specialty sugar) - they all increase blood sugar and they all have 4 calories per gram.
What about sugar in fruits and vegetables? They all have fiber which helps to slow the blood stream rapid sugar elevation caused by the natural sugar content.
Some examples of sugary products? Starbucks grande Mocha Frapuccino - 47 grams of sugar; Arizona 20 ounce regular iced lemon tea - 59 grams of sugar; Dunkin' Donuts glazed donut - 12 grams of sugar.
Be a label reader and introduce the habits of:
Watching sugar per serving
Watching trans fats per serving
Watching sodium per serving'
Watching saturated fat per serving