Should you blame sugar for weight gain? Here are some things to consider:
- Not all sugars are created equal.
Sugar that comes from natural sources such as honey and fruits for example is good for you, but always have them in moderation. It’s really the sugar that comes from processed and junk foods such as soda and candy bars that you should be wary about.
- Beware of secret sugar.
Some common hidden sugars are corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, maltose and sucrose. Juicing can also cause you to have too much sugar that it outweighs the fruits nutritional benefits.
Choose to eat your fruits over juicing them. This is because by eating them, you are aware of your portions. Store-bought juices also have more sugar and flavorings, which are known contributors to obesity. If you want to snack on fruits, go for the low-sugar varieties like strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and avocados.
- Read the labels.
Stop focusing on calories alone and start looking at the grams of sugar on the label. Limit the amount of sugar you consume to 100 calories or less per day if you’re a woman and 150 calories or less per day if you’re a man. This is based on the recommendation of the American Heart Association.
That being said, it is also important to know that it’s not only the amount of sugar that you have to watch out for when looking at product labels because sugar can be hiding in the other ingredients as well. The truth is, there are many people who totally avoid sugar only to gain more weight. This is because they are still eating food that their body converts to sugar without them knowing it. Foods with simple carbs like pasta and bread may not taste very sweet, but once the human body processes these foods, they turn into sugar, which makes you even hungrier. So now you have to watch out for sources of simple carbohydrates too and choose complex carbohydrates instead such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. To feel satisfied, choose foods that are rich in fiber and protein as these are digested more slowly. These also help with digesting carbs.