How much sugar do you consume each day?
I asked a couple of weeks ago what is the first thing you look at on a food label and why? Well, usually I hear a toss-up between calories, sugar or fat. In my world I say don’t bother with any of those, what is most important to keep track of are the amount of CARBOHYDRATES in the food that you are about to put in your body!
And, when I say carbohydrates I mean ALL carbs not just the “of which sugars” Turns out ALL Carbohydrates turn into sugar. Here’s an easy guide to follow next time you look at a food label:
4 grams of carbohydrates = 1 teaspoon of sugar to your body. Any unneeded sugar goes to insulin. Insulin is the fat storing hormone. This is especially important because insulin also controls your blood sugar levels. If our insulin is out of whack because of consistent excessive amounts of sugar, that will mess up our hormones and in many cases cause diabetes; hence the huge epidemic of type 2 diabetes seen now in all age groups including children!
As we get older, that can also translate into hormonal imbalances and struggles with weight loss and good health.
So, back to my 4 grams of carbs which equal 1 teaspoonful of sugar to your body!
For the person who doesn’t necessarily go to the gym or work out on a regular basis, you should still be able to consume about 100grams of carbs (25 tsp of sugar a day) and maintain or even depending on your metabolism lose weight.
Unfortunately most of us are consuming 4 times that throughout the day! If you don’t believe me, try it as an experiment for a day or two. Make sure you look at the label of all the foods you are consuming for that day and how many carbs you’re taking in. Remember that you also have to look at how many servings are on the packet and multiply the amount of carbs on the label by the amount of servings you consume!
So for starters, a banana, half a cup of cereal with milk, non-fat yogurt and a cup of orange juice = 105 g carbs = 26 teaspoons of sugar…and that’s just breakfast!
If that’s the type of breakfast you consume – beginning the day with a huge sugar bang, how much more sugar will you unknowingly have throughout the day with your meals and any snacks! I’m certainly not saying that carbs are bad. They are necessary for energy and certainly have their place in my diet and my purpose and a completely different place and purpose in my 12 year old daughter’s diet. She is an elite tumbler and trains 4 consecutive hours 4 times a week so she NEEDS those carbs but even for her, it’s knowing which ones will benefit her most and when is the best time to eat them to make sure she gets the most out of her tumbling performance and energy to study after.
Next time I’ll expand a bit on which carbs are better than others and when is the best time to eat them!