FATS, OILS, AND SUGAR
Slim Down This Summer by Consuming Less Sugar with These Quick, Easy Tips
Research reveals that increased sugar consumption has paralleled rises in obesity. Sugar comes in various forms, which include but are not limited to glucose, fructose, and sucrose or table sugar (a combination of glucose and fructose). The body’s cells employ glucose to create energy. Fructose, on the other hand, is not employed similarly for energy production and if any remains unused the body stores it as fat.
Labels adorning many processed and cooked foods read “low fat” and “reduced calories;” however, this is misleading. Food manufacturers replace fat and other natural but high-calorie ingredients with refined sugar to make the food appetizing. This excessive sugar in turn encourages weight gain. So, the “low fat” and “reduced calorie” tag lines are employed to trick the unsuspecting and trusting public.
So, if you want to lose a few pounds this summer, eating less sugar is an excellent launching pad. Besides eliminating the obvious contenders, such as pastries, candy, soft drinks, rich desserts, and sugary condiments as ketchup, here are a few less obvious ways to curb your sugar intake:
1. Eliminate canned fruits
Most canned fruit contains high amounts of sugar. Do not allow a label, such as the one on Dole’s pineapple slices in heavy syrup that reads 100 calories and 0 fat, to hoodwink you. While this appears healthy, a more thorough inspection of the label reveals that the fruit contains 23 grams of sugar for 2 slices. That is a considerable amount of artificial, processed and refined sweetener! As a means of comparison, a small orange and kiwi contain only 9 and 6 grams of sugar respectively. So fresh fruit is best.
2. Stop eating yogurt
Be sure to inspect that yogurt label! Many brands and flavors contain loads of sugar! Strawberry flavored Yoplait, Thick and Creamy variety, has a whopping 28 grams of sugar per container! If you choose the Original blend, it has 18 grams, which is an improvement. Nonetheless, 18 grams of sugar is excessive for a snack or an accompaniment to a larger meal.
Rather than yogurt, purchase Thai young coconuts from your local health food store. Scoop out the coconut meat into a blender, and then add the coconut water and some fresh berries. Blend and enjoy! If you want to reduce your sugar consumption further, omit the coconut water and just eat the meat.
3. Substitute honey or sugar in your coffee or tea with stevia
Derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiana, stevia is a natural sugar substitute. Nearly too good to be true, though it is, stevia contains zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero fat! Yet, it is sweet; moreover, while the taste is slightly different than that of sugar, stevia is quite palatable.
4. Forgo energy drinks
A 32 ounce bottle of Gatorade has an astronomical 52.5 grams of sugar! This is no surprise, as the label boasts sugar as the second ingredient!
Rather, substitute energy drinks like Gatorade with RAW Kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea that acts as a probiotic and is naturally effervescent. This drink is incredibly thirst-quenching, plus it curbs your appetite and facilitates improved digestion. And you reap these benefits while ingesting only 4 grams of sugar per 16 ounce bottle. Even if you drink 32 ounces, that equals only 8 grams of sugar as compared to Gatorade’s 52.5! As kombucha is offered in a variety of flavors, such as ginger, citrus, and raspberry, you are sure to find one that you will enjoy.
This summer, avoid the grocery isles with their sugar-loaded products. Rather, frequent the produce section, make the above dietary adjustments, and relish fitting perfectly into that swimsuit!
Omega 3 Fatty Acids for a Sound Mind and Body
Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that your body is unable to produce on its own. Therefore, you must derive these nutrients from food. There are 3 types of fatty acids, ALA (α-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Plants, nuts, and seeds provide ALA, while the other two fatty acids are most commonly found in fish.
From facilitating blood clotting to aiding gene expression to supporting cognitive and behavioral function, your body needs omega 3 fatty acids to operate properly and to even stave off disease. Research shows that omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and consequently help prevent and/or treat chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and more.
While fish, such as salmon and sardines, directly provide DHA and EPA, kale, walnuts, flax, and spinach are great sources of ALA, much of which the body converts to DHA and EPA.
Whichever foods you choose to eat to obtain these essential nutrients, make sure that you get your omega 3s to maintain a sound mind and body!
Ignore the Old Adage to Shun Fat; Today's Truth Is to Embrace Healthy Fats
In an article about fat and cholesterol, the Harvard School of Public Health stated emphatically that
it was time to end the low-fat diet myth. The 1990s fat-free craze was fueled by the idea that fat was
bad. This prompted numerous food and beverage manufacturers to create "fat-free" products. To compensate for the fat, however, these companies filled foods with highly refined and processed salt, sugar, and grains as well as artificial and toxic flavorings and colors.
Research has shown, however, that wholesome, plant-based foods, including fats, are essential for the body and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. So, EAT GOOD FATS - RAW nuts, avocado, RAW coconut oil, cold-pressed olive oil, and olives to stay healthy!