Sugar and carbs oh my! Wonder what effects these can have on the body?
Have you ever felt light-headed, shaky, anxious, heart racing, tired and hungry? These are the symptoms of hypoglycemia and are all to familiar to me. I’ve had it since my college days but rarely and I mean rarely does it rear it’s ugly head.
What is hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar or low blood glucose? It occurs when the glucose levels in the blood drop below normal. Typically, the cause can be lack of carbohydrates. Eating a small amount of healthy low glycemic carbs will quickly reduce the symptoms.
What triggered my recent symptoms? To my surprise a healthy energy drink and protein bar, both with all “natural” ingredients including natural sugars.
Sugar & Carbs
Become a Nutrition Facts food label reader! Since carbs and sugar go hand and hand, select foods that are both low-carb and low-sugar.
Here’s a handy site to look up Nutrition Facts for what you eat > Self Nutrition Data
Recommended daily amount of sugar per American Heart Association:
- Women – 24 grams or 6 teaspoons equal to 100 calories from sugar
- Men – 36 grams or 9 teaspoons equal to 150 calories from sugar
An average most Americans consume 85 grams or 22 teaspoons of just sugar daily.
Just one 12 oz can of regular soda has 40 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar! Whoa almost half the daily average.
If you are over the age of 40, it’s time to get serious about reducing sugar intake and reduce your risk to diabetes and obesity.
Calculate your sugar intake: take the number of grams of sugar per serving and divide by four = number of teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Typically a 2,000 calorie per day diet should consume 45-65% total carbs or 225 to 325 grams.
5 Easy Tips to Reduce Sugar & Carbs Intake
1. Stop Consuming Sugary Beverages. At the top of the list is soda! Skip both regular and diet as they are acidic and provide no benefit to the body. Surprisingly others sugary drinks include; “healthy”orange juice, grape juice, cranberry juice, lemonade both regular and pink and energy drinks with “natural” sugar.
2. Protein Bars. Choose your healthy protein bars wisely. Even though most contain “natural sugar” too much sugar is not good for the body. Couple of my favorite brands with lower sugar are Kind and Luna from Natural Grocers.
3. Physical Activity. Be active every day for at least 20 minutes to get your blood flowing and to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Walking is an easy choice and can be done at any age. Go to the mall, use a treadmill, walk outside or even go up and down every aisle at the grocery store or Walmart.
4. Healthier Carbs. Choose low glycemic low-carb whole food fruits, leafy greens and vegetables high in vitamins, fiber and low in calories. Whole grains are another healthy choice plus low-fat dairy, plain yogurt, beans, nuts and legumes.
5. Fruit & Natural Sugars. Eaten in excess even natural sugars are not good for the body. Both natural and processed sugars are broken down to glucose in the body. Minimize daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, milk, honey and maple syrup. Don’t go “natural” sugar crazy.
What are you doing to reduce sugar & carbs from your diet? I’d love to hear from you!
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Cheer to a Healthy Life!