Shocking Misconceptions About Sugar that Will Make You Want to Quit Today
2018 has already begun which means that most of our New Year health resolutions are in full swing. Gyms are packed with new members excited to start their fitness journey and many have already wiped their pantries clean of last year’s gluttonous sins to make room for packets of quinoa, healthy granola bars, gluten-free this, organic that and a bunch of other ‘sugar-free’ snacks, bringing the total bill of a week’s worth of groceries higher than what you would normally spend on food in an entire month.
Sticking to healthy eating goals is far more challenging than you could ever anticipate, simply because there are hidden ingredients like sugar and sodium in packaged or processed foods that can throw you off the weigh-loss wagon. Even diet-friendly foods that claim to be ‘low-calorie’ tend to have copious amounts of sugar hidden in the ingredient list.Want to find out the real truth about sugar before starting your diet this year? Here are 4 common misconceptions that you need to educate yourself about first.
Common Misconception #1: Thinking that you are not addicted to sugar
Sugar is an addictive substance. In fact, scientists have proven that it can have the same effect on the dopamine levels in our brain as other hard drugs like cocaine or heroin but most of find it hard to admit that we have a sugar problem because it is so widely used and accepted. Whether it’s your morning coffee or your regular breakfast of pancakes with syrup or the snacks that you indulge in throughout the day, sugar is everywhere and you won’t realize that you have a problem until it’s time to completely cut it out of your diet.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that only 10 per cent of our daily calorie intake should consist of sugar, which roughly equates to 50 grams per day. Surprisingly, most of us consume twice the daily recommended amount without giving it a second thought. Sugar addiction is a problem which is widespread but not commonly talked about.
Common Misconception #2: You can easily spot sugar
If you ask people what is sugar, you’ll commonly hear a response along the lines of ‘anything that tastes sweet’ but in all honesty, sugar isn’t that easy to identify. When trying to cut sugar from their lives, people often think that once they have eliminated all desserts and sugary drinks from their lives, they have successfully achieved their goal.
But you’d be surprised to discover what other foods it is hiding in. Have you ever been tricked into buying healthy granola bars, flavored yogurts, applesauce or low-calorie cereals thinking that they are good for your health? The truth is anything but. These foods that are often marketed as ‘healthy’ often have a ton of sugar or other aliases such as syrups, molasses, honey, corn syrup or sweeteners that you need to stay away from.
Common Misconception #3: Fruits aren’t good for you either
It’s true that fruits contain sugar but that doesn’t mean that they’re bad for your health. The sweetness in fruits comes from naturally-occurring fructose which isn’t harmful for you when consumed in moderation. But fruits aren’t just made of sugar; there are other important vitamins, nutrients and fiber in them which are essential for your body. It is important to look at foods from a broader perspective and not simply fixate on one small ingredient in it like sugar.
Common Misconception #3: Avoiding certain foods will solve the problem
Most people think that certain foods like desserts, candies and sugary drinks are the culprit and cutting them out completely will make their diet sugar-fee. Experts propose a different approach to your ‘no-sugar’ health resolution. Instead of avoiding certain foods, try to pick out ones that are the least processed to add to your current diet. Whole foods such as unprocessed grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds offer great nutritional value and can keep you satisfied for longer, hence reducing the cravings for sugary snacks.
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