"The only good thing about cake is when it's in your mouth."
This realization brought a hardy chuckle in a recent conversation with a WhyPowered coaching client who's come a long way with managing her cravings for 'treats'. While she still has the occasional urge for pastries, sugar cravings no longer dominate her days.
It's easy to fall into sugar-centric eating traps:
A workplace monthly celebration of birthdays features cakes and donuts, so you partake.
Your Starbucks chai latte habit keeps you going on long afternoons-- sometimes with a pastry.
Your busy lifestyle has you munching on Clif bars as meal replacements (which in some varieties deliver more added sugar than a candy bar.)
With 80 percent of our weight determined by food choices (both quantity and quality), it's critical that we be intentional with our long term health in mind. (If you missed last week's blog about adulting our tastebuds, check it out here.) It's not just our waistlines that are impacted. Excessive added sugar is directly connected to our country's epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and a host of inflammation-related ailments.
Here are five simple guidelines about sugar that can help you be more aware and adjust your daily consumption:
Know that naturally occurring sugar from fruit is not detrimental to our health. Two servings of daily fruit is recommended for good health and can effectively satisfy a sweet tooth.
The recommended maximum daily limit of added sugar for women is 6 teaspoons, 9 for men. (In grams, this is 24 and 36.) The typical American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day--nearly four times the daily healthy limit.
Minimize your processed food intake---this is where most added sugar comes from. Sugar-centric drinks are a huge offender as well.
Be an avid label reader. If a product has more than 7 grams per serving of added sugar, find an alternative. (And pay attention that the suggested serving size is realistic for you.)
When you're eating high sugar, low nutrient food, practice moderation. (I invite clients to "sound the portion control alarm bells" during these times.) No need to deprive yourself. Learn to be satisfied with less and find a place of balance.
To your good health,
Certified Whole Health Coach
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer