No Sugar Added August Challenge

Sugar is all around us. As you may have read in my last blog, “Is your sugar intake the cause of your acne, low sex drive, and wrinkles?” sugar is hidden in almost everything. Many of my clients do not even realize how much sugar they consume in a day until I go over their three day food journal. Items such as: ketchup, salad dressing, BBQ sauce, yogurt, pizza sauce, flavored chips, spaghetti sauce, some dried fruits, granola mixes, cereals, instant oatmeal, and in many more packaged foods have added sugars. So, I challenge you to take the month of August and due your waistline and overall well-being a favor and cut out ALL added sugar. If you live in the Bakersfield, California area you can follow this challenge on 17 news at sunrise (every Tuesday at 5:50 & 6:50 a.m.) and look for the hashtag #sugarfree17.

The Four Rules Starting August 1st:

1. No eating added sugar. Only eat sugar in its natural form, such as, whole fruits and veggies.

2. No artificial sweeteners, such as, aspartame 200x sweeter than sugar (brand name: Nutra Sweet), sucralose 600x sweeter than sugar (brand name: Splenda), Neotame 700-1300x sweeter than sugar and newer to the market (brand name: Newtame), Saccharin 200-700x sweeter than sugar (brand names: Sweet n’ Low, Sweet Twin, Necta Sweet, Equal), acesulfame 600x sweeter than sugar and usually mixed with other sweeteners (brand name: Sunsett, Sweet One).

3. No alcohol… Yes, I am sorry but we had to throw this one in!

4. No Juices

Additional Tips

-Eat no more than 36 grams of sugar. Which is = 9 teaspoons.

-Write down everything you eat (this will help you stay focused)

-No gum or mints. Add mint and peppermint tea for your fix.

-Avoid anything that says “Low-Fat” this usually means sugar has been added

Here are some items that have hidden sugars and the amount in each:

*Note: 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar

-Coleslaw about 3.5 teaspoons in one cup.

-Barbecue sauce two teaspoons in 1 oz.

-Yogurt 5 teaspoons in 6 oz.

-Fruit drinks for teaspoons in one cup.

-Spaghetti sauce 2 teaspoons in 1/2 cup.

-Pizza sauce one teaspoon in 1/2 cup.

-Sports drink 3.5 teaspoons in 8 oz.

-Chocolate milk 1.5 teaspoons in 8 oz.

-Granola five teaspoons in one cup.

-Coffee drinks 8 to 15 teaspoons in 16 oz.

-Ketchup 1.5 teaspoons in 1 oz.

-Sweetened iced tea 12 teaspoons in 16 oz.

-Instant oatmeal packets 3 teaspoons in one packet.

-Jelly and jams 1 tsp in 1 tbsp.

-Some protein bars four teaspoons in one bar.

-Dried fruit 3 teaspoons in 1/4 cup (this is with the added sugar not the sugar in the fruit).

-Baked beans 3.5 teaspoons in one cup.

-Some reduced fat salad dressings 2 teaspoons in 2 tabspoons.

-Vitamins/Chewable 1 teaspoon

-Protein powders can have added sweeteners and sometimes ½ teaspoon of added sugar even in addition to the sweetener.

Little facts about sugar:

1. Recommended sugar intake by American Heart association:

-Men – 9 teaspoons a day = 150 calories

-Women – 6 teaspoons a day = 100 calories

-Or no more than 9.5 teaspoons a day

2. Reality of consumption:

-Adults are eating 22 teaspoons a day

-Kids are eating 32 teaspoons a day

3. There are two types of sugar:

-Naturally occurring sugar such as fructose that is found in fruit and lactose in milk

-Added sugar. Added sugars include any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation (such as putting sugar in your coffee or adding sugar to your cereal). Added sugars (or added sweeteners) can include natural sugars such as white sugar, brown sugar and honey as well as other caloric sweeteners that are chemically manufactured (such as high fructose corn syrup).

4. There many names for sugars…Here are a few: Agave nectar, blackstrap molasses, cane sugar, confectioner sugar, date Sugar, diastatic malt, Florida Crystals, galatas, golden syrup, icing sugar, malt dextrin, muscovado, refiners syrup, sugar, Barbados sugar, brown sugar, caramel, corn syrup, Demerara sugar, deities, fructose, glucose, grape sugar, invert sugar, maltose, organic raw sugar, rice syrup, treacle, barley malt, buttered syrup, carob syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrin, ethyl Maltol, fruit juice, glucose salads, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, maple syrup, panocha, sorghum sugar, cane juice crystals, caster sugar, crystalline fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, golden sugar, honey, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, yellow sugar.

5. How can we nix sugar cravings beyond just the challenge?

Get started with these tips:

-Toss the table sugar (white and brown), syrup, honey and molasses or use the table sugar to exfoliate for your skin.

-Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea.

-Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there.Nix soda and try carbonated water.

-Eat fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits. Choose fruit canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup even if it says “light” syrup.

-Drink lots of water to limit false hunger signals to the brain

-Use a tongue scraper-Brush and floss after eating.

-Don’t buy products with added sugar

-Add fruit to sweeten things up. Add fruit to oatmeal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (nix the jelly) and, try fresh fruit (bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit that has no added sugar.).

-Add-in tea: Sip on peppermint and mint teas

-Cut back when baking or replace with fruit.. Use just a fourth of the sugar recommendation in the recipe you may not even notice a great difference.

-Try extracts and spices to enhance taste. Like almond, vanilla, orange, mint or lemon for extracts and enhance foods with ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.

6. Health concerns with high sugar diets:

-High sugar diets may increase your risk for premature death and heart disease.

-Increase risk for cavities.

-Can take your insulin levels to dangerous levels and throw off other hormones.

-These empty calories can cause weight gain.

-When I use to eat a high sugar diet I had more mood swings and GI issues.

Will you commit to the August challenge of no sugar added? Email me your email address to join this movement and get the newsletter.

Think you are addicted to sugar? Read this:

Additional recommended reads:

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