Carbohydrates and how the body reacts to carbohydrate intake is vital to understand. One form of carbohydrates is sugar. Sugar comes in multiple different forms and takes on a variety of names. Take a look at the ingredient lists of some products you usually eat and see if you notice any of the following terms: high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, rice syrup, glucose, fructose, maltose, cane juice, molasses. There are many other terms for sugar, but those are some of the most recognizable.
Ultimately, we want to decrease our sugar intake, regardless of it's name or type. Sugar isn't necessarily bad, but we often get more than our body needs, creating an issue. The World Health Organization recommends that less than 5% of calories come from sugar. That works out to be ~25-35g of sugar per day for the average adult. One teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams. To put that in perspective, one can of Pepsi has about 41g of sugar or ~10 teaspoons, far exceeding our necessary intake for the day.
In order to decrease sugar intake, start to look at some of the foods you are regularly consuming. Cut down on processed food as it often adds sugar for taste. Low-fat and fat-free foods are also laden with sugar to compensate for the lack of fat. When cooking, decrease sugar content and increases spices and seasonings. Spices/seasonings can bring lots of flavor without the added sugar.
Happy Wednesday and Happy Diabetes Month!