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Dried Fruit, Oats and Coffee: Answers to Your Sugar Questions

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/well/eat/diet-sugar-nutrition-foods-health.html

nytimes.com

Dried Fruit, Oats and Coffee: Answers to Your Sugar Questions
Our 7-Day Sugar Challenge prompted a number of questions about cutting added sugar from our daily diet.

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Added Sugar vs. Natural Sugar

Added Sugar vs. Natural Sugar
  • Added sugar is unfriendly to our health. It can be found in most food products we come across. It is absorbed by the body quicker unlike natural sugar.
  • Processed food is digested quickly as soon as it enters out intestine while fiber-rich foods break down slowly and travel farther down the digestive track making us feel fuller.
  • Foods containing natural sugar and fiber allow the body to feed the healthy bacteria in our gut and supports the health of our own microbiome.

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Avoid Grapes and Bananas When Cutting Down On Sugar

Bananas and grapes are delicious fruits but they contain high amounts of fiber and natural sugar (fructose). When we eat these fruits it can give us a sugar spike or commonly known as sugar rush.

You can still eat them but eat them sparingly and try other variants of fruit instead.

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Low Sugar Diet and Dried Fruits

If you're opting to go on a low sugar diet, dried fruits may not be the best suitable choice for you.

Dried fruit is a great snack as long as you're aware of how much of it you are eating. It's packed with nutrients but the drying process removes the water and concentrates a lot of the sugar in a small bite.

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Milk Isn't Added Sugar

Milk Isn't Added Sugar

If you love milk in your coffee or tea, the good news is milk isn't considered as added sugar because it has it's own natural sugar you may or may not know as lactose.

Milk isn't as overwhelming to the liver as added sugar would be. However, if you drink milk from soy or nuts, check the label because many of those products contain added sugar.

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When You're Opting For a No-Sugar, No-Grain Diet

If you're planning to go on a no-sugar, no-grain diet plan here are some breakfast ideas for you:

  • High protein breakfast: Eggs and bacon are good choices but eat them moderately. Plain bacon does not have any added sugar. You can also opt for salmon, tuna, or chicken.
  • Sweet alternatives: Plain and unsweetened yogurt can be paired with berries or nuts. If you want apple and peanut butter opt for the sugar-free kind.
  • Greens and vegetables: Experiment with vegetable recipes!
  • Soups

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Check your Oats

Many brands of oats have added sugar in them so it's always best to check the label for zero grams of sugar.

  • Steel cut oats are the least processed. They have more fiber in them and are usually the best choice for oats.
  • Rolled oats are partially cooked and it can increase your blood sugar levels pretty quickly.
  • Instant oats should be avoided because your digestive track will absorb them so fast that it can cause a sugar rush.

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Bread and Sugar

Bread making has become a popular hobby nowadays and although it is time consuming, we feel rewarded once we get a taste.

Nevertheless, handmade bread contains much less sugar than processed ones. If you bake bread with molasses, you should keep in mind that molasses is added sugar. Try opting for a recipe with less added sugar, it's better for your body.

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Orange Juice Is Heavy In Sugar

Orange Juice Is Heavy In Sugar

Drinking it in the morning is a poor choice because it will give you a morning sugar spike and will cause you to crash midday or in the early afternoon.

Although it is a natural food, the juicing process of it takes out much of the fiber and concentrates on the sugar content. Have it as a weekly treat instead and opt for iced water with orange wedges to keep the citrus in your daily routine.

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Nutrition Labels Should Indicate Added Sugar

In 2020, most large food makers are asked to list their "added sugar" on the nutrition facts label and they have been required to do so.

Smaller companies are not exempted from the requirement but are given until 2021 to comply. This rule will help consumers to figure out the natural sugars from the added sugar.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or...

Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

The "Age" of vegetables

The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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Fiber gap

Only 5 percent of people in the US meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily target of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That amounts to a population-wide deficiency.

Benefits of a fiber-rich diet

Eating a fiber-rich diet is associated with better gastrointestinal health and a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, even some cancers. Fiber slows the absorption of glucose — which evens out our blood sugar levels — and also lowers cholesterol and inflammation.

Fiber doesn’t just help us poop better — it also nourishes our gut microbiome.

Processed foods and fiber

Instead of munching on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, more than half of the calories Americans consume come from ultra-processed foods. On any given day, nearly 40 percent of Americans eat fast food. These prepared and processed meals tend to be low in fiber, or even fiber free. 

Foods that affect your sleep

Foods that affect your sleep

Researchers found that eating a diet high in sugar, saturated fat, and processed carbohydrates can negatively affect your sleep.

Foods rich in unsaturated fat, such as nuts...

The relationship between diet and sleep

Researchers found that eating more saturated fat and less fibre from foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains led to reductions in slow-wave sleep - the deep restorative kind of sleep.

People who consume a high-carbohydrate diet fall asleep much faster at night, but the quality of carbs matters. People who eat simple carbs and sugar tend to wake up more frequently throughout the night while eating complex carbs that contain fibre may help you obtain more deep, restorative sleep. This is because complex carbohydrates provide a more stable blood sugar level.

Diet and sleep affect each other

As people lose sleep, they may seek out more junk food. Healthy adults who sleep only four or five hours a night end up eating more calories and snacking on sweet foods more frequently.

Another study found that proper sleep can increase your willpower to avoid unhealthy foods.