Today, the 6th day of the weight loss plan, I am going to introduce you to a no brainer… You need to reduce sugar to lose weight! There are no two ways about it. If you are like most people you eat too much sugar, and I don’t only mean the white stuff from your sugar bowl.
There is sugar in almost every single processed food you buy, in every fruit and many vegetables you eat and likely every drink (except water) you drink. This is what is typical for most North Americans. And because of that, our population, including children, are getting fatter and even obese at alarming rates.
So in order to lose weight you must reduce sugar in your diet. Reducing your sugar intake is the next logical step of the weight loss plan.
Before you start to reduce sugar in your diet, for some, “a drastic step”, let me explain a few things because I don’t want you to get rid of all “sugar” you eat, only some of the varieties.
Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates. Many of these short chain sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruits and vegetables or are added to food to sweeten the taste.
The sugar I recommend you reduce is the one called fructose. Because fructose is very prevalent naturally in most fruits and many vegetables and because since 1970s it has been so “heavy-handedly” added to processed foods (including low-fat ones), our consumption of this sugar skyrocketed.
North American Sugar Consumption
Let me show you an example of how the consumption of sugars (particularly fructose) changed over the years in the US. The same would apply to Canada.
Image reference: http://OnlineNursingPrograms.com
Our consumption of sugar went from negligible in early 19th century to a whopping 130 pounds of sugar per year. Most of this sugar is fructose and this is what is causing North Americans (and populations worldwide) to be overweight and suffer a host of serious health problems.
Daily Recommended Intake Of Sugar
At the present time Americans consume about 80 grams of added sugar per day. That is roughly 320 calories. Yet the recommended limit of consumed sugar for women is no more than 100 calories (24 grams or 6 tsp) and for men, no more than 150 calories or about 36 grams (9 tsp).
As I mentioned before, fructose is the worst sugar to eat in large quantities and that is exactly what we are doing.
In the next section I will tell you which sugars to eliminate, which foods are the high sources of fructose and steps to reduce sugar if you want to lose weight and stay healthy.
High Fructose Sources To Avoid When Reducing Sugar In Your Diet
Here is a lists of foods and/or food sweeteners that are high in fructose. The ones that have the highest content of fructose are printed in bold. Always read the ingredients labels and avoid the ones that contain the following ingredients:
- Agave Nectar or Syrup
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Corn Sweetener
- Corn Syrup* – Although, technically, corn syrup does not contain fructose, some product ingredients labeled as “corn syrup” are in fact a combination of glucose and fructose
The second group is less dangerous than the group of high fructose sweeteners listed above. They are more or less a variety sucrose or table sugar. If you really have to sweeten some foods use those instead of the ones listed above.
- Brown Sugar
- Table Sugar
- Raw Sugar
- Maple Syrup
High Fructose Foods To Avoid When On Reduced Sugar Diet
- Cakes, pastries, sugary doughnuts and any sweet baked goods
- Fruit drinks,
- Fruit juices – although 100 fruit juices contain healthful nutrients it is full of sugar, particularly fructose. For example, one glass of pure orange juice is equivalent to at least two oranges. It is better for you to eat one orange. Not only you will get the valuable nutrients, you will also get fiber.
- Sports drinks – although these drinks may be of some value to very active athletes, most of these drinks are consumed by non-athletes and often children. They only offer you sugar.
- Some fruits – fruits are essential for a healthy diet. Unfortunately, fruits are loaded with fructose
So How Do You Reduce Sugar To Lose Weight – Where Do You Start?
Here are just a few basic suggestions. The rest is really a common sense. Read the nutrient and ingredient labels and don’t eat sugary foods.
1. Yesterday I told you to replace sodas, fruit juices any other sugary drinks with water. Let’s have a look at the sugar content of some of the common drinks/beverages. As a standard I will use 12 ounces which is the same as one can of soda :
Amount of Sugar In 12 Ounce Can
The amount of sugar in a 12 ounce can of soda is about 40 grams (10 tsp). Sunkist Orange Soda is the biggest culprit as it contains 53 grams of sugar (about 13 teaspoons) in one can. In terms of calories this is equivalent to from 140 calories to as many as over 200 calories.
As well, if you stop drinking just one 12 ounce can of any of these sodas per day, you will reduce your sugar consumption by between 14.6 kg (32 lbs) to 19 kg (41.8 lbs) of sugar per year.
Coke claims to have only 140 calories per 12 ounce can. If you stop drinking just one can of Coke you will consume 51, 000 calories per year less which is roughly equivalent to 14.6 pounds (at 3500 calories per pound). Pretty incredible isn’t it?
Amount of Sugar in 8 ounces (about 1 glass) Of Fruit Juice
The amount of sugar in a “healthy” 100% pure juice is sometimes higher than the sugar in sodas. It ranges from 20 grams (or 5 tsp) in orange juice to as high as 32 grams (or 8 tsp) in grape juice.
Bear in mind that you can have one orange instead of one glass of orange juice. You will still get enough of the healthy nutrients such as vitamins C, vitamin A and fiber but you will only consume 1/3 of the sugar (one medium size navel orange contains only 6.1 grams of sugar).
2. This suggestion may not sit well with you but I am going to recommend that you limit your consumption of fruits and vegetables that contain high amount of fructose (primary sugar in fruits). Have a look at the two tables below and select the fruits and veggies that are less sugary.
If you want to get more detailed information, I urge you to read the book by Dr. Johnson titled “The Sugar Fix”. The book is packed with a lot really eye opening information. In the book you will find an extensive list of fruits, vegetables, cereals and much more (even the sugar content of your favorite take out or fast foods). If you cannot find the book in the library, the cheapest place to purchase the book is at Amazon.com (affiliate link).
If you’ll follow the suggestions in book, reducing sugar from your diet will be effortless. The reason being is that you will not have to give up carbs, such as spaghetti, bread and grains. As well you will be able to drink milk (which contains “good sugar). Eating these carbs seems to alleviate the problem of sugar withdrawal (at least that is how I felt when I reduced sugar in my diet).
Below are 2 tables that list the fructose content of common fruits and vegetables, adapted from The Sugar Fix book (affiliate link).
Table 1. Fructose Content Of Fruits
Table 2. Fructose Content Of Vegetables
Because grains, breads, legumes, pasta and rice are mainly composed of complex carbohydrates and very little, if any fructose you can enjoy those while you are losing weight (just mind the calorie intake). Always check the nutrition labels and ingredient labels to be sure.
If you absolutely have to sweeten some foods you want to eat, use stevia (you can get it at a health food store).
In conclusion, it is not difficult to reduce sugar from your diet. Actually it is quite painless. By eliminating sugary and unnecessary sweets, sodas and juices your sugar intake can be drastically reduced. As well, if you will become mindful of the fruits and vegetables you consume, you can further reduce your sugar intake to stay within the daily recommended limit.