Looking for the best New Year’s resolution?
Cutting out sugar and added fructose from your diet could be the best new year resolution you could make this year.
Are you looking for the best New Year’s resolution? Another year has come and gone. For most of us, it feels like just yesterday that we were crafting the perfect New Year’s resolution list for 2017, and now it’s already time to start thinking about the next one!
Many of us hope for mental clarity, happiness, and motivation to help achieve our New Year’s resolutions in 2018. Experts suggest that to help achieve your 2018 New Year’s resolution goals, you may need to give up sugar, particularly hidden amounts of added fructose commonly found in the typical American diet.
Cutting out sugar and fructose are not typically on our list of New Year’s resolutions, but here are some benefits to trying it:
- Feeling More Energetic
- Looking and Feeling Better
- Preventing Cavities and Periodontal disease
- Feeling Less Sluggish
- Living Longer & Having a Better Quality of Life
According to Statistic Brain, healthy eating was the top New Year’s resolution in 2017. In our opinion, the major contribution to healthy eating is limiting sugar intake in the form of added fructose. Added fructose intake accounts for a huge part of our diets, and it can be harder to avoid than most people imagine. The typical American diet is packed with hidden sugars, particularly fructose.
If you are trying to limit or eliminate sugar in your diet, you may start by cutting out fructose. Today, we’ll discuss the best New Year’s resolutions, the health implications associated with diets high in fructose, and share 6 simple tips for cutting down the amount of fructose you consume.
The Scope of Sugar:
The science explains why sugar is so difficult to give up
Sugars are simple carbohydrate molecules. While sugars are essential for cell and organ function, our bodies have the ability to break complex carbohydrate molecules into simple sugars for use throughout the body. Therefore, our diet does not require any form of sugar to be added for healthy organ function. American Heart Association (AHA) states that “our bodies don’t need sugar to function properly.”
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar, mainly added fructose per year. And this is only the average person – not just those who are consuming more sugar than their neighbor. That’s a lot of sugar!
It is important to note that all processed foods have added amounts of fructose. Fructose is not just in cakes, candy bars or donuts. Hidden amounts of sugar can be found in almost every processed food
Check out this video about why “Sugar is Killing Us” by Sikuvideo
High Fructose Diet and mental health:
A toxic combination?
Giving up sugar/added fructose could lead to more clarity in thinking and feeling happier. Whats the science behind it?
Sugar and neurons
Neurons are very sensitive cells and are not well prepared for sugar level spikes. In fact, individuals with high sugar/added fructose diet are at risk of neuronal damage, and scientists are beginning to understand how high blood sugar might cause this.
A study by researchers from the Department of Neurobiology at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, showed that consumption of high levels of sugar/added fructose led to inflammation and neuronal damage and death of neurons in the brain, supporting the claim that sugar/added fructose toxicity has a role in brain health.
High sugar diet and depression.
Last week, Medical News Today reported on a study published in the journal Scientific Reports that identified a greater risk of depression among men who consumed significant amounts of sugar/ added fructose in their diets.
It is important to note that all/ processed foods have added and hidden amounts of sugar/ fructose. For example, consumption of processed and fast food – including hamburgers, pizza, and fried foods – was found to be higher in both youngsters and adults with increased rates of depression.
High Sugar/Fructose Diets and Alzheimer’s Disease
Research over the past few years has created a growing concern over the relationship between Alzheimer’s and high sugar/ fructose diet.
In this study, researchers compared brain samples of those with and without Alzheimer’s. The researchers found that high sugar diet causes damage to a specific enzyme. This enzyme, called Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF), is partially responsible for the body’s insulin regulation. The researchers noticed that this damage played a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s. The team is now looking at other research possibilities to further prove this link
If you want to think more clearly, to stay motivated or to feel better, cutting sugar/added fructose is important as a part of your wellness program.
High Sugar Diets and Dental Problems:
Tooth Decay and Periodontal Disease
Every human mouth is filled with good and harmful bacteria. The harmful bacteria are the ones responsible for tooth decay, cavities, and developing gum/periodontal disease. These bacteria feed on sugars. That means that when you consume high levels of fructose, you’re helping sustain the bad bacteria. If this occurs regularly, it can lead to serious tooth decay. In other words, sugar destroys tooth enamel or the outer layer of teeth. Tooth decay can also lead to future dental issues, including gum, or periodontal, disease. Our Lincoln dentist can help you to prevent and treat those dental problems.
What About High Sugar/ Fructose Diet and Medical Problems?
Although it’s delicious, high sugar diets/added fructose are responsible for a whole array of problems besides mental health. It’s linked to adverse effects in almost every part of the human body. It has particularly violent effects on the body’s inflammation response. People with diets high in sugar have increased levels of serum CRP, TNF-alpha, proinflammatory growth factors, body fat, higher BMI, glucose intolerance, insulin sensitivity, and lipoprotein profiles.
Many studies have now confirmed a link between cardiovascular disease and high sugar diets/added fructose intake. One of these studies was a 15-year study conducted by Harvard. Researchers found that participants whose daily high sugar intake accounted for 25% or more of their daily calories were twice as likely to die of heart disease as those whose sugar/added fructose only accounted for 10% of their calories.
It is important to note that not every person with diabetes has consumed too much sugar/ added fructose. But while that isn’t true, it is true that eating too much sugar can influence the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. That said, we know that eating too much sugar can influence the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes
Diabetes is another disease that most people know to be related to high sugar diets/ fructose intake. In the past few years, scientists have shown that this link is much more direct than we had once thought.
Most people know that high sugar diets/ added fructose consumption has a lot to do with weight gain. As of this year, 36.5% of US adults are obese, and 70.7% of US adults are overweight. This news came to us in August from the Center for Disease Control. The numbers are quite alarming, putting obesity at an all-time high in America.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affects approximately 30 million US citizens. While sugar consumption isn’t considered “directly related” to this issue, it is a major contributor.
The overconsumption of alcohol sugar causes a buildup of fat cells, which in turn can allow fat cells to build on the liver. Ultimately, this can lead to even more severe liver disease.
More information on negative effects of sugar here: https://www.healthambition.com/negative-effects-of-sugar/
Ready to start the best New Year’s resolution? 6 Tips for Cutting Sugar/ Added Fructose from your diet.
Although we know that eating too much sugar is bad for us, cutting it out of our diets can be easier said than done. But don’t worry! We believe that with some practice and hard work, anyone can do it! Here are a few of our best tips for cutting down sugar/added fructose in 2018.
The easiest way to avoid high sugar diet/added fructose is to avoid any processed foods such as breakfast cereals, sauces (including ketchup and pasta sauce), flavored milk, wholemeal bread, and many products labeled as low fat, such as fruit yogurts.
Eating unprocessed and healthy foods is the easiest ways to avoid diets full of sugar/added fructose.
1. Read Nutrition Labels
Trying to cut out sugar, but not sure where to start? Reading nutrition labels is a good starting point. Practice reading the nutrition labels for everything you buy and consume. If you’ve had trouble cutting out sugar before, this one can be a good New Year’s resolution on its own!
Be aware that most processed foods have added sugar and the names of sugars are often hidden. Most innocent looking foods may have high levels of hidden sugar, particularly fructose.
A good example of hidden sugar on the label of The Cream of Wheat. The amount of sugar is listed as carbohydrates, but most of it is added fructose and the total amount is 54 grams, which makes it an unhealthy breakfast.
It is almost impossible to avoid processed foods with added sugars. Again, the easiest way to reduce sugar intake is to eat fresh, unprocessed foods.
2. Learn the Names of Hidden Sugar
As you read through nutrition labels, you’ll see some recurring ingredients. A few of these are disguised sugars. Things like glucose, dextrose, fructose, corn sweetener/syrup, barley malt, rice syrup, and mean table sugar are all hidden forms of sugar. Look for these on nutrition labels before you buy!
3. Use The Grocery Store Wisely
Your time at the grocery store is crucial! If you’re careful, you can avoid keeping sugary foods and drinks around the house. In particular, be sure to use the first two tips in conjunction with this one. By spending a little extra time at the grocery store reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists, you can sugar-proof your home! But be sure to buy something healthy and sweet for times when you’re craving something sugary. For instance, keep fresh fruit around the house. Then you can get into the habit of going for an apple, orange, banana, or otherwise instead of ice cream or other sweets!
4. Set a Limit For Yourself
However, you measure them, setting personal goals or limits for sugar intake can be an effective way to cut out sugar. Many people will only allow themselves a certain amount of sugar per day. This approach requires a few extra moments reading nutrition labels. Try paying attention to the amount of sugar in anything you eat for a week at first, then see how you do!
5. Use Meal-Planning Apps as a Resource
Meal-planning apps can be a great resource, especially for those who are trying to limit sugar intake. Some apps make cutting out sugar easy by giving you the tools to count your consumption on the go. CalorieKing is a great place to start when it comes to nutrition apps and websites.
6. See a Nutritionist or Dietitian
If nothing else, you can always see a nutritionist or dietitian in Lincoln! Sage Nutrition in Lincoln, Nebraska works on nutrition habits, active and mindful living, and more. If you’re curious about their services, give them a call today!
Best New Year’s Resolution FAQs on cutting out sugar/added fructose from a diet
How much sugar is in fruit?
Wondering how much sugar there is in your favorite fruit? Well, it depends on what your favorite fruit is. In general, it’s good to keep in mind that fruits do tend to have a high level of natural sugars/fructose. With that being said, below are a few fruits and their average sugar contents per single piece.
Avocado – 1g sugar (And yes, avocados are considered a fruit!)
Apple – 19g sugar
Banana – 14g sugar
Orange – 9g sugar
Pineapple – 89g sugar (16g/cup)
Strawberry – 0.6g sugar
How much sugar is too much?
This will vary depending on several factors. For instance, men are typically allotted a little more sugar per day. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, doctors will usually recommend between 23 and 40 grams of sugar per day.
For reference, the average person usually consumes double their daily sugar limit. To truly know how much sugar you should be consuming, we recommend asking a medical professional.
How can I stop sugar cravings?
Ultimately, the best way to stop your sugar cravings is to consume less sugar. Sugarless gum makes a good replacement for sugary foods when you’re feeling the urge. You can also try setting goals for yourself. Keep track of your total sugar each day for a week, and each week reduce that number. That’ll help you cut out sugar in the long run.
What’s the best sugar substitute?
Cutting out sugar often means finding the best sugar substitute. For most, the best sugar substitute is Stevia. It’s made from a plant and doesn’t have any added chemicals. It’s also been known to improve insulin sensitivity.
How can I lower my blood sugar naturally?
If you are at risk for or have diabetes, you know it can be tough to lower blood sugar naturally. Try filling your diet with high-fiber and high-protein foods. Foods with lots of fiber and protein tend to keep a person’s blood sugar levels down in the long run. You can also try apple cider vinegar to help you feel full and reduce your blood sugar after a meal. However, if you do use apple cider vinegar, we recommend mixing it with some warm water, as it can be very potent on its own.
How does sugar make you gain weight?
Most people are aware that sugar makes a person gain weight. Sugar/added fructose is stored as energy or fat in the body’s fat cells. It also affects the way the body releases insulin. When you consume sugar, it causes a drop in blood sugar. As a result, the body craves more sugar, in order to replenish blood sugar.
What does high blood sugar feel like?
High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has a handful of symptoms. These can include thirstiness, difficulty focusing, fatigue, urinating often, and headaches. Those with diabetes typically use a glucometer to test their levels. However, if you have these symptoms and aren’t diagnosed with diabetes, it’s worth seeing a doctor. High blood sugar impacts the body in a handful of ways. Higher risk of infection, reduced healing, reduced vision, and other, longer-term health effects are possible as a result of chronic high blood sugar.
Final Word on the Best New Year’s Resolution
Now that you have some good ideas for this year’s New Year’s resolution list, will cutting out sugar/added fructose make the top? For us, it will. Whatever you decide to add to your New Year’s resolution list, we believe in you. We believe in your success in 2018, and we hope you feel empowered to succeed all year.
Our dental professionals would be happy to visit your business, community group or school with interactive and powerful presentations on improving dental and overall health. Our most popular presentation is Live Longer & Better.
Contact our community education coordinator at email@example.com