Sugar is already declared a harmful kitchen product. And IF by any chance you are on a weight loss journey then cutting down on sugar can help shed the unwanted fats. Sugar and sugary drinks/foods have been one of my favorite stubborn enemies. It can be as addictive as any other drug that can cause various health issues.
Getting rid of sugar can be challenging as it increases the craving for having it more and more. Then why not opt for limiting over eliminating? It can fulfill your craving and also ensure you stay close to your weight loss goal.
But how much sugar defines the limitation?
According to the American Heart Association, twenty-five grams (6 teaspoons) of added sugar in females and thirty-six grams (9 teaspoons) in males is the recommended amount per day. The additive sugar has zero nutrients and many calories and many parts of additive sugar are consumed through sugary drinks or processed foods. On the other hand, there is a natural sugar that is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and nutrients.
Let us understand natural sugar and added sugar
Sugar is carbohydrates that provide energy to the body. Fruits, vegetables, grains, etc contain natural sugar. These natural sugars are processed to make white sugar and are used as additives in processed foods. Some of the main sources of sugar intake come from sugar-added beverages, desserts, sweetened dairy products, sugary cereals, etc.
Limiting sugar intake in given figures will keep up the overall health but how much sugar is okay for weight loss?
Sugar and weight loss
The varieties of foods consumed and the portion of foods eaten do not affect all individuals alike. Similarly, the sugar limit for weight loss affects differently in each individual, there are no one-size fits.
When too much sugar is consumed it affects the overall health. The extra sugar intake gets stored as fats in the body leading to weight gain or compromising the weight loss efforts. Apart from weight factors, it is a leading cause of heart problems and other chronic diseases.
When weight loss is the target one may strictly avoid candy, biscuits, etc but forget to avoid healthy juice and smoothies which contains sugar that can cause weight gain. One may substitute table sugar with honey or maple syrup but these also increase the blood sugar level and promote fat deposit.
Thinking of how much sugar is required to lose weight is a complex thing. It is not feasible to keep a track of how much additive sugar and natural sugar are consumed in a day. What can be worked out is excluding additive sugar from the diet. And if this is not satisfying then consulting your doctor or dietician is the best thing that can help achieve your weight loss goal.
What dieticians say
The natural sugar from fruits and dairy is healthy sugar but the added sugar in processed foods is an unhealthy fat. Eating sugar-added products may add energy but fails to increase the food quality.
Along with sugar cuts it is also essential to eat whole grains. White grains or refined foods are processed the same way as sugar. For example, white rice does not have any additive sugar but when consumed it quickly breaks into glucose and has the same impact as added sugars.
Apart from weight loss, limiting sugar can benefit in –
- Reduce the risk for diabetes
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Energy lasts longer
Tips to control sugar intake for weight loss
- Read the nutrient content of the food
- Eat natural sugars without stress
- Stay away from packed foods
- Eat more whole foods
- Eat mindfully
- Watch the portion
Sugar is always looked down on by the body which is an underweight loss process. It adds flavor to food and provides energy and for some, it is not easy to give up sugar. But do not feel guilty when sugar is consumed from whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Watch the added sugar as it comes with stored fats and zero nutrients.